Sunday, June 18, 2017

We are in countdown mode......

Blog for June 18, 2017

Wow, we are in countdown mode……..! We have just one more Sunday remaining in Calgary.

Last Sunday, after posting my blog, Kathy and I decided to go out and check off another item on our bucket list. We had heard many times of the incredible view of downtown, which can be viewed from the Crescent View Ward building. The building sits up on a bluff above the Bow River just to the north of downtown. The view was well worth the visit as you can see in the following picture.

Crescent View and 6th Ward Building, Confederation Park Stake

This picture was taken around 9:30 p.m. (which tells you how late the sun goes down is these northern parts). Afterward we drove around the neighborhood and were amazed at the very beautiful and very well cared for older homes in the area. Then we headed for the Calgary Stake Center on the west side of Calgary and took a picture of the downtown area from that vantage point. The sun was just setting at that point. 

The building is the Calgary Stake Center, which was built during the time President N. Eldon Tanner was Stake President here. It is huge as our church buildings go. 

Calgary Stake Center

This has been a very busy week as we had much to do to get everything ready for Elder and Sister McNary’s arrival (see below) and to set out the plan for meeting the new missionaries who will be arriving this Wednesday. The usual schedule for arriving and departing missionaries has changed somewhat so this required a bit more planning than usual. This is followed, as usual, by the transfer day, which involves hauling 18-20 missionaries south to Lethbridge and returning with an equal number. This will be the last trip I will take to Lethbridge until a possible return for a visit in the future.

Adding to the busy mix of things to be done was the sale of the last few cars remaining in our fleet. I am saving one car, which we will hopefully sell tomorrow, so that Elder McNary will have at least some exposure to what is involved with car sales.

I also met with some officials from Alberta Registries, the equivalent of the DMV in the states. We have been encouraged by the Church to begin the process of our missionaries getting Alberta driver’s licenses in advance of this becoming a requirement. Since our missionaries serve for 18-24 months, and do not have a clearly defined legal status for being in Canada; i.e., they are not here on a work visa, nor a visitor visa (limited to 6 months), and they aren’t students); therefore, a plan for how to facilitate this with the various Registry offices is important. The meeting was highly successful and so the process will begin soon for missionaries to get their licenses. This will occur in smallish groups so that the Registries do not become overwhelmed. The Registries serve a much smaller area than do DMV facilities in the States so there are several in each of the larger communities. I think I mentioned some of the details for licenses and visas in my last blog, so enough said. The reality, however, for making this happen will fall to Elder McNary (Yay!).

Adding to the mix of things dealt with during the week was getting a call from our Mission President on Thursday morining informing us that they had just been in a serious accident. On their way to some meetings in Lethbridge, they suddenly came upon an accident which had occurred just ahead of them. They were able to slow to avoid the accident but just behind them was a large cattle truck which didn’t stop in time and collided into the back end of the President’s new Toyota Highlander. Fortunately no one was injured in either vehicle (I don’t know about the initial accident). Since the Highlander remained at least drivable, I met them part way and exchanged it for one of our old Chevy Cruze vehicles which they have had to use for their travels since. We have a larger rental vehicle arranged for them, which I will pick up in the morning.

And now a word about our replacements, the McNarys. They arrived yesterday afternoon. We were able to meet them at the office where we showed them around and then they followed us to the home where they will be living. It is the same home where the Peppingers lived while they served here. We helped move their things in from their SUV, which was understandably packed to the gills!. The McNarys are wonderful and will be very capable. Elder McNary retired recently as the campus planner at the University of Utah, and he is indeed a car guy as was evident by his well-used tool box. Sister McNary is a former pre-school teacher. Both are very personable and will be a great addition to the office staff. Tomorrow evening the whole office staff, both old and new, will meet for dinner as the Sefcik’s and the Thorley’s missions draw to a close. More about this next week when we put out our last mission blog.

To close this blog, I will include a number of pictures of our missionaries who were also present at stake conference today. We will miss them all so much.

Sisters Schnebly, Amaller, Burnside, Hatch. Us. Elders Ibanez, Tate, DelMolino, Cartwright, Fox, and Hewlett

Sisters Burnside, Thorley, and Hatch

Sisters Amaller, Thorley, Schnebly

And finally, a shot someone took of Kathy and I......

Have a wonderful week!

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