Sunday, June 5, 2016

June 5th, 2016. On Thursday as I thought about what I might share in this week’s blog from our past week of service, I realized there was nothing much new to report. Our week was pretty routine although our work was occasionally interrupted somewhat by the people who are running cables in the overhead spaces of the entire building we are in as they prepare to install new telephone and internet server lines. On Thursday and Friday we received the gas card expenditures for the month from each of the pairs of missionaries who have cars. These are reconciled against a Bank of America statement we receive each month. Kathy does this. And at the end of each month I also get a report of the number of kilometers each car has been driven. Each area with a car is allocated a given number of kilometers as a portion of the total allocation for the total mission. This report is compiled into a spreadsheet for the mission president.

On Friday things got a bit more complicated. We have had a missionary with a worsening health problem and, in consultation with Church health authorities and the missionary’s family, it was determined that it was time for an early release for this missionary; so on Friday afternoon Kathy and I were asked to arrange things so we could accompany this missionary home to Utah. We were able to visit with her on Friday evening and become better acquainted and make plans for how things would go on Saturday. We had to get up on Saturday morning early and meet her and then make our way to the airport for an 8:00 a.m. flight. There is a direct flight that takes about two hours and ten minutes so we were in Salt Lake City by a little after 10:00 a.m. We were able to connect readily with her family and so our escort duties were done until our 8:20 p.m. return flight (see picture). 

At the airport we rented a car and drove toward home but stopped at Cracker Barrel on our way and had some pecan pancakes (our favorite thing there).

There is nothing like a missionary badge to have people smile and say hello and share something with you. Several shared their stories with us, both on each leg of our flight and in the restaurant. We flew to SLC with a couple who are from Winnipeg and were headed to the Missionary Training Center in Provo and then will return to Winnipeg to work in the mission office. The wife who suffers from MS looked just like Ann Romney who, of course, suffers from the same MS disorder.

While in Cracker Barrel one young man stopped us and asked where we were from, assuming that we were from somewhere outside of Utah and serving in Utah. I replied that we were from Sandy so he then assumed we were serving locally but I told him that we were actually serving in Calgary, Canada. He looked perplexed for a moment until I told him we had had to make a quick trip to Salt Lake but would be returning that evening. Then he brightened and told us that his best friend is serving in our mission and I immediately recognized the name of the missionary as his area is fairly close to the mission office. We see him quite often. I took a picture to show our Elder who we had run into and will look forward to calling him over to my desk to show him the picture.  Of course, he will have no idea of how we got the picture without some sort of explanation. I am trying to think of a far out story to tell him to see if he will fall for it before I explain how we really got it. 

Also in Cracker Barrel, our waitress was a beautiful African young lady. After Kathy complimented her on her hair, she visited with us for a few minutes. We asked here where she was from originally and she told us that she was from an island off the African coast and had been in the U.S. for only a few years. We complimented her on her excellent English as she had hardly any accent. She told us that French is spoken on her island but she spoke no English when they arrived in the U.S. She then told us of her family’s conversion to the Church after coming to the U.S. and this lead to their move to Utah. She told us her brother has recently served a mission for the Church. 

Arriving at home we found everything looking pretty good. The lawn had just been mowed and the flowerbeds are in full bloom. I changed into some work clothes and checked out the sprinkling system which reveled a couple of problems, but the problems were not difficult to repair so it didn’t take much time. Our poor little peach tree appears to have a disease so I will need to call a tree guy we know of and arrange to have it sprayed. I also made a trip to Home Depot and bought a big bag of fertilizer and applied about half of it leaving the other half to be used later in the summer. While on our way we had called Kristi and Mike and informed them we were coming to SLC so around 3:00 p.m. they each arrived with their families and we had an enjoyable visit (see the attached picture). Little Susan is now 2 ½ months and has grown so much. She was full of smiles for us.  

All too soon it was time to return to the airport and return to Calgary. We got to bed about 11:30 p.m. and slept in this morning until almost time for church. We were able to nap this afternoon so we are rested up and ready for another week.

May your week be a good one. Ours will be a busy one as this is transfer week and moving some of the cars will also happen.

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