Monday, October 6, 2014

Establish a House

   "...Establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God."  (D & C 88:119)

   Our first priority on arriving in Crawfordsville, was to "establish a house".  The missionaries had already arranged for our housing weeks ahead of time.  We simply moved in with our own belongings.  We finally had a home.  However, within a few days we discovered other houses that would be important in our new life in Indiana.

A House of Prayer

First day at the Courthouse.
   Just four blocks east of our apartment is the Montgomery County Courthouse.  We occupy a small storage room in the basement where the probate records are kept.  Our shift begins at 8:00 in the morning and ends at 4:30 in the afternoon every day the courthouse is open.
   We always begin the day with prayer.   We have affectionately named our Nikon camera, Nick.  We have prayed that he and the other equipment would work together properly.  We have prayed that we could solve problems beyond our own understanding.  We have prayed that our hand movements would be quick and efficient.  We have prayed that we would feel help from the other side.  
   More than once, our prayers have been answered as we have been prompted to ask questions, review our work to find errors, and try new procedures.  Alma chapter 34 tells us to pray over the flocks of the field.  We pray over the files of our project.

A House of Fasting

Elder Packham teaching "The Family Is of God"
   We attend the Crawfordsville Ward in the Lafayette Stake.  The members have been so friendly and helpful in making us feel welcome.  As a ward, we have been involved in several special fasts for members and for specific needs.  
   We have also been given the opportunity to serve in the Primary.  Michael leads the singing and I play the piano.  Right now we are preparing for the Sacrament Meeting program in November. Even though there are only 15 to 20 children in the Primary, they love to sing and they sing loud!  We really love the people in the Crawfordsville ward.

A House of Faith

506 West Main
   When we think of Main Street USA, we picture McDonalds, Kohls, and assorted Jiffy Lubes.  In Crawfordsville, Main Street is residential.  We share the building with three other tenants.  With a large kitchen, living room and bedroom, there is more than sufficient space.  Gratefully, the apartment came with a washer and dryer and two bathrooms that are functional most of the time (a story for another blog).
   This location immediately became a house of faith for us.  Our schedule allows us to arise early each morning to study, journal, and prepare for the day.  We have invited guests to our home that we felt needed gospel encouragement or to feel the spirit of love and peace in a home atmosphere.  We have entertained the missionaries as they have taught the gospel to others.  We have shared our own testimonies with many new friends of various faiths and backgrounds.  

A House of Learning

   We can learn in so many places.  Wabash College is only a few blocks from our apartment.  Michael has taken the opportunity to get involved in their music program.  He participated in the Concerts in the Park during the summer months.  He is practicing with the Wabash orchestra and a separate brass ensemble for upcoming concerts.  These groups are comprised of students, faculty and community members.
   Through new friends, I have collected Crinoids along the banks of the Sugar Creek and learned how to embroider greeting cards.  

A House of Glory

Sister Rowley's yellow daisies
    There are beautiful sights in Crawfordsville.  I have taken up the hobby of photographing the beauties of nature.  Everywhere we can see God's handiwork in His creations.  We have enjoyed seeing the squirrels at work preparing for the winter.  The flower gardens have been beautiful.  The green trees of the summer are quickly turning red, yellow and orange.  There is beautiful blue sky.  Sugar Creek and the Wabash River provide other beautiful scenery.  All of these testify of the glory and the goodness of God.


A House of Order

Building muscles at the gym
   There must be order and balance in our lives. Wherever Michael goes, whether on vacation or a new home, he scouts out the physical fitness facilities.  Athena Sport and Fitness is the local hangout for anyone who desires to swim, lift weights, run, or use the other "instruments of torture" (as I call them).  He has made several new friends at the gym, including an 80 year old man named Dick, who is so faithful in exercising every morning.
   The marque outside the building reads: "A year from now you will be sorry you didn't start today."  Last week, we made a renewed commitment to get ourselves in better shape.  A New Year's Resolution in October! 

A House of God

Old Town Cemetery
   One day when I was out walking I discovered a very old cemetery.  It was located in a secluded grove of trees, very peaceful and lovely.  It had been established in 1811.
   So often missionary work is only associated with "preaching the gospel".  Our work at the courthouse is also missionary work.  It brings our brothers and sisters to the House of God and unites families for eternity.  The records we are capturing represent real people whose descendants, someday, will come to know them and love them.  We are so grateful to be part of hastening the work.


  1. I love the pictures you take! It seems like such a lovely community you live in. We pray for you every day. I am glad those prayers are being answered!

  2. Have you thought of preserving the cemetery with the Billion Graves app during one of your walks? I love that app and it is in the spirit of your wonderful work so I wanted to share.


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