|working hard with our computers in our office.|
I'm probably working on the newsletter
|our white board with our 3 month calendar, maps our |
stakes and some of our leaders. We post pictures
of the committee members from our 6 Stake and the
district so we can learn their names.
Lots of administration work has been happening - emails, follow up, material preparation, phone calls. It never occurred to me that there would be so much administrative stuff to do.
We go into the office pretty much every morning and spend many days just working on the phones and the computers. I am pretty sure I did not work so hard when I was at home.
Not to mention that I am dressed in skirt everyday. Some days it feels like we are in a week of Sundays. Because I rarely wore a dress at home unless it was Sunday. 😉 And Elder Jenkins is always in a white shirt and tie. We also spend time working on our computers at home. Who knew there would be so much to do?
And there is always the newsletter which comes around every month. Lots of hard work gathering the information for the articles and getting the pictures. But the good news is I am learning a LOT about desk top publishing. And most of the time I can get them out without tearing my hair out.😊
Lots of English classes for our young missionaries. Every Wednesday we meet with them at 2 different locations. We teach 14 in one place and then 8 in another. We love them and are always energized when we are done. And they seem to love us as well. They're always doing little things to be helpful like carrying our bags, and one day one of the sisters even made a Banofi pie for us to try. She had been describing it in class one day and I mentioned that it sounded 'decadent'. Well 'decadent' then became one of our new vocabulary words since no one really knew what it meant. Elder Jenkins also became the proud owner of a dress Stewart tartan tie when one of our Scottish sisters learned that his family roots run into the Stewart line in his Scottish heritage. She also has Stewart heritage. So that was fun.
We also give a lot Michigan Tests and OPIC tests to those who want them. But in an effort of self-preservation we have decided that we will only give tests on Mondays at the Mission office here in Carlingford unless the missionaries live too far away to come by bus or train This next Monday we will be traveling to Newcastle to give a Michigan test to a young Elder and to counsel with a Sister about her future plans. Newcastle is about 2 1/2 hours north and it is too hard for them to get to the mission office.
There is becoming a greater emphasis on teaching our young missionaries English when they come from countries where English is not their first language. It is a strong effort by the Church to help these young people have greater opportunities and become more self-reliant when they return home.
Flat checks of young missionaries' flats is not my favorite thing to do. We had 3 flats to inspect. I don't like going into their living space and making a judgement as to whether they are keeping things clean or not. The first one was pretty awful with mold in the showers and even on the wall where the AC unit was leaking. It was a flat for 4 elders. Three had transferred out with one transferring in. But there were a lot of things that needed care - like new light bulbs, light coverings, new chairs, etc. We had a discussion of how to take care of the mold and why that was important. A lot of people deal with mold here. We have had to spray our bathroom as well. I guess it is just the kind of humidity and lack of proper venting. The other 2 flats were in good shape and when we returned to recheck the first one it was much better.
Some health issues for both of us have kept us humble. Elder Jenkins is still having issues with his hip and some pain in his wrists. He has had a couple of good therapeutic massages which seem to have helped. After a playful hug which resulted in a "pop" in my ribs followed by some pain I ended up at the doctor's office. He checked me over and suggested I have an x-ray to see if there was a broken rib. Although there was nothing to be done for a broken rib he wanted to know if I was osteopenal and needing medication. He also did some blood work to check my heart. Both results were normal which is awesome. But I was still hurting so now I am scheduled for a CT scan and an ultrasound, both this next week. So, we will see. Sad thing is I guess our bodies are to some extent wearing down which of course slows us down. But all in all we are doing fine in the health department.
There are lots of meetings in the evenings, usually 2-3 per week which involve driving a pretty good distance. We have driven 5100 km in four months. That is about 3164 miles so about 790 miles per month. Most of that driving has been in shortish city driving trips. We are so grateful for the Navman which guides us to where we need to go. Next month will have many extra miles because we will be traveling up north into the District for 3 weekends in a row. But the good news is we can now make it to several places without the Navman and still do not have any traffic tickets.
We are learning so much about the Self-Reliance Initiative. We were in a meeting last week where the question was asked "Why self-reliance now?" We realized as with other directions from our Church leaders things are given to us to help us prepare for things to come.
We remember when the Proclamation to the World https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation was presented by President Hinckley in the Women's Conference in 1995. At the time I think most of us heard it and were not blown away because what he read about the importance of marriage and the family was what we already knew and understood. Yet, now more than 20 years later, as we witness the craziness of the world we understand how important that proclamation is and how prophetic it was and how necessary it is for a foundation.
It makes me wonder just what will be happening in the world in future years that will make it necessary for us to be both temporally and spiritually self-reliant to be able to survive. The emphasis on Self-Reliance now is the prophetic way of preparing us for the problems and trials which are sure to come.
"The prophetic promises and blessings of Church welfare, of providing in the Lord's way, are some of the most magnificent and sublime the Lord has pronounced upon His children. ...Whether we are rich or poor, regardless where we live on this globe, we all need each other, for it is in sacrificing our time, talents, and resources that our spirits mature and become refined. This work of providing in the Lord's way ... cannot be neglected or set aside. It is central to our doctrine; it is the essence of our religion" (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Providing in the Lord's Way," Oct. 2011 general conference).
And there have been trips to IKEA to get items for our flat, putting together shelving units, exchanging couches since our was too short to work very well for relaxing or just collapsing at the end of a busy day. Just stuff. Doesn't sound very exciting but that is what has been happening. I never realized how much behind the scenes work we would be doing. There is no way to detail all of the minutia other than to say it all needs to happen to make things flow.
We love being here and it is sad whenever someone returns home because I realize that sooner than we wish it will also be our turn to leave our mission. But we still have 19 months left and we plan to make the most of them!!!
It is a great privilege to serve the Lord in this part of the world. We love the people! We are surrounded by people of many ethnicities and they are all wonderful. I am an observer of people and I love to see the innate kindness I witness in so many.
The Winter Solstice has come and gone so our days are beginning to lengthen again. We can see the slight change in the tilt of the earth as the sun begins to set in a slightly difference place again. I guess it is winter but the coolest temperature has been this morning, I think, which was 4 C [38 F]. Some of the trees have lost all of their leaves but most are still green and many are still blooming. I have been told that something is blooming all of the time. It may get cooler as July and August come. For now I am grateful for a warm coat on the chilly days and for a heater in our flat that we now turn on a little while each day. But looking out our window at 10:30 AM this Saturday morning I see a beautiful sunny day and lots of green leaves on many trees. The cockatoos and lorikeets still fly by along with many other kinds of birds.
Life is good and we are grateful for our many blessings. We love the Lord, we love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we love our family and our friends.
We have missed a lot of the sunsets when they began to be earlier in the day like 4:30 PM. But every now and then we see a great one! They are never the same. All are uniquely beautiful. The photos never do them justice because the sky is just so wide and breathtaking.
The sunrises are equally stupendous!! This one was amazing! The funny thing is that at home when the sky was red in the morning it usually meant bad weather "Red sky in the morning- sailor take warning." Not so here. The skies usually have a rosy pink tinge in the morning and occasionally some great cloud colors but the skies are almost always sunny which I love!
|I finally caught a cockatoo with his crown ruffled. These were on campus as I walked over to the other office. They did not seem to care that I was there at all.|