Beautiful Grant County Farmlands

2017-6-16 Royal (78)This afternoon we had a Beautiful drive from Ephrata to Royal.  Gentle rains fell, and the farmlands around us were spectacular.  Come take a look at this heavenly place:2017-6-16 Royal (2)2017-6-16 Royal (3)2017-6-16 Royal (4)Alfalfa:2017-6-16 Royal (10)Onion seed:2017-6-16 Royal (11)2017-6-16 Royal (12)2017-6-16 Royal (14)Corn:2017-6-16 Royal (15)Hay loads being transported:2017-6-16 Royal (18)Potato fields:2017-6-16 Royal (41)2017-6-16 Royal (42)2017-6-16 Royal (43)Wheat:2017-6-16 Royal (19)2017-6-16 Royal (20)2017-6-16 Royal (27)Peas:2017-6-16 Royal (22)2017-6-16 Royal (24)2017-6-16 Royal (26)YUM!2017-6-16 Royal (28)Cherries under cover (protection from the birds):2017-6-16 Royal (29)2017-6-16 Royal (30)Raniers:2017-6-16 Royal (31)2017-6-16 Royal (33)Mint:2017-6-16 Royal (34)2017-6-16 Royal (36)Sweet Peas:2017-6-16 Royal (37)2017-6-16 Royal (38)Tyson Allred is the Best Tour Guide in Royal.  After we got to Royal, Tyson and I took a drive (while Pres Lewis stayed home to read letters).  We drove through the Allred farms and the neighboring farms to see how things are growing.

Here are the pea fields.  These peas are almost ready for harvest.  We picked as many as we could carry and we ate them all!2017-6-16 Royal (39)2017-6-16 Royal (40)Here’s how the field looks before it’s harvested:2017-6-16 Royal (47)And here’s how it looks after it’s harvested:2017-6-16 Royal (48)The harvesters cut the pea plants, strip the pods from the plants, then strip the peas out of the pods and spit everything back out on the ground, looking like this:2017-6-16 Royal (49)Quincy Foods harvest the peas–they send in their harvesters and do all the work.2017-6-16 Royal (50)These 14 huge harvesters stopped for the day after cutting one swath around the outside of the field.  The peas were not quite mature enough.  They will wait a few more days.2017-6-16 Royal (51)2017-6-16 Royal (52)You can see where the cutting stopped.2017-6-16 Royal (53)2017-6-16 Royal (54)One of these machines costs almost $1 million.  There were 14 lined up and waiting to go.2017-6-16 Royal (55)2017-6-16 Royal (56)2017-6-16 Royal (57)Justin, the mechanic from Quincy Foods taught us how the harvesters work.2017-6-16 Royal (58)2017-6-16 Royal (59)2017-6-16 Royal (60)Pretty amazing.  They do the job of 1000s of grandmas on back porches shelling peas!2017-6-16 Royal (61)

Here is a new crop of corn coming up:2017-6-16 Royal (62)

Have you ever seen what it looks like when you graft a tree?  This was an apple orchard that didn’t perform so well last year.  The trees were cut, and branches were brought in from a neighboring orchard.  The small branches were grafted into the trunks.2017-6-16 Royal (64)You know the graft takes, when it begins to leaf out.2017-6-16 Royal (63)2017-6-16 Royal (66)Every so often in the orchard, you find a pollinator crab apple tree: 2017-6-16 Royal (68)2017-6-16 Royal (69)2017-6-16 Royal (70)2017-6-16 Royal (71)2017-6-16 Royal (72)Fuji Apples:2017-6-16 Royal (44)2017-6-16 Royal (45)2017-6-16 Royal (46)This netting is to protect the trees from the western sun, so the fruit won’t be sunburned:2017-6-16 Royal (73)2017-6-16 Royal (74)Beautiful orchards and valleys:2017-6-16 Royal (76)2017-6-16 Royal (77)2017-6-16 Royal (79)

Cherries!  These will be ripe soon.  Everything is about 3 weeks behind schedule this year because of the long winter and the cool spring we’re having.2017-6-16 Royal (80)2017-6-16 Royal (81)2017-6-16 Royal (82)Because of the rain, many of the cherry orchards had fans blowing, or sprayers blowing the water off the trees.  If the cherries are wet and then get warm, they might split, which would be disastrous.  Farmers work hard to keep the cherries dry.2017-6-16 Royal (84)By evening, the rain stopped and the sun came out again.  It’s light until almost 10:00 p.m. here.  The evenings are golden and beautiful.2017-6-16 Royal (85)2017-6-16 Royal (86)2017-6-16 Royal (87)I could happily live here the rest of my life.  This farm country speaks to my soul.

