Sunday, August 21, 2016

So sad; the Olympics are nearly over.........

Blog for August 21, 2016

The Calgary Tower (revolving restaurant - too pricey for lunch today!

We have enjoyed being able to select what aspect of the Olympics we wanted to watch each evening. We appreciate having a VCR so we could capture the Olympic moments to be watched later. The problem has been what to watch each evening. I was rather pessimistic about Rio as host for the Games but it has turned out quite wonderfully. What a beautiful setting is Rio. The overhead shots were breathtaking.

Our week has been pretty routine except for Friday. We have had a few missionaries who needed to go home during the week in order to get back home in time to start their school programs; likewise there will be some go home this week for the same reason. The bulk of them who are due to go home won’t go until next week, which is the time for the regular transfer week. It is that week we will have 28 new missionaries arriving plus two senior missionary couples, but back to Friday…….. On Thursday, President Miles called to ask Kathy and I to drive to Sparwood, BC to pick up an Elder who is replacing one who returned home on Saturday. He had been in a 3-leg companionship out in Creston, BC. We have mentioned Sparwood before; if you will recall the big green mining truck which was the backdrop in a picture once before for our blog when we made the trip to pick up a Sister missionary. This was about two months ago.  For us it is a nearly 3-hour trip, but Sparwood is only the halfway point; the missionary we picked up there also had to drive with his companions east from Creston for over 3 hours to get to Sparwood.

Elder Mahoney, Elder Bunch, and Elder Thackery. Elder Bunch was our passenger. 

 As we did with the Sister missionaries, we treated them all to Subway for lunch before making our way back to our destinations.

There are a couple of ways to drive south from Calgary; the interstate (Canadian Hwy 2) and the 2-lane road closer to the mountains called Rt 22. Rt 22 is our favorite way to go as the scenery is so beautiful. This time we noticed something I guess we had missed before; there is a stretch of fence along the western side of the road where there is a cap or hat on every fence post for 3-4 miles. Unfortunately the picture doesn’t do it justice but is included below. 

The Hat Zone

Rt 22 connects to the Crowsnest Pass, which is one of only two ways to get through the Colorado Rockies in Southern Alberta. As we turned west and passed through Frank’s Slide (see previous blog), we saw a weird site; a large cloud bank just sitting in the pass entrance (see the picture above).
Sort of like something from The Twilight Zone (for those of you who remember back that far!).

Entering the Twilight Zone? 
As we passed up and over the pass and entered the cloud bank, everything on the west side of the pass was overcast; then as we returned, we again broke out into the sunshine as we came down the east side of the pass and out of the mountains.

Yesterday, our P-day, we got up and cleaned the apartment, then headed into Calgary on the C-train. We haven’t really had a chance to explore downtown Calgary and it was such a nice day, we decided to do so. After getting off the train, we first went to a large mall known as the CORE Shopping Centre (I don’t know what CORE represents as to meaning, but it is in the core of the downtown area so maybe that is it); anyway, it covers three city blocks on four levels. On part of the fourth level is the Devonian Gardens, a glass-enclosed indoor botanical park, which was our primary purpose for going there, but, alas, it was closed for renovations so we could see only what was visible through the front doors. The food court was also on the 4th floor so we got something to eat there and then headed north for several blocks to walk past the Chinatown area and on to an “island” between two rivers, called Prince’s Island.

Going up!

Under construction

Skyscrapers and overhead walkways
Prince’s Island is home to walking and bike paths, some beautiful gardens, and lots of grass and shade trees, and even a Shakespearian play stage. The view of the downtown skyscrapers is very nice from there so I will include several pictures.

Calgary skyline from Prince's Island Park

Prince's Island garden

The south river boundary to Prince's Island

Prince's Island fountain

Bow River looking east

Bow River looking west

Anyway, we walked enough that we were quite tired when we got back home and up to our apartment so a nice nap was in order.

We have decided to assemble all of the blog entries into a book when we are finished with our mission so I will include even more pictures with the weekly entries than ever. We have seen the Shutterfly mission memory books President and Sister Miles have had assembled. They are into their third one and another they put together following a gathering of their family out in Banff earlier in the summer. This will be a neat way to document and preserve our mission experience.

Today in our ongoing effort to visit other areas were our missionaries serve, we went north from Calgary to Airdrie with a plan to attend two different Sacrament Meetings, one at 11:00 a.m. and the other at another building at 1:00 p.m. On the way we commented, “What if it is a Stake Conference Sunday?” When we got to the first building and walked in, sure enough it was Stake Conference. The proceedings were being televised from the Airdrie Stake Center to the building we were in, and it had started at 10:00 a.m. so we got to see the final hour. What we heard was wonderful, especially a talk from the visiting Seventy, Elder Scott, so it all worked out just fine. Afterward we got to visit with eight of our missionaries and that was nice, then we drove back to our own ward and attended the third hour. 

I would like to mention my sister, Ann Thorley Terry; she is on her way home from her 24-month records preservation mission in the New York New York North Mission. She was widowed soon after Kathy and I were married. While there she bought one of the available mission cars and is driving it home, She is accompanied by two of her daughters who flew out to be with her on her trip home to Southern Utah. Well done, Sister Terry!! Have a wonderful and safe trip home.

And speaking of a trip home, as I am writing this, we are learning that Kathy and I are likely headed to Salt Lake City with an ill Sister tomorrow, so stand by for more on this in next week’s blog. We are awaiting details from President Miles……………

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