Sunday, January 8, 2017

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Blog for January 8, 2017

It continues to be very cold. Each day it drops a half-inch or two of snow and the temperature is 10-20 below zero (F) at night and then gets up to 2-5 degrees above zero during the daytime. The good news is, the days are getting a bit longer again but not so much that it is very noticeable, - yet. We were spoiled last year, I suppose; we had several days of very cold weather around Christmas time and then the weather became more moderate for the rest of the winter. Not so this year, at least not so far and not for the foreseeable future. We are not looking forward to next week when we will be doing car inspections at several zone conferences around the mission.

The cold and snowy weather continues to contribute to the total sliding accidents involving our missionaries. I can barely keep up with the process of what it takes to get the cars back in service. In my last blog I described this process. I currently have 15 or so open files, which represent vehicles at various stages of the repair process. Unfortunately the worst of all the accidents occurred this past Friday evening. Two of our missionaries serving out in British Columbia hit a patch of black ice, began to fishtail back and forth, and then slid into the path of an oncoming semi truck and trailer. A head-on collision was narrowly avoided; the impact was with one of the trailers being pulled by the semi. 

They escaped unharmed, at least physically. They seem to be doing okay but I’m sure it was a very frightening event which they will remember all their lives. The vehicle involved is a Nissan Rogue. They were wearing seat belts and the front compartment crumpled as designed and the curtain airbags deployed, which undoubtedly saved the missionaries’ lives. The cabin compartment appears, at least in the pictures, to have remained intact. Needless to say, the car is a total loss. Kathy and I will be driving a replacement car out to them sometime during the week. The cars serving in BC are all equipped with special mountain-rated snow tires. The replacement car (one of our older cars waiting to be sold) will be fitted with these special snow tires before we head to BC with the car.

This past week was “transfer week”. Tuesday our new missionaries arrived and we met with them for training. On Wednesday they met their trainer companions and left for their first areas. On Thursday I again drove all the missionaries being transferred to the south to Lethbridge, and then returned the same day with the missionaries being transferred to the north to Calgary. Since the departing missionaries had left the preceding week (left a week early so they could get back in school), the rest of the week was less involved then the typical transfer week.

Even before the accident in BC described above, we began putting some emergency kits together for the BC missionaries, - this out of concern for our BC missionaries who have greater risk of becoming stranded on less traveled roads. These will contain blankets, jumper cables, flashlight, extra batteries, folding shovel, and some chemical hand warmers. To the kit they will add water and some non-perishable food. Since Kathy and I will be heading to BC this week with the replacement car, I spent time at the office yesterday (our P-day) finishing the kits so they will be ready to go. We had planned to take them with us to the zone conferences but now they will get to them even earlier.

This weekend was our Stake Conference. Kathy and I sang with the stake choir. There was no visiting GA but the talks were wonderful. Our Stake President is recovering from a couple of back-to-back heart attacks but he was there and gave wonderful messages both in the Saturday evening and Sunday sessions. He is such an impressive man, - so humble and patient and kind. Also Kathy and I continued our Friday evening visits to the Calgary Temple.

It has been an eventful week. We are grateful to have some time to catch our breath, and we are so, so very grateful that our missionaries' lives were preserved.

Have a great week!

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