At the risk of your deciding there isn't much very exciting to read in the Thorley mission blog, I will begin by saying we have nothing much to tell except that we were busy doing our jobs, but that is what we are here to do.
With the passing of the first day of January, the pace of the work picks up even more. Each missionary pair with a car (84 of them) is required to log their daily distance traveled. Each missionary pair has a certain number of approved kilometers for their given area. Each car has an associated gas card. All of this data is sent to the office and the data entered. This falls to Kathy and me. Fortunately, Kathy's great computer skills make data entry go quickly. The kilometer data is beat against the approved travel distances and a spreadsheet is prepared for the mission president. Kathy provides much of the input for the mission president's schedule and makes all his travel arrangements and handles much of his correspondence.
More snow, fog, and continuing slick roads resulted in a flurry of accidents involving missionary cars. Sub-zero weather also has been a problem for dead and dying batteries and this has particularly been so for the Subaru Imprezas. I don't think I will be interested in buying one of them for my own use. ;^) I am on the telephone constantly with repair facilities. The mission cars are scattered over a wide area; it seems as soon as one car is repaired, another takes its place in the shop. The circumstances of some accidents are rather humorous, others not so, but, fortunately none of our missionaries have been injured, except pride. None of the incidents this week involved turning donuts in parking lots!
Saturdays are the mission staff's preparation day (P-day) so we are not in the office. Kathy and I hurried through cleaning our apartment and then headed for Okotoks, a beautiful city south of Calgary. It was a beautiful drive and we enjoyed ourselves. The pine trees were right out of a Christmas post card scene; snow plus a coating of frost from some fog that had been present. Since the day was sunny, the trees just sparkled.
Today was our stake conference. It was wonderful. The Canada Calgary Stake is in good hands. We were so impressed with the stake presidency and others who spoke including our own President and Sister Miles. The stake center is a remarkable and unique building; it was designed by N. Eldon Tanner when he was stake president. The east side of the stake center looks out on the downtown area from a distance of a couple of miles; quite dramatic.
Tonight we were treated to a beautiful sunset (see below). If you look carefully, you can see mountains in the distance. They look small from this perspective but they are, in fact, the incredibly craggy and high mountains of Banff.
We send our best to all of you. We are happy in our work, busy but happy.