Our blog for April 9, 2017
I will start this week’s blog with a discussion of the rabbits in Calgary. Bear with me, it will get interesting.
|Snowshoe Hares changing from white to brown in springtime|
When we first came to Calgary in December of 2015, we noticed there were quite a few white and rather large rabbits hopping around. They have huge back feet and are taller in the hindquarters than jackrabbits. In wintertime they are pretty much invisible in the snow except for their black tipped ears. Last spring, almost overnight, we noticed a sudden increase in numbers but they looked quite different; mostly white but with large patches of brown or grey. I asked and learned that these are indeed the same rabbits. They are Snowshoe Hares, which makes sense if you remember my comment above about their broad back feet which act like snowshoes to keep their feet from sinking into the snow as they run about. They do indeed gradually turn from white to mostly brown or reddish brown or grey as the weather gets warmer. We also saw smaller rabbits with shorter ears and much shorter legs. These I learned are feral rabbits that have escaped or were released (illegally) by their owners into the wild. On quite rare occasions one may spot a cottontail rabbit as well. So why am I telling you about rabbits; they are a huge nuisance to cities. Rabbits, well, breed like rabbits and they nibble on everything edible in the summer and the winter so trees, bushes, and gardens are at risk. They have almost no regard for humans and barely get out of the way as you approach. The rabbits in the picture are representative of the changes in appearance. We saw them on Friday while we were at the Calgary Temple. They were eating grass and whatever else they could find to munch on there on the temple grounds.
I continue to be very much involved in the process of placing new cars into service and recovering the older vehicles to prepare them for sale. The picture below is one of the Chevy Colorado trucks coming out of service. (It is so nice I am considering trying to buy it for myself despite it having a Canadian speedometer.) We met the two missionaries, Elder Owens and Elder Lowham, to deliver a new RAV4 and exchange it for their truck. Afterward we treated them to dinner at Cost Vida, which they said is their “favorite place in the whole world to eat”.
|Elders Lowham and Owens and their truck to be sold|
Speaking of preparing and selling cars, in as much as our time in the mission field is drawing to a close next month, this part of my job will gradually be taken over by Elder Sefcik, whom I have mentioned before as one of the senior missionaries in the office. He is also the housing coordinator but offered to learn this aspect of the vehicle coordinator job so that he will be able to teach the senior couple coming in June. They arrive too late for us to do the training. Elder Sefcik taking over this aspect of my job will lift a huge load from my shoulders, especially with still more new cars coming to the mission. This will allow me more time to focus on the repairs associated with car accidents, car assignments, car inspections, minor car repairs, oil changes, tires, car records, and car reports, and all other car related things except car sales. Yes, there is still plenty to do.
The vehicle coordinator job will be even larger for the next person. In much of North America missionary cars are equipped with devices called TIWI. These devices monitor car speed and car location, and our mission cars will be equipped with these devices in July. We will, of course, be long gone by then so it will fall to someone else to monitor the TIWI equipped cars. I am told this aspect of the job will add significantly to the vehicle coordinator’s workload so I’m definitely okay with not having to learn and oversee this.
Speaking of our replacements, they are Elder and Sister McNary who are also from Sandy, Utah, but not from our stake so we don’t know them. We had a very pleasant visit with them by phone during the week and were able to answer many of their questions about what they will be doing, what they should bring, where they will be living, etc.
On Thursday evening we attended the baptism of the son of some dear friends, the Larez family. They immigrated to Calgary from Caracas, Venezuela, about a year ago. They both served missions for the Church and are college graduates but found life too difficult in Venezuela to remain so came here to further their studies and make Canada their home. We have become very close to them and were delighted to be invited to attend the baptism of their son, Miguel. The following pictures are of them and little Miguel.
|Liliana, Bismark, Miguel, and Isabella Larez|
Last night we had a very lovely time at dinner with Elder and Sister Wong and Elder and Sister Sefcik. And tonight we were invited to the home of our bishop, Bishop Keyes, and his wife. We were also able to meet some of their family who live in the area. Their son recently returned from one of the Mexico City missions. The Keyes have a lovely home which they bought a few years ago and have been extensively renovating. It was only a half a block from their old home so, while the move itself wasn’t a big deal, the renovations have been and the results are beautiful. The Keyes are pictured below.
|Bishop Keyes and family|
That’s about it for this week. We send you all our love and best wishes. To our good friends, the Downs, who are returning home from their mission in Mexico this week, may we say, “Well done!” Hope to see you soon and swap stories.