This winter has been very mild compared to last winter, but yesterday changed all of that. It was predicted we would get a bit of snow--and we did. And it was also predicted that the wind would be vicious and that the temps would drop--and they did. Today at 9:30 am when we left for church it was 9 degrees. When we headed home almost 4 hours later it had gone up to 18 degrees--and all of this was accompanied by swirling crazy winds that froze everything they touched. This trend is supposed to continue through the week and by next Saturday we may get up to 36 degrees. This is weather that you avoid at all cost and just stay inside.
The week was not too eventful, but we did get one milestone. We have a quirky older lady that we met a year ago--Josephine Chavez. She is in her 80's and has suffered some really serious health problems this past year, making it difficult to come to church, take care of herself and everything in between. Her husband is still alive, Dr. Hector Chavez, retired surgeon. He also has health issues. His neck is fused such that he must always have his chin nearly touching his chest, making it incredible hard to see anything taller than him. I have known Josephine for a year but just met Hector Friday. Josephine is a great photographer and many of you have received cards from me that have her photos attached. She has given us a couple of treasured photos, my favorite being the Valley Forge Covered Bridge. Anyway, she has wanted to see the temple that is in process here in Philly for some time. We have agreed to take her, but she kept being unable to go the planned day, due to health problems. But Friday she could go--and Hector too! Sister Susan McElroy (visiting teacher to Josephine and recently released RS pres.) brought them to the office Friday morning and we headed for downtown to see the temple. It was very cold, so we drove around the temple a couple of times and then went in to the visitors center where they could see the plans for the entire block. They enjoyed it very much. They had lived just a couple of blocks away from the temple site as newlyweds some 50 years ago and were most happy to tell us what building used to be at each location we drove by. We rounded off the morning by lunch at Panera, Josephine's treat. We felt so glad to take these two to see the temple.
Friday night we had a Valentine party for the Senior Missionaries and Elder Jones and I got to bear our testimony again, as the next departing missionaries. We had lots of fun with these wonderful people we have met while serving here. We love them! Today in Sacrament meeting we were again asked to bear our testimonies. That makes 5 times in the last few weeks. So we will finish the week tonight by enjoying dinner with all of our Korean friends from the Broomall Ward. We look forward to this meal as we do so enjoy their food. We just returned from the meal. The photo at the end of this post is us with our Korean friends. We enjoyed their company and the food was really fabulous. They surprised us with a cake and some gifts--a special set of chopsticks in a case for each of us and a decoration of miniature wooden Korean shoes. It was difficult to say goodbye to them, but they promise to visit us in St. George.
Our replacements, Elder and Sister Rose from Blackfoot, ID will arrive probably on Saturday, 2-21-15. That gives us a week to train them and then we will pack and begin our journey home. We have so enjoyed all that we have participated in these last 18 months and feel very grateful to have been able to enjoy this wonderful experience.