Sunday, February 21, 2016

From the desk of the Car Czar.

Another week has come and gone, and WOW! we are at the two month point. The time has certainly gone quickly.

This week was busy with entering the results of the car inspections mentioned in our last blog. This car inspection is done by the Zone Leaders, and, I have to say, their perspective is a bit different from my own. The inspection forms show a black box where items that failed the last inspection were noted; so, despite instructions, most of these boxes were largely ignored as if to say, "Oh, this item has already been done. I don't need to look at this item." In any case, there were some problems revealed in the boxes that were checked and by the occasional helpful description as provided by the more critical inspectors, so much of my time this week has been spent on the phone arranging oil changes, headlight or tail light bulb replacement, replacement tires, and in some cases, body and fender work. Noted on several cars was a cracked bumper. For most of these, the cause and effect is pulling into a parking stall and not stopping completely until the bumper hits frozen snow. Crunch! This turns out to be a costly repair since replacing the entire bumper is usually required to fix it.

Kathy has been busy entering the gas receipts for each car for January. The gas receipts and the car kilometer readings documenting distances traveled are mailed into the mission office each month and are due by the 7th of the month. Some do not get to the mission office in a very timely manner, - some times because the missionaries have forgotten to send them and have to be reminded, but sometimes due to the slow postal system. While we can be critical of the U.S. postal system, the Canadian system leaves much to be desired. This is especially true of mail sent from the U.S. to missionaries serving here. First of all it is very expensive, but sometimes the mail takes two to three weeks from the time it was mailed to get to its destination. Kathy is also busy compiling the 2105 mission history. This is a difficult task for someone who wasn't here through much of the year and, therefore, didn't know of many of the things of note that have happened. Nevertheless, she has it well in hand and has been successful in gathering facts and pictures and stories of much of what has transpired.  

On Friday Kathy and I had a break in the day-to-day office routine; we drove a new Nissan Rogue south to some Fort Macleod Sister missionaries whose car needed replacing. We carried two tires in the back, which, upon arrival in Fort Macleod got moved to the vehicle we were there to replace. We then, in the "old" car, continued eastward into Lethbridge where we met the missionaries needing the two new tires. Now, sans tires, we picked up an unfortunate Sister who had sustained a fall onto her left arm resulting in a fracture to her humerus (the bone between the elbow and the shoulder). Three days previously she had had surgery to repair the bone (plates and screws). Yesterday she flew home to the Phoenix area to recover. She was just two weeks away from the end of her mission; this is not at all the way she planned to return home, but what a great spirit she has. After a lengthy nap in the car, she told us of some of the wonderful things she had experienced while serving. One of the great blessings of serving is the office is getting to personally know so many of the wonderful Elders and Sisters and hearing of their experiences. Such was the case with this wonderful Sister whom we had not previously met.

After dropping this Sister off at the Mission President's home, we got back to the office just in time to go with Elder and Sister Peppinger to the Calgary Temple. It has been closed for two weeks for some maintenance. It is such a nice way to close out the work week so we look forward to going. Ordinarily we stop on the way to the temple to have dinner, but, given Kathy and my late arrival back at the office, we only had time to stop at a Subway.

And speaking of dinner, we had a lovely dinner at the home of one of the members of our ward this evening. He serves as a sealer at the temple. He and his wife are looking forward to being able to retire soon (he is an executive at one of the large banks here in Calgary) and serving a mission as well. They invited both us and the Peppingers and we had a wonderful roast beef dinner followed by a very interesting discussion of the different ways Canada and the U.S. approach health care, immigration, elections, and other issues. Canadians as a rule, have a great interest in what the U.S. does and are particularly interested (as well as amused) with the present Presidential debates and the selection process.

Before I finish, I'll include a couple of pictures Kathy took during the week, one from tonight's dinner, and one from the mission office. The office setting below is where we start each day with a short devotional attended by all who work in the office.

Before closing, I want to say how blessed we are and how much we are enjoying the work. We work with some really great people and love the missionaries whom we serve. May the Lord bless you and your families in all you do this week.

Love, Evan and Kathy

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