Sunday, March 16, 2014

Atlantic City, New Jersey
     Yesterday was our P-Day.  One of the things that I have to learn to do when I take over from Elder Smuin is to trade out phones that do not work and then take them to the missionaries, activate them and transfer their contacts.  Those who know me know that I am really not mechanical not technologically advanced, so I have been nervous about this part.  Anyway, for some reason, we had several phones last week that needed to be replaced .  We have decided that it has to do with their age and we are fearful that many will now begin to go bad.  So we decided to head over to Vineland, New Jersey, to trade out the Sister Trainer's phone.  It was a lovely drive.  New Jersey's southern part is very nice.  Quite rural with small towns and bedroom communities.  After struggling for 1 hour to program the phone (now I am even more nervous about them...) we turned it over to them in good working condition and headed for Atlantic City, NJ.  Below is the Absecon Lighthouse in Atlantic City.
      The missionaries have been telling us for several months that we just had to go to Tony Baloney's for a Philly Cheesesteak.  So we did!  Guy Fieri, in his show, "Diner's, Drive'Ins and Dives" this restaurant won the cheesesteak battle.  We did have the cheesesteak, it was good, but we still think the ones at "Mama's" are better.  We did agree, however, that Tony Baloney's qualifies as a "dive".  The inside was small and basic and we were shown the watermark where Hurricane Sandy was.  This was about 4 feet up the wall.
      The amusement park is not open.  I imagine that the salt ruined the working parts and damaged the pier.
      So below is a photo of us standing on the "boardwalk" in Atlantic City in front of Donald Trumps Taj Mahal Casino.  Dad and Elder Smuin found a bench, but Sister Smuin and I did walk the boardwalk down until we found a candy shop and bought some of their famous salt water taffy.
     We have enjoyed a busy week in the Mission Office.  This week the President is going all over the mission interviewing each missionary (about 270 now).  This is very time consuming.  Sister Anderson meanwhile visits with them about their meals, their health, etc.  We did have a missionary end up in the hospital this week.  He experienced bad intestinal problems for almost 2 weeks, even going in to insta-care.  They just kept telling him it was the flu.  So Wednesday night he ended up in the ER.  It ended up to be that his appendix had burst.  The appendix was then removed, along with some of his large intestine.  He is one very sick missionary.  He is even today still in ICU.  He will be over a month recovering and may even need to return home.  So we have been praying for him as a mission.  
     Friday we enjoyed lunch with Sister Josephine Chavez.  She is the sister who takes wonderful photos of nature.  For any who have received a card from me, she took that photo.  She is quite elderly, yet is a delightfully vibrant woman.  Today we had a baptism after church.  Helena Lollis, 8, was baptized.  I had the privilege of going with the sister missionaries once to teach her.  Next week we have 2 young boys being baptized.  Our ward is growing.  We are enjoying the new sister missionaries in our ward.  It is sometimes good to get fresh perspectives for the work.  We are having them to dinner tonight.  Elder Jones had the opportunity to meet with a couple of the missionaries President asked him to look after this week and he is hopeful that he can help them to help themselves.  Tomorrow we are heading out to inspect apartments that the missionaries live in, and then to visit some Sister Missionaries.  This is so much fun!  We are so pleased to in some small way help the work to move along and help the Mission President be able to concentrate on the weightier matters that he encounters.  We expect snow again tomorrow, but hope that spring will soon follow.

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