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Interviews in Ephrata

IMG_8972These Elders Love Ephrata.  Elder Black wants to move here after his mission.  They remind me of Ammon in the Book of Mormon.

Elder Fullmer and Elder Black, Zone Leaders serving in the Ephrata 3rd WardIMG_8963Elder Fullmer:  I love the open sky and sunsets, the mountains (Wenatchee) and the Columbia River.

Elder Black:  I love Pres and Sis Lewis, I love that I’m a missionary and I get to meet interesting people and hear their stories.  And I love that I’m not in Utah!  The members here practice what they teach.  Mormonism is more than a cultural thing.

Sister Goodrich and Sister Boehmer, serving in the Ephrata 2nd WardIMG_8964Sister Goodrich:  I love the Spirit that is here with all of the leaders and missionaries.  I love Pres and Sis Lewis’ love for the Lord and the missionaries.  I love how close all the missionaries are to each other and to our leaders.

Sister Boehmer:  It’s the best because I get to be a missionary here.  We have the best members everywhere you go!  They treat missionaries like their own kids, very welcoming and kind!  Most of the people here have faith in Christ.IMG_8968

Elder Amat and Elder Holley, serving in the Ephrata Spanish areasIMG_8969Elder Amat:  I love adventure, meeting new people, the landscape, the views and speaking about the gospel with the members.  I love Pres and Sis Lewis and I love the different seasons.

Elder Holley:  I love the bonds we make in the mission and the missionary stories we share.  I love the member dinners and I love the constant adventures that we have every day (many are with dogs).

Elder Lucio and Elder Powell, serving in the Ephrata 1st Ward2017-6-15 zInterviews Ephrata (11)Elder Lucio:  I love sharing experiences with others in the mission.  I love sharing experiences, hearing advice and connecting with the members here.  And I love one-on-one conversations with Pres and Sis Lewis.

Elder Powell:  I love Pres and Sis Lewis.  I love knowing my way around so well.  And I love the members and working with and getting to know them.  We have happy and impactful interactions.  It’s exciting to get to know the people here.  It’s like family away from family!2017-6-15 zInterviews Ephrata (14)2017-6-15 zInterviews Ephrata (15)There is a new SOFA in Ephrata!!  Ahhhh.2017-6-15 zInterviews Ephrata (18)

Tonight after interviews were completed, we found a new little place to grab a bite of food–the Bookery Cafe.  It was really good.  I loved all the authors on the menu!2017-6-15 zInterviews Ephrata (20)2017-6-15 zInterviews Ephrata (19)2017-6-15 zInterviews Ephrata (22)

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Interviews in Quincy

2017-6-15 Interviews Quincy (6)We spent the night in Quincy last night, then began this morning here, interviewing these fine four Spanish Elders.  Great things are happening right now in Quincy.  There is lots of excitement in the air!

The question of the day:  What are 3 things you love best about living in the WYM?

Elder Wunderlich and Elder Richardson, serving in the Quincy East area2017-6-15 Interviews Quincy (4)Elder Wunderlich:  The people and the Hispanic culture, the fresh fruits and vegetables and Pres and Sis Lewis.

Elder Richardson:  The people and how generally nice they are, the fresh authentic apples, and the spiritual upliftment.

These Elders taught a discussion to this beautiful cute gal named Cynthia while we were there.2017-6-15 Interviews Quincy (8)2017-6-15 Interviews Quincy (12)

Elder Bonny and Elder Boren, serving in the Quincy West area2017-6-15 Interviews Quincy (9.5)Elder Bonny:  Fresh fruit!!, Speaking Spanish, and the 4 seasons.  Fall is my favorite.2017-6-15 Interviews Quincy (10)Elder Boren:  The great produce that we get to enjoy, the fun small farm towns, and the amazing members we get to interact with.2017-6-15 Interviews Quincy (11)

Meet Mandy Ottley.  We had a little Days for Girls pow wow in the parking lot.  Here comes Quincy!!2017-6-15 Interviews Quincy (1)2017-6-15 Interviews Quincy (13)

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Stake Missionary Correlation Meeting in Ephrata

