We had a great weekend – lots of water. It was a weekend that started well and ended even better.
The water weekend started with a YSA ward pool party. The party was held at the home of the high councilman assigned to our ward. It was amazing. The pool is behind a tastefully remodeled, 1796 farm home. That’s right, the home was build in 1796, the last year George Washington was in office as president. Originally the home sat in the middle of an 800 acre farm. The farm is now a golf course. In fact, you have to drive through the middle of the course on a cart path to get to the home. I wasn’t sure how to run the golf ball gauntlet – slow and hesitant or fast and aggressively. Regardless, it was a safe entrance and exit.
If you have an estate in Virginia it has to have a name. This estate is called “Mountain View”, although it is hard to see the mountains because there are so many trees. Mountain View is on the Rockfish Gap Turnpike (US Highway 250). Beginning in the 1740’s the road was called Three Chopt Road (or sometimes Three Notche’d Road). Can you picture checking the trees for three chopts to avoid getting lost? This Virginia Colony road connected Richmond with the Shenandoah Valley through Rockfish Gap. It is a wind gap (former stream bed now elevated and dry) in the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
If you lived in colonial times and were going to visit Thomas Jefferson at Monticello you would pass by this farm on Three Chopt Road. Famous visitors to Monticello included James Madison, James Monroe, the Marquis de Lafayette, and according to one of Jefferson’s family members, “persons from abroad, from all the States of the Union, from every part of the State . . . . People of wealth, fashion, men in office, professional men military and civil, lawyers, doctors, Protestant clergymen, Catholic priests, members of Congress, foreign ministers, missionaries, Indian agents, tourists, travellers, artists, strangers, friends.” Makes you wonder who might have stopped by the farm. Too bad they didn’t have the pool – now that would be a draw.
This Saturday afternoon the farm hosted special visitors indeed. There were close to 20 members of the YSA ward. The attendance wasn’t’ record breaking (not everyone is a swimmer), but those who came had a great time.
Swimming and an appetite go together. Everyone took a break from the pool to eat. After the meal and a brief rest most were back in the pool.
There is great variety in swim wear. Eventually almost everyone got their swim wear wet – either voluntary or involuntary. Sister Ware and I were among the few to stay dry. For some reason no one pushed us in the pool, and that was OK with us. We were happy because it was apparent everyone had a great afternoon. As the day ended the golfers went home and we felt it was safe to negotiate the course back to Charlottesville. Sunday started as a typical day. We had church meetings, met several new members who are moving into the area and were introduced to a group of new investigators by the missionaries in our ward. Change is inevitable in life. Changes comes almost daily to a YSA ward. Our bishopric faces a major task just to learn names and keep the ward organized. The water weekend ended with another baptism in the ward right after church. Four young men have joined the church in the past few weeks. As you can see from the pictures we share in lots of smiles. We really enjoy our association with these young men. The gospel of Jesus Christ, restored to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith, can bless their lives. These four are anxious to learn, and grow, and improve their lives with the blessings of the gospel. We are very pleased to be a small part of that change and a part of their lives at this critical time.
19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. 20 Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. (3 Nephi 27:19-20) Elder Ware