Sunday, September 15, 2013

OBSERVATIONS

The Observatory
We had a busy P-day Monday. We cleaned the apartment, Mary got her nails done, Max got a haircut, and we went out to lunch (at Subway, of course). Then we headed for Griffith Park, a 4,300 acre nature preserve in the middle of Los Angeles. We went to the Griffith Observatory, but it is closed Monday's. However, we got a great view of the entire LA megaurb and the famous Hollywood sign. It was quite hazy that day. We learned that the Los Angeles Zoo, the famous Autry Museum, and the Greek Theatre are in the park. Definitely a place to return to. We took the long way home, through the San Fernando valley, then did our grocery shopping for the week.
Mary - Hollywood
Hollywood - Max

A small slice of a very large city
Downtown LA. LA invented the word SMOG










Beginning Tuesday we had three additional days of training in family history research and using FamilySearch.org, so we can help the patrons who come in. The young sister missionaries who work in our ward and in the Visitors' Center, our next-door neighbors, came for dinner Wednesday. One is from Saratoga Springs, Utah, and the other is from Barcelona, Spain. And, as is our routine now, we went to the temple Wednesday evening.

We had very sad news from home Thursday night. Mary’s sister Ann’s son, Nicholas died on Wednesday. It is all so very devastating. He had just started a new job that took him and his young family to Kentucky. We are praying for Ann and Darrell and her children and especially for Nicholas’ wife, Brita and their three young daughters. We are very sad and distressed about this.

We took time off from our assignment on Friday, at President Weidman’s invitation, to attend a zone conference with the young missionaries. He has two zones meet at a time. This conference was with the Downey and International zones and was held in Downey, about 40 minutes from here. The International zone has missionaries who teach in five languages: Chinese, Korean, Tongan, ASL, and one other, French, we think. The President said that more languages will be coming with the next group of new missionaries. The other ten zones teach in English and Spanish.

It built our faith to see these 18-21 year-old missionaries speak and to respond to the challenges President Weidman gave us all. One challenge is to re-read the Book of Mormon by Christmas and to look for, and mark, evidences of faith in Jesus Christ, faith in His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. We have a daily reading schedule that we each use to accomplish this. We are having good discussions of these principles in our daily companion study. President Weidman is truly inspired and most kind and loving. It truly lifted our spirits, which were in much need of lifting.

In honor of Nicholas, we would like to tell about his third great-grandfather, Nicholas Wood:

Nicholas Wood (1795-1865)
Painted by Hermann Schmiechen
Born: 24 April 1795, Ryton, County Durham, England
Died: 19 December 1865, Greater London, England
Nicholas Wood was a well-known English steam railway pioneer.He was born and educated in Durham and joined Killingworth Colliery as an apprentice, rising to be manager. The colliery engineer at Killingworth was George Stephenson and the two men worked closely together on the development of a miner's safety lamp and the building and testing of early steam locomotives. He wrote an influential book called "A Practical Treatise on Rail-roads" based on his experiments and experiences which advocated the benefits of steam locomotives.He was one of the three judges at the Rainhill Trials in 1829 where the locomotives for the new Liverpool to Manchester Railway were selected. He became very influential through his many investments in local mines and railways. His interest in mine safety and education led him to be elected first President of the North of England Institute of Mining Engineers and to campaign for a College of Science in Newcastle. In 1865 he was created a Fellow of the Royal Society.

All our love,
Mary and Max Evans