2017-6-14 Stake Correlation Ephrata (1)We took a road trip this evening to Ephrata for our Stake Correlation Meeting with the Stake Presidency there.  It was a beautiful drive.2017-6-14 Stake Correlation Ephrata (3)We were greeted by Zone Leaders, Elder Black and Elder Fullmer.2017-6-14 Stake Correlation Ephrata (4)2017-6-14 Stake Correlation Ephrata (5)2017-6-14 Stake Correlation Ephrata (6)We had a great meeting correlating the missionary activities in the stake.2017-6-14 Stake Correlation Ephrata (8)Afterwards we bumped into Sister Boehmer and Sister Goodrich, who were just finishing up helping with a Missionary Mutual Activity.  The church was filled with happy youth this evening!2017-6-14 Stake Correlation Ephrata (9)2017-6-14 Stake Correlation Ephrata (11)

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Interviews in Yakima

2017-6-14 Interviews Yakima (1)It’s unbelievable to think we are starting interviews again!  The weeks just keep flipping by like pages in a book!  Today we began with the Yakima Zone here in town.  We’ll be on the road up north the rest of the week, leaving this afternoon.

My question for each missionary this time is, “What are 3 things you love best about living in the Washington Yakima Mission?  Below you will find their answers.

Elder Hoskins and Elder Hughes, Zone Leaders serving in the Yakima Cottonwood Canyon and YSA Wards.2017-6-14 Interviews Yakima (11)Elder Hoskins:  1.  President Lewis.  2.  Sister Lewis.  3.  Learning how to love others and develop relationships with others and especially Heavenly Father.

Elder Hughes:  1.  Being with Pres & Sis Lewis.  2.  Fruit–especially the cherries and apples.  3.  Yakima–the people and culture here.  I love the fruit industry and the good vibe of the humble people here.

2017-6-14 Interviews Yakima (3)2017-6-14 Interviews Yakima (4)

Elder Sailsbery and Elder Peterson, serving in the Yakima Meadowbrook Ward2017-6-14 Interviews Yakima (8)Elder Sailsbery:  1. Super golden homelss people that come to church 2x in a row and bear their testimony about how this church is true.  2.  Being around all the missionaries.  3.  Teaching by the Spirit.

Elder Peterson:  1.  Homeless people that come to church and share their testimony in sacrament meeting.  2.  Members that invite golden investigators to church.  3.  Members that are willing to help out wherever.

Elder Saitman and Elder Ackerman, serving in the Yakima Summitview Ward2017-6-14 Interviews Yakima (13)Elder Saitman:  1.  I love being around all the fruit trees.  2.  I enjoy working with the humble people of central Washington.  3.  I’m happy I’ve had the chance to travel around the state of Washington.

Elder Ackerman:  1. Meeting all the people here.  2. The fruit and the food:  #1 Apples, #2 Apple juice, #3 Applesauce.  3.  The friendship of the missionaries.

2017-6-14 Interviews Yakima (18)

Elder Christensen and Elder Painter, serving in the Yakima Randall Park Ward2017-6-14 Interviews Yakima (20)Elder Christensen:  1.  Awesome ward members.  2. The differing beauty around the mission:  rocky mountains, forests, orchards, hops, the Gorge–it’s all just beautiful.  3. Crazy people with crazy stories.

Sister Harty and Sister Don, serving in the Yakima Ahtanum Creek and YSA Wards2017-6-14 Interviews Yakima (22)Sister Harty:  1. President & Sister Lewis.  2.  The atmosphere of love and trust among the missionaries.  3. Having conversations with random people.

Sister Don:  1. Apples!  2. This cooler summer weather and snow in the winter!  3. Members are willing to do anything for the missionaries.2017-6-14 Interviews Yakima (25)

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Asian Salad

2017-6-13 MLC Salad

Here’s how I like to make a great Asian salad.  Today this fed 30:

Tear, don’t cut:

2 large Romaine lettuce
1 Iceberg lettuce
1 Napa Cabbage

Then shred very thinly some red and some green cabbage
Slice enough radishes to give color
1-2 cups chopped celery
Chopped pea pods if you have them
Fresh parsley, chives, cilantro and a touch of fresh basil

Top with mandarin oranges, sliced almonds, wantons or cruncy noodles.
Serve with your favorite Asian dressing.

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Texas Sheet Cake

2017-6-13 MLC (118)

1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Heat butter, water, cocoa and oil on medium-high heat until the butter melts.  (Do Not Boil.)  In a bowl, add flour, sugar, soda and salt.  Add hot ingredients and mix well.  Add milk, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix, then pour into a large greased baking sheet pan  Bake at 350 for 15-30 minutes.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
4 1/2 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together well and frost the cake while it is still warm.
Top with nuts if you like.

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