Fall is DoneSee all of these leaves? They are now in piles all over the curbs, sidewalks, streets, etc. We have been told that eventually the city comes and vacuums them all up, but right now it is pretty crunchy out and about. We had our first "snow" this past Monday night. It was just a light flurry that did not stick, but it WAS technically snow.
We anticipated training this past week on I-pads, but instead, brethren from SLC came to analyze our mission prior to the I-pads. They find that our mission has a very large teaching pool, but not proportionately as many baptisms as should be, so they came and met with the Mission president, AP's and also went on splits and teaching assignments and then spent all day Thursday teaching the Zone and some district leaders regarding effective teaching that would lead to more baptisms. The missionaries said that it was really good training and should really help them. Brother Hemmingway is over the proselyting in the missionary dept. He heard someone ask me where we were from and I said St. George. He picked up on the conversation and asked what part of St. George. Then he said "Oh, my brother in law lives in Bloomington, Bill Western." So it was fun to visit with him over lunch. As all of this was going on, Corry received a visit from Greg Jensen who is over all of the cars for missionaries. He came to introduce himself and to explain a bit about the new cars program that was launched last week. Elder Jones was a bit disappointed that he did not learn very much, as he is wanting to understand the new program. In reality, the visit brought more questions than answers, but they too will come. Greg Jensen did tell Elder Jones that the announcement from President Monson to lower the missionary ages for elders and sisters cost the church $70 million. That would be in cars, insurance, apartments, supplies, more MTC lodging, etc. Amazing! Aren't we glad to be even a small part of missionary work by paying our tithing so that the missionary efforts can continue and progress.
This coming week we have zone conferences. We will be traveling Wed.-Sat. Wed. we will travel to Nazareth, PA, then downtown Philadelphia, then Dover, DE and finally our own ward building. We have heard from other couples that have been here longer that we will each need to participate in the training. I have prepared a couple of items so that I will be ready--Dad is always ready. He will be especially busy that day as at the zone conferences is the inspection of the vehicles. We have 100 cars in our mission, so that means that around 25 must be inspected each day. It will be fun to meet missionaries in these different areas. When we conduct these zone conferences the Relief Societies in the area prepare a lunch for the missionaries.
Yesterday was our P-Day. Elder Jones arose early (of course) and attended the soccer game of a family the bishop assigned for us to visit. Massi was very happy that Elder Jones said he would come to his game and then came. He needs a father figure in his life. Then Elder Jones stopped by the home of an investigator who just dropped the sister missionaries and challenged him to continue studying and reading. (I stayed home and cleaned our tiny apartment) We then went with another senior couple into Philadelphia and did some Christmas shopping (yes, dad helped!), shared a really good turkey burger at the Continental Diner and quickly headed home for another appointment with the sister missionaries. We taught a less active brother who grew up in Idaho and basically abandoned the church in his early teens but is now needing that anchor in his life. He began reading the Book of Mormon voraciously this past week and hopes to finish it tonight! We meet often with him and his non-member wife. They are very sweet to us. We finished up the day by having supper and games with 2 other senior couples in this area. We are blessed to be surrounded by such awesome people!