Sunday, January 11, 2015

P-day, January 10, 2015
 Our senior missionary friends, the Ballards and the Wilson's (Wilsons are pictured above) thought they had been to Reading Terminal Market, but actually, they had just been to the old Reading terminal, which is the end of the line for the trains and is now right under a very large 5-story mall.  So that was our outing yesterday--to show them the REAL Reading Terminal Market.  It is a very busy place, but I really love it.  Any kind of food you would ever want is somewhere inside this building.  Elder Jones chose his usual pork sandwich from Di'Nics.  This time he got it with hot peppers on it.  He loves that sandwich because it is full of flavor and very juice and is a very large sandwich.  Both the Ballards and Wilsons also got one.  I took David Jones' lead.  When David and his family was here in November, he told us of a Reuben sandwich he once had in this market while on a business trip many years ago.  He found the vendor and had it again that day, saying that it was just as good as he remembered.  So I stood in line at Hershels for my sandwich.  I chickened out on the Reuben because I do not like rye bread and sauerkraut is liked in moderation.  But I did order the brisket & cheese with Russian dressing, toasted on Hallah bread.  It was tasty!  That and a dill pickle completed my lunch.
 Then, of course, we headed for Beiler's Amish bakery and all had at least one donut.  They were warm and wonderful.  Pictured below are the Ballards joining Elder Jones while waiting for us all to gather.
 As we traveled home from Philly we received a call from Sisters Jolley (right) and Barlow (left).  Their registration had expired and they are serving in Cape May, NJ.  Because all of the mission cars are registered in Pennsylvania, they had to come here to have the inspection done prior to getting the current registration.  So we picked them up at Pep Boys and brought them home with us.  Sister Jolley is a 2013 graduate of Snow Canyon High School in St. George.  She is very much her name--jolly.  She is currently training Sister Barlow, who told us that her grandparents were raised in Colorado City and ran away, fully embracing the church and now living in the Springville, UT.  She is a golden (on her second 6 week transfer).  The sisters were a bit discouraged and Elder Jones gave them some good advice.  Then we took them for a light dinner at Freddy's and send them on their way back to Cape May.  So we had a wonderful day.
We spent the entire week trying to keep warm.  I know that this does not compare to states further north than PA, but it was quite cold, ranging from 12 to 19 degrees almost all week.  It was so very cold that for the first time in 16 months, we turned on the heat in our bedroom.  Okay, so I allowed the heat to be turned on because I was so cold at night.  Today the weather broke and it was 38 degrees.  We are expecting snow tomorrow.  We hope that the snow dumps on us and goes away, for we have zone conferences Wednesday through Friday of this week and will be traveling again to Nazareth, PA and Dover, DE.  This will be our last zone conference and we are quite sad about that.  President usually has all of the outgoing missionaries bear their testimonies at this time.  I hope he forgets us because I do not want to become so emotional that I cannot express myself intelligently--and that often happens.  So we are beginning our "lasts".  Today at our ward pot luck people must have sensed we were soon to leave because we received 3 dinner appointments.

Speaking of leaving, this week we received word that our replacements agreed to enter the MTC on Feb 9 instead of March 16.  That will enable us to have about a week to train them before we are scheduled for release.  It will be a little tough, because while they are going through training we have no transfers nor zone conferences, and these are the 2 things that make what we do complex.  So we will just do all we can and then pray for them.  Their names:  Elder and Sister Rose from Blackfoot, ID.  He has been a stake president.  They will not need our apartment, as Sister Rose has MS (controlled) and 2 knee replacements and Elder Rose has a hip replacement.  So they will be needing a ground floor apartment.  We have enjoyed our little apartment.  It is small, easy to clean, close to the mission office, and the stairs have actually been good for us.

We do so appreciate all of the blessings we have received by serving at this time.  We feel very blessed.  John called us last night to tell us that our home is now vacant and that the renters left it very clean--so clean that nothing needs to be done until just before we come home.  What a blessing! I have been searching google maps lately for just how to travel home.  We went to take the southern route and avoid snow and view some states we have never before seen.

My thought for this week:  I noticed on Facebook a post from a missionary that was originally quoted by Neal Maxwell"  "If it is fair, it isn't a true trial".  I have been pondering on it this week and have come to agree full-heartedly with the truthfulness of that statement.  It has helped me shake myself and realize that perhaps something that is bothering me is indeed a test and that it is for my best good to go through it and learn something from the experience.  So I have to adjust my thinking and re-evaluate my reaction.  Something I will be working on this year...

One last item.  Today when we arose there was something missing--HOT WATER!  and it was freezing cold, so a cold shower was not an option.  So I heated up pots of water and we had sponge baths.  Right now the water is off so the maintenance person can fix the leak that started all of this.  So it just helps us become very aware of how grateful we are for the very easy lives we lead.  It makes me think of the pioneers and the pilgrims who settled this part of the country and just how they survived the winters.

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