Saturday, February 13, 2016

Greetings from tropical Alberta.

We have now had two weeks of rather warm weather considering the area where we live. The snow is pretty much gone and none has replaced it. The temperature has climbed into the upper 30s and low 40s (F) on most days. Snow falls to the west of the Canadian Rockies and in the mountains but then the moisture fades away before it reaches Calgary. This last storm was eagerly awaited by farmers and ranchers but it pushed up and over our area and into Edmonton; all we got was thick fog.

And already I am talking about the weather...; this suggests that nothing terribly out of the ordinary happened since last week's blog entry and that is true. Only three damaged vehicles remain from the flurry of slick road related accidents last month. Two cars will be returned to the fleet early next week leaving just the one, and this one is only awaiting a part to be finished; so, knock on wood, we may actually have a period of time when we have no cars in the shop. It is much easier to just have to deal with oil changes, tire replacements, cracked windshields, and other assorted routine matters. As I stated in the last blog post, I need to get 4-5 higher mileage cars ready for sale. This requires moving some car assignments around and getting these cars here to Calgary so they can be detailed, tires replaced if necessary, and otherwise fixed as needed. I have a list of some 25 people who have called and indicated they are interested in a mission car so moving the cars won't be a problem. These cars are sold "as is" at prices that the Area Fleet Manager in Salt Lake City and I will determine. Mission cars are considered a good buy as they have had regular servicing, and because car problems have been dealt with as they happen.

President and Sister Miles are busy doing quarterly interviews. This occurs mid-way between the quarterly Zone Conferences. Interviews are different from Zone Conferences. While Zone Conference gathers all of the missionaries in the zone together for a group meeting, interviews provide the opportunity for the mission president to sit down, one-on-one, with each of the 200+ missionaries to assess their progress, hear their concerns, and provide guidance and encouragement where needed. Among the many assignments Kathy has is the responsibility for setting up all the necessary arrangements for these interviews and for Zone Conferences. This includes arranging lodging for President and Sister Miles in the various places, reserving dates and spaces in the Stake Centers, and arranging with and through the various Relief Society Presidents for preparing and serving the noon meal for the missionaries and Pres. and Sis. Miles. These gatherings also provide an opportunity for the mission vehicles to be inspected. Each companionship having a vehicle arrives and parks in a predesignated spot by backing into the spot and raising the hood. The required documentation for the inspection is placed on the front seat of the car which includes the keys, the gas card, and the envelope containing the registration, insurance certificate, accident reporting requirements, etc., and the odometer log book. Special attention is paid to items that failed the last inspection. This inspection is performed by the Zone Leaders at the quarterly interviews and by Kathy and I at the quarterly Zone Conferences. The Zone Conference in March will be our first. Kathy will get to sit in the front seat of our car where it is nice and warm and comfortable and record the inspection findings while I go from car to car out in the weather. Hopefully it will be nice weather!

Speaking of March, Kathy and I will be returning to Utah for a week or two sometime in March when Kathy's daughter, Kristi, has her baby. While in Utah we have a whole list of things we will need to do including doctor visits, prescription renewals, dry cleaning (way, way expensive here in Canada), cleaning house, income tax, etc. The problem is scheduling since baby's don't come with a definite timetable in hand. Fortunately we have an experienced couple prepared to step in and perform the Zone Conference car inspections should we be unable to do so. It is nice to have backup. This is so because one of the couples we work with in the office is a local couple, the Sefciks.  They covered the car fleet duties from the time the previous Fleet Coordinator left and our arrival in Calgary. Elder Sefcik's primary duties include housing issues such as rental contracts, apartment furnishings, utilities, and apartment supplies, etc. Sister Sefcik handles ordering and receiving mission supplies, baptism records, name tags, etc. They work 3 1/2 days a week in the mission office. They also are temple workers. Elder Sefcik is a retired attorney and between he and his wife know everybody so they are a great resource. Their service will end in the Fall and they will be greatly missed.  

Sorry I don't have any pictures to include this week. Maybe next week.

May the Lord bless you all is our prayer. We have so many wonderful friends, neighbors, and family members who are suffering from health issues and a myriad of other problems. Please know you are all in our prayers.

Love, Evan and Kathy

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