Sunday, May 18, 2014

Goodbyes and Welcomes
 Our partners, Elder and Sister Smuin left on Thursday, so the week was a long one of "lasts" with them.  We went out to dinner for the last time and pictured above we went to Zwalen's Ice Cream for the last time with 10 senior missionaries.  By the time they left on Thursday, I was teary eyed.  Elder Smuin has been training me to do the finances, and I have just simply been a bit nervous about it.  I called him 4 times on Thursday and twice Friday.  I wonder when I will not need to call anymore...I know Heavenly Father will help me to accomplish the finance part of the mission office, but it is a bit daunting to pay $110,000 in rent of the Lord's money.  By Friday at 5 I had received a past due utility bill that the caller insisted needed to be cleared up right now.  So I called back and waited on hold 30 minutes and decided that after researching out the problem and finding that we had not been in that apartment since July 2013, the problem could wait.  My only other unresolved issue:  a missionary who insisted that he should have more $$ on his MSF card than he did.
 This photo is of Elder and Sister Ballard from the Logan area.  They are our new co-workers in the mission office.  I am training Elder Ballard to do what I used to do, so we are both a bit stressed...They used to be neighbors to our mission president, so that makes 3 couples that are here because of him.  The Ballards arrived Monday noon and we have also been busy taking them around, getting them settled into their apartment (which is in our building) and moving things from one vacated apartment into theirs.  We did take a break yesterday, however to play an interesting marble game with them.
 This is Elder Parker.  He is the same Elder who thinks he was shorted $$ on his MSF card.  At the end of church today he sheepishly called Elder Jones and admitted to locking his car keys in his trunk.  He begged for help, so we took a quick run (37 miles) up to Doylestown (NW of Philly) to take another set of keys to him to unlock the trunk.  So he is thinking that this is just a really unfortunate week for him.  We hope we brightened his day by helping him.  He is a good Elder.
We arrived home today from Doylestown just in time to have dinner with the Koreans at the Jung's home. The Koreans are very tight--they do lots of things together and we feel so happy that they invited us again to join in their Korean dinner.  Both Elder Jones and I tasted the squid, the spicy seaweed and the spicy pork.  I even ate my ENTIRE dinner with chopsticks!  We absolutely adore these Korean Saints.  I learned a couple of things tonight about Koreans:  They are not related to either the Chinese or Japanese but are descended from the Mongolians.  They are born with a blue spot on their rumps which disappears soon thereafter.  Pictured with them are Sister Handy in front and Sister Howard on the right.  We serve lots with these sisters and adore them as well.

We were surprised on Friday with a visit from our grandson, Cole Bishop, from Vienna, VA.  He and 3 friends has a sort of "senior skip day" and headed to Philly for a cheese steak.  We greeted them, introduced them to some missionaries having a meeting at the church, as well as our mission president and his wife, then took them for the cheese steak.  Thanks for coming, Cole!  We look forward this week to the visit of our son, John, and his family;  Jessica, Lauren, Bridger, and Abby.  We are taking off Friday to be with them. We feel so happy to be serving on this mission.  We enjoy each experience, especially getting to know the great missionaries serving here.  We know the gospel is true!  We know the Lord is blessing us.  We thank our children for their $$$ support!  We even enjoy the rain.  Friday it rained relentlessly for 7 hours straight.  When I say "rain" I do not mean Utah rain.  This is Pennsylvania rain.  It comes in buckets, not drops.  It is the kind of rain that you MUST use an umbrella for, or you are drenched to the skin in just 20 feet.  But that is what makes such green grass, trees, bushes, etc...

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