On a recent trip to Maine this year I took this picture at Two Lights State Park of this abandoned coastal defense watch tower. This tower was used to keep an eye on potential enemy attacks during WWI and WWII. You can only imagine how lonely it must of been for those manning the tower. And as we know there were no attacks on this coast during both those wars although enemy submarines were suspected of patrolling the waters. The vigilance required must have been mind numbing as anyone who has ever performed an military watch can attest.
We have watchmen who keep an eye on our physical defenses from towers such as this. We also have watchmen who keep an eye on our spiritual well being. In the Old Testament God told his people to hearken unto the "watchmen." In Ezekiel 3:17 it says, "Son of Man, I have made thee a Watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me."
I am grateful to know that we have prophets who are a living "watchman" to warn us of coming difficulties and the movements of the enemy. Our spiritual enemies are very sophisticated and often times we are blind to their movements. The prophet of today, President Russell M. Nelson, has warned us of many things in his role of Watchman. I know that I, for one, need to do a better job of heeding his warnings.
Our work continues in Lowell, with English classes, and working with the Spanish Group members. We recently had to fun opportunity to attend two asados in Lowell. One with the Meirelles family, and also with the Nerio family. I took pictures at the Nerio asado (BBQ) which included a home made parilla by Douglas Temponi who is from Brazil. Nothing compares to a South American asado from Uruguayans, Brazilians, or Argentinians. We had a great time being with them.
On the 4th of July our Lowell District was able to participate in the Chelmsford Two Mile Run. Sister Zollinger and I sponsored the young missionaries to participate. There were approximately 2000 participants in the run. I decided to walk the race. At the conclusion of the race there was an old fashioned 4th of July parade that I enjoyed taking pictures of as I walked back to the starting line where Sister Zollinger waited with the card. We enjoyed this last year and decided to participate once again.
Earlier in the month we had the opportunity as men to attend the temple and perform baptisms and confirmations. This was a great experience to be with some of these men who had never attended before. Afterward, we enjoyed ice cream and some male bonding. On this night Sister Zollinger taught some members of the Spanish Group how to sew.
The Lowell Portuguese Branch invited the English Ward and Spanish Group to attend a party in July that celebrates the cowboys and hillbillies of Brazil. At least that is what I understood it to mean. They celebrate corn in all its various incarnations at this festival. We enjoyed the folk music and the energy that the Brazilian saints demonstrated. Some vigorous rounds of musical chairs ensued and all had a good time.
Our district changed in July with missionaries leaving and new ones arriving. As of this writing we have been on our mission for 17 months and have 6 months remaining. We have now served with 55 missionaries in this Lowell district since we arrived in here in March 2022. We've enjoyed all the missionaries we met and truly love them all.
Finally, the weather here has been as strange as in the rest of the country. It has rained virtually everyday this summer. And, in a first for us, we had a tornado warning in Lowell, MA last Sunday! Nothing touched down here, but we were looking at the sky for funnel clouds. The rain really came down. Back home in Arizona they are having tremendous heat so I will not complain. As a wise person once said, "Everyone complains about the weather but no one does anything about it."