Sunday, February 19, 2017

Its a small world in the Church (see below)

Blog for the week ending on February 19, 2017

Despite Church membership of over 15M, it is still a small world in the Church as the paragraph regarding Sister Willis below proves. This has been proved over and over during our time here in Calgary. 
As mentioned last week, this was to be a busy week, and indeed it was. It was Transfer Week, which involved the arrival of new missionaries, training the new missionaries on local things they needed to know, moving the missionaries whose assigned areas were being changed, and the departure of missionaries at the end of their missionary service. If that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, there was the additional task for me of arranging for the movement of more than a dozen cars about the mission. The new cars needed to be put into service and the older cars needed to be brought here to the mission office to begin the process of preparing them for sale. We are also having to take some cars out of our fleet numbers in order to pare the number down closer to our authorized number. All this creates a logistical nightmare involving assigning drivers and ensuring all cars get to the correct location for the car exchanges, getting the drivers connected with the car they are receiving, ensuring the correct movement of gas cards and keys, logging odometer readings, documenting where each car will be after the exchange, and so on. Then at the end of Transfer Week, all of the car changes have to be logged, keys recovered and accounted for from the cars being taken out of service, and getting a running start on the process of arranging needed repairs. One of the frustrations I run into each time new cars arrive and are placed into service has to do with the fact that, while the cars exist physically, they don’t exist electronically. It takes several weeks for the new vehicles to appear officially in our electronic file so that they can electronically be shown as assigned to a specific area where, in actuality, they are already in service.  The whole process is enough to turn one’s hair grey, but, wait; I’m already grey!

It is tough to say goodbye when these missionaries whom we have grown to love reach the end of their missions and head for home. 

Elder Fullmer, Sister Halliday, Sister Blaser, Sister Tolbert, Sister Merritt, Elder Schank, Elder Hopoi, Elder Nuttall

Fortunately, a few days after they get home, we see “friend requests” show up on Facebook from them, which we generally respond to, and then we get to follow their progress.

Oddly, on Tuesday when I went to the airport with truck and trailer to pick up some of the new missionaries and their luggage, the Mission President had assigned four of the new Sister missionaries to ride back to the Mission Home with me. As we left the airport, as usual, I asked them where they are from. As it turned out, three were from the Washington DC area (Woodbridge, VA, Ashburn, VA, and Laurel MD). I used to work an evening pediatric clinic in Woodbridge, and lived for a time in Laurel, but most interesting of all was the Sister from Ashburn, which is where my daughter, Kellie, and her family lived for several years. I asked her (Sis. Willis) if she knew them. She exclaimed, “Why yes; I used to baby sit Austin and Brady!” Austin and Brady are my grandsons, so it was my turn to get excited.

Sister Willis from Ashburn, VA

 I spent a few hours in the office on Saturday. Generally Saturday is our day off, our preparation day as it were, but there was so much to do I felt I had to put in some time to begin to get caught up. If you follow our blogs each week, you know that Saturday is often a day where we go somewhere we haven’t been to previously or go to see something new or experience something unique to the area. Lately we have been trying some of the ethnic restaurants in the area and this was true on Saturday. We had noticed a restaurant called, Pfanntastic Pannenkoek Haus, and had previously checked it out by driving by. It is a Dutch pancake restaurant, so on Saturday we decided to try it. It was a nice experience. While it is called a pancake house, the pancakes were more like crepes than pancakes. We shared a “savory” pannenkoek which contained hash browns, bacon, onions, cheese. It was very good but was made even better by garnishing it with a small amount of a thick and sweet syrup/molasses available on the table. It reminded me of the Dixie (St. George, Utah) sorghum my parents used to buy; very thick and very strong flavored. For desert we shared another “sweet and savory” pannenkoek served with ice cream and Saskatoon Berries.


We hope to return and try something else on the menu. I commented to Kathy as we returned home and were discussing other restaurants we would like to try, “So many places to eat and so little time…..”

Finally, as we drive to the Calgary Temple each week, we see the progress being made on a HUGE community activities center. We doubt that it will be completed by the time our mission ends but it is something we hope to return to see at some future time. The picture below does not do it justice as it is enormous. It looks like something from outer space and we refer to it as "the mother ship". 

Have a wonderful week! 

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