Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another Fun Weekend
We treated these sweet missionaries to ice cream at Freddies.  Elders Jenkins and Toilolo were our AP's until 2 weeks ago.  Elder Jenkins returned to the field after being an AP since last October.  We have grown very attached to him.  A very fine young man and he and Elder Toilolo were very dynamic together.  Elder Toilolo played football for Univ. of Hawaii and has a degree in criminology.  He wants to possibly work for the FBI and has asked us to write him a letter of recommendation.  We gladly and with assurance recommend him for anything he chooses to do.  He is such a strong leader.  Sisters Stephenson and Taylor (Taylor is dark headed and from St. George!) are sister trainers.  We absolutely love them.  
 One last photo from our trip north last weekend.  This was at the Commemoration Site in Susquehanna.  We sure love doing things with our senior missionaries!
 Wednesday we got a call from Elder Kent Harman and Sister Tami Harman.  They are serving as missionaries at Sharon Vermont where the Joseph Smith birthplace monument is.  They work in keeping the grounds at the monument.  They are both really good with gardening and were able to design all of the gardens at the monument site and then plant and take care of them along with a few others serving in this same capacity.  It is very hard physical work, but they love working at the birthplace of Joseph Smith.  They were doing this weekend what we did last weekend.  They met their daughter, Nicki and her spouse Brian and their son Cole at a small Pennsylvania town called Dalton.  Dalton is just northwest from Scranton, PA.  It is about 2.5 hours from us.  (Paul Harman's daughter, Jamie and her husband have this lovely blue home in Dalton.  they live in New York City and come here on the weekends, so that is why Dalton was the meeting place.)  Elder Jones wanted this photo labeled "guess who is out of their mission boundaries".  We were just happy to spend quality time with wonderful friends.  Idaho farmers are the best!
 This is Sister Tami Harman with her daughter Nicki.  They made us a lovely brunch today.
 This is "Slugger".  He is Cole's service dog.  He is a very friendly golden retriever.  Cole has something called "Drave--pronounced dra-vay--syndrome and has many many seizures daily.  Slugger senses the upcoming seizure by smell and alerts Cole's parents.  He is a big comfort to Cole (6 years old).
 This is Jamie, Paul Harman's daughter and her 2.5 week old son, Sam.  They have a daughter too and live right in Harlem in an apartment.  They are enjoying this rural farmhouse.
 Elders Jones and Harman.  They had lots of fun comparing notes and stories.  We had a hard time saying "goodbye".  We attended Sacrament meeting together at the Clark Summit ward.  We enjoyed seeing our missionaries, Elders Danner and Stubbs, zone leaders, and Sisters Andrus and Larsen.
 Photo of the farmhouse.  It is named the Blue Goose Farmhouse.  We sure enjoyed our time up north!

We had another busy week in the mission office.  We are having a great many leases expire on our missionary apartments and are taking the opportunity to upgrade them.  That means that our housing coordinator as well as the mission presidency have been busy securing new leases--which means lots of paperwork for me.  Then we have been moving missionaries from the old to the new apartments, which means lots of coordinating the service elders for Elder Jones.  Elder Jones even took one whole day this week to go to downtown Philly and move a set of elders.  This because they ride the bus and have no way to move themselves.  Also this week--we delivered 3 phones that had to be replaced.  This is a classic story:
Monday of this past week we had a downpour late evening.  Elder Bair and his companion were walking home from an appointment  and had 7 blocks to go when the storm hit.  It was so violent that it blew their umbrella inside out.  Their phone was exposed and would no longer work.  The next day they are moving into a new apartment.  During the day they bring the bad phone to me for replacement.  Luckily, I do have a replacement phone they can use temporarily.  All is well--they take the phone and go.  Then at 8:45 that same evening they call us.  They have left the key to their new apartment IN the apartment.  So we head to north Philly to take them a duplicate key.  We have never been there and Google Maps has us going places that we cannot go because of construction.  As Elder Jones is driving a bit erradically--trying to see where we can turn--a lovely young couple pull up to the side of our car, motion for us to roll down the window.  They ask us if we are lost--we say yes.  They ask where we need to go and we tell them the street.  (They ask us which bar.)  So they just say "follow us" and they take us to the location we are looking for.  (A tender mercy)  Anyway, back to my story of Elder Bair.  We get them into their apartment and they inform us that that afternoon, after I gave them the phone, that they were on the bus and Elder Bair left his wallet on the bus.  Now he is missing his monthly bus pass and his ministerial certificate.  The next day I work on that problem.  I find an extra bus pass and they have me mail it to them.  I rush out and mail it so it will quickly get to them.  The next morning they call.  They have no mailbox, so the mailman tried to deliver the pass but could not and now they have to wait until they can retrieve it from the post office.  Poor Elder Bair!  The umbrella, the phone, the key, the bus pass, the ministerial cert, and then the mailbox.  He had a black cloud following him around...Then I remind myself that these are 19-22 year olds...

Yesterday as we were headed to the northern part of our mission I asked Elder Jones if he thought we would be having this much fun as we served a mission.  No we did not expect this, but we are very thoroughly enjoying every minute of this mission!


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