“Baby it’s cold outside”……..
Wow, close the door; there’s a draft in here! Our nice weather has come to a close and we are looking for Arctic type weather for the next little while. I see from the weather forecasting maps that this will dip way down into the U.S. as well so I guess we are sharing cold weather with all of you to some degree.
On Wednesday we reached our one-year point since we entered the MTC, which is the official start of our mission. The time has truly sped by. The Peppingers go home in February, the Sefciks soon after that, and ours in May. We are beginning to panic somewhat as an office staff as there are no senior couples in the pipeline to replace any of us. This is, of course, of concern to our Mission President and he is turning to local Church leaders to identify some Church service missionaries to be able to work in the office. After our usual Monday morning meeting with President and Sister Miles, we spent some time discussing which couples in our home stake might be contacted and encouraged to put in their papers and come here to serve. You might recall, this is how Kathy and I ended up serving here in this mission; the Miles came to us on a number of occasions prior to their leaving and encouraged us to join them in serving in Canada. So, to all of you living in our home stake and reading this blog, be aware, - you might well receive a call from President and Sister Miles with a special invitation! And if you are reading this and not in the Granite View Stake and are considering serving, just call, email, or write and we will get the ball rolling. It would be really great to actually have an opportunity to train our replacements. Coming in after the preceding couple have gone home and having to start from scratch isn’t nearly as much fun as gleaning from the previous couple.
And speaking of the work, again this past week has been so busy, at least for me. In the last blog I mentioned all the older cars we brought up from the south part of the mission; these now are being prepped for sale. This means a close inspection of each and a record made of what needs to be done, then arranging for our body and fender guy to meet me where the cars are being kept and giving me an estimate for each. Some need oil changes and new windshields and replacement tires. Three of the five cars we brought up from down south have hail damage to some degree, and hail damage is always a complicating factor for moving them out of the fleet, - will the Church want to have the hail damaged repaired, sell the car “as is”, or will it be declared a loss (totaled). The process of documenting the damage, arranging for the estimate and pictures, discussing each car with Fleet officials and what to do to get them sold greatly extends the time until the disposal of the car and consequently to my workload. Once the decision for disposal has been made, except for when the vehicle is totaled, then it has to be advertised (and this generates lots of phone calls) and taking time to show the cars to potential customers when they come to see and drive the vehicles. Indeed I can say, I would not want to go home at the end of the mission and go to work as a used car salesman. I will be glad to not get any more new vehicles for a time; I’ll eventually get caught up and then it can be time again.
As for experiences not directly related to work, on Tuesday evening we went with the other office couples and another couple to Stage West.
Last spring some of you might recall we went to Stage West and enjoyed it and have been looking forward to going again. Stage West is a live dinner show. The performance we saw on Tuesday runs for several more weeks and then another show comes in. The show we saw is called “Hollywood Hits – Songs that Rocked the Movies”. It was very well done and we enjoyed it a lot. Overall the performance was somewhat better than the previous show we saw. That one featured Rock and Roll favorites. The dinner at Stage West is served buffet style and quite vast. The problem as before is getting too full too fast. Maybe we will have an opportunity to go again before we leave in May.
As I have mentioned before, Saturdays are our P-days. We got up and did our apartment cleaning and clothes washing, then went to a local indoor farmer’s market. It is huge! All around the perimeter of the building are stalls of varying dimensions which feature fresh fruits, vegetables, and other produce. The rest of the displays are along aisles that run from end to end of the building and feature common to more exotic meats, cheeses, specialty foods, ethnic foods, and arts and crafts. Interspersed among the inner aisles, and to some degree the outer as well, are booths selling a wide variety of prepared foods. There were a number of musical groups singing Christmas carols and other songs and even a few individual performers so it was quite festive. We enjoyed a bagel sandwich while there and bought some fruit and vegetables. I’m sure we will go back again soon.
Kathy and I are participating in both the ward and stake choirs, and we will be singing a duet in each of the Christmas get-togethers with the missionaries and in our ward on Christmas day, which will be a Christmas musical program together with another ward that also meets in our building. Our ward Christmas party is on the 10th and the Stake Christmas Music Festival is on the 11th so “tis the season”. A request was made for our ward party for people to sign up to play in an "orchestra" being put together. The issue is not if one can play well, only if one had ever played a musical instrument, even if only as a youth. I guess they have something really crazy planned which is “guaranteed to be a lot of fun”. I haven’t touched a trombone for lots of years and I certainly don’t have mine here, but they said they would get any instruments that were needed so I signed up. I know of at least a French Horn, a clarinet, a trumpet, and a few guitar players are also on the list. We will have just one rehearsal before the main event and that is primarily just to pass out the music so it should be pretty wild. I will have more on this next week.
We are about to add grandchild #29, but before you get too excited about this number, this is a combination of both mine and Kathy’s families. My daughter, Tana, will be induced early tomorrow morning if she doesn’t go into labor in the meantime. We will be anxiously awaiting word.
Well, we must be off to our Stake Choir practice so, may your Christmas plans and preparations be a delight and not Bah Humbug! Let us not forget what Christmas is intended to commemorate. I bear testimony of the existence of Jesus Christ and the importance of His mission on earth, “to save us all from Satan’s power when we have gone astray, Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!” Pretty well sums it up.
Have a wonderful week.