Monday, July 16, 2018

Week #2 in Missouri

We are staying in the Laura Ingalls Wilder RV park, just across the street from the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum and home site in Mansfield, MO.  The RV hosts are God fearing, nice, and friendly.

We decided to go to Big Spring, MO.  It is one of the 3 largest springs in the USA.  286 million gallons of water flow up and out if the spring every day!  We calculated that a well flowing at 20 gallons per minute would be 28,800 gallons.  So that is just shy of 1000 (9930) wells flowing continuously.  A sign said it would fill a professional ball stadium in less than 2 days.  As amazing as that is, it is also a place [suspected to be] talked about in the Book of Mormon.  The waters of Mormon.
The brilliant blue color comes from the dissolved dolomite limestone. 
A little too close to the edge for me....
A very small cave/alcove near the spring.

Just below the spring.
This area is down stream where the water looks quite calm.
We saw lots of turtles stacked on top of one another, on a log, sunning themselves.
We saw a couple of snakes too.  One was an orange oval loop.

I did not anticipate onions growing out of their clothes.  But it has happened.
I took Naomi shopping for T-shirts and we saw a shopping cart of denim jeans for $3 each.
We couldn't help ourselves.
Naomi got 3 shirts and 3 pairs of pants.
I picked out 3 pairs of pants for Scott and he decided he wanted them.
Elanor got the only pair left in her size.
The best part is that I didn't pay for it.
The onions get an allowance and budget their expenses, including clothing, shoes, birthday gifts and other personal items like ear buds or trinkets.

There is a cave adjacent to the RV park that you can explore.  Eric came with us on Monday.

We were told that each person needed their own light.

The entrance to the cave was pretty large....

It became low rather quickly.  But the ceiling was super flat!

We saw a frog.  There were others rather far into the cave.

There was a place where the cave had been tapped into for access from above and then covered.

The colors of the rocks were varied and pretty.

There came a point where you had to get wet to continue, so Amelia and I turned back.

While there was nothing fancy or stunning, it was fun to truly explore a cave.

Computer time in our RV.

Naomi had a blister on her finger and Scott had something on his pinky toe and both hurt.  They asked to go to the doctor.  Dermatologists are months out in Springfield.  SO I took my chances and walked into the local clinic.  I made appointments for Naomi, Scott, and Elanor for the following day.

Naomi possibly has a virus or something in her finger that it is trying to expel.  Scott has a mole, but it is irritating. It will probably need to be removed at some point.
  Elanor got her wart removed - by burning rather than freezing.

I decided to try to find another swimming hole. It turned out to be another puddle.  
We have learned that this is one of the driest years in some time here.

We went to a little coffee shop for ice cream.  Ice cream sounded so good!  Yes, we cheat now and pay for it later.  The kids got what they wanted and I had a bit of strawberry and one of vanilla with caramel sauce.  Good, but I didn't want the belly ache.

While I sat at the table. I read a pamphlet while the onions ate.  We were sitting in a non profit cafe.  An interfaith group got together, raised funds for a coffee shop, and opened it's doors to raise money to help those in need.  Douglas county Missouri is one of the poorest counties in the US.  Many children don't have food at home.  The cafe has a "family room" where kids can hang out.  They do not turn anyone away.  If you can't pay, you eat anyway.  And those who can pay are invited to buy a meal ticket for others, if they want.  It is staffed by volunteers.  They donate food and funds to help their own people.  I love it!  Helping in a real way at a local level!  If we end up close by, I want to be involved.

On our way out, we saw the missionaries meeting with a sister.  We said hello.  Both elders were from Orem, UT.

In our church, we watch out for one another and help one another.  We are assigned people to care for and others are assigned to us.  I have heard and experienced some sad things.  One sister needed help, and called her ministering sister.  That person brushed her off and  asked if she could call someone else.  She called, and that person told her to call someone else.  What a headache - getting the run around on the phone for less than 5 minuted use of a sewing machine.  Finally she called someone that was super busy but capable.  Problem solved.

We often talk of helping, being of service, being Christlike, but we don't always rise to the occasion. Sigh.

After church, Eric was talking to a brother and slipped him a large bill. On the way home I learned that it was announced in Elders Quorum (the men's meeting) in the ward we attended that there was a family in dire need - like no running water and a small travel trailer that was not in good shape.  The brother suggested that if every man pulled out $5, it could make a real difference.  Eric's comments left me thinking that not many were quick to open their wallets.  

I am aware that there is tithing and a fast offering fund.  But this was now, in the moment kind of deal. The brother was going to pay for materials himself and possibly get reimbursed later.  He was giving people an opportunity right then and there.  Some took it, some didn't.

I'm grateful we, really Eric, could act.  We haven't always kept money in our wallets.  However, I am trying to teach our family to have a good relationship with money.  We have "money friends" which consists of one of each bill ($1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100) in our wallets at all times, separate from our spending cash.  
So many times people think "we don't have enough."  When I see my wallet full of cash, I certainly feel I have enough and then some.  And when I use it, I replace it.  How we view money plays a big part in our reality of money.  And, it comes in handy to have cash when someone really needs it.
I think we all felt good that we could help a family in need right where we were.  I felt the Spirit confirm to me that it was the right thing to do while listening to Eric tell us what had happened at church while on our ride back to the RV.

We have been to 3 different wards in Missouri now.  All great and all different.  The second ward got our contact information and the bishop has been texting him about what he needs to do to get us to stay in their ward boundaries.  When we didn't show up to his ward yesterday, he invited us over for family night this week.  I have felt welcomed and wanted in wards before, but never to this extent.

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