Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Because I neglect to take pictures and have not had a lot of these before now, I am agoing to go back and post some pictures from past happenings. 

A little hard to see but this was taken when Elders Perkins and Meurs met with our missionaries in Sept.  We had some wonderful training on Friday and then the Stake that we attend had the pleasure of having Elder Perkins speak Saturday and Sunday.

At the end of September we had Zone Conferences. These are held in 3 different locations.  The first was in Greentree and this was our group there. 

 The next day we met with another group in Cranberry.  The third day we met with the rest of the missionaries in State College.  Greentree and Cranberry are within a half hour of where we are and so we just go for the day.  State College is quite a drive so we left from the Cranberry Zone Conference and headed for State College.  As always, it was a beautiful drive. 

This is Sister Christensen.  Her husband is the Mental Health person for 23 missions in the North East US.  If the rest of the missions are having as much trouble with anxiety issues as we have had then he is kept very busy.  Sister Christensen acts as his secretary.  She also does the luncheons when we have new missionary training.

In between new missionaries arriving, orientations and Zone Conferences, we work in the office 5 days a week.  Some days we are very busy and do not leave until well after 5pm. Other days, we run out of things to do by 2:30 and we take off.  On those days we entertain ourselves by shopping or going to a movie.

This is our latest group of new missionaries learning the nitty gritty of missionary life - medical, finances and housing issues. We had 20 new Elders and Sisters arrive on Oct. 23.

Elder Clarke giving his instructions on housing and referrals. We have a little over 80 apartments that we oversee.  We have found that we have some really nice landlords that we deal with.  We are trying to train our missionaries to contact those landlords when they have problems.  One week we had three separate issues of water leaking in an apartment.  One of those was an apartment of Sisters who stayed up most of the night dumping a bucket and putting it back again in their closet because water was dripping.  They waited until the next morning to call Elder Clarke.  He contacted the apartment but instructed the Sisters to call the landlord immediately next time - day or night.

On Friday, Nov. 4th, I had to do the lunch for the Friday Forum at Institute  It was a good thing that I had planned an easy meal.  We had a few issues in the Mission and Wayne ended up having to drive one missionary up to Warren and bring another one back to catch a flight home.  I ended up having to drive myself into Pittsburgh and do the luncheon.  The speaker was a retired professor from BYU.  He spoke about a non-profit that he organized in a class he taught.  They go into South American countries and work with the people in providing small business loans and training.

Again I have no pictures but that night we had a Senior Missionary game night.  All of the seniors came to the Mission Home and we had a yummy soup and salad dinner.  We then played Three Degrees of Glory (Bunco). Most everyone had a good time.  I felt bad for the husband of our Church Service Missionary though.  He does not like to play games and you could tell it.   Two of the couples who came from across the mission stayed the night at the Mission Home and the next morning we all met at the National Aviary.  This was a thoroughly delightful experience.  There were so many different birds.  All sizes - from canary to condor, and colors - plain black to a rainbow parrot. 

 Sister Samuelson just had to compare her height to that of the Flamingos.  She is a bit short.
Cute little Kukaburra.

 Our Senior Gang: Elder Haroldsen, President Johnson, me, Sister Johnson, Wayne, Sister Caanan, Elder Caanan, Elder Samuelson, Sister Samuelson, Elder Thompson, Sister Thompson, Sister Casler, Elder Christensen and Sister Christensen.

One of our little oddities.  Elder Kotter is from cowboy country and I don't think that he is used to being without his hat.   Since we are close to Amish country, I guess he thinks it is okay to wear one of their hats.   We discovered that Elder Kotter has a PVC steer that he practices roping on P day.  Sister Johnson was telling us about how skilled he is with the bull whip.

I thought I would close this post with a picture that my niece had taken of my parents.  95 and 96 years old and still going strong.  They have always been an example to family and friends.  When you talk about enduring to the end, I think of them.  My Dad always wanted to serve a mission and that did not happen so in a way I serve my mission in honor of him.

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