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.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Happy New Year

This is a post that I did but somehow or other it did not actually get posted.  Late but I did not want it to go to waste.

It has been nice that the emphasis has been more on the birth of the Savior but I did miss the family.  Back at home, my kids all decided that Sunday was too busy a day and they wanted to have Christmas Breakfast and open gifts on Saturday morning.  They Face timed us and so we were able to see the grandkids open their presents from us and their cousins.  It was fun watching but then of course they did not want to stick around and talk because they were ready to go put all those Legos together.  Even the granddaughters are into them now.

Wayne did not want to buy a Christmas tree so all we had was a tiny decorative tree that Sister Johnson hauled down from the Mission Home attic.  I cleaned off all the shelves of our hutch and it worked very nicely for the cards, nativities and the few gifts we had for each other.  I made stockings for both of us because of course I wasn't thinking of Christmas when we were packing up last July.

Our meetings at church on Christmas Day were pared down to one hour and we met with 2 other Wards that meet in our building.  Good thing.  There were only 4 missionaries, 4 Bishopric members and about 4 Young Single Adults from our Ward.  Even with 3 Wards, we just filled the chapel and a few rows of chairs set up in the cultural hall.  It was nice to be in a meeting with more people but I have gotten used to not hearing small children making lots of noise.  Still it was nice.  

Christmas dinner was just Wayne and I and the Christensens who live a few doors down.  We did at least have a traditional turkey dinner.                                                                                                                  
This is our Christmas Corner
 This past week was a slow one as far as the office work went but we had a few "extra" duties that took up our time.  We had an Elder who had to go home a few weeks early to accommodate his school schedule.  That meant there had to be a few changes in assignments.  Elder Clarke got to go up to Butler to pick up an Elder and take him into Pittsburgh to catch a bus that took him across the mission to his new area.  Since he had to leave very early and I had a dentist appointment that morning, I did not go with him.  He stayed in Pittsburgh to attend our District Meeting.  We also had another missionary leaving early and so Elder Gray in our District was going to be transferred up to Beaver Valley the next day.  I do not know the reasoning but someone bought all these fake mustaches (maybe because he is assigned to a Spanish Branch) and they wanted their picture taken.  This is a very good group of young men.  I hate to see Elder Gray go.

 I got an email from our friend Lily, in China.  This is her with her son, John Kong.  This is a young lady who met a BYU China Teachers couple the year before we arrived.  They were on a bus and seemed to be a bit confused about where they were going.  Lily introduced herself and asked if she could help.  She ended up helping them with navigating Jinan and helping in any way she could.  The next year, our friends the Paces kind of inherited her and the rest of us got to know her and loved her.  She went on a few of our tours with us and even joined us for a few potlucks after church.  It is so sad that we cannot let her know about the church. 
 Lily named her son John after the BYU teacher she met and Kong is the family name.  Her husband is a descendant of Confucious.

This next week is going to be another quiet one.  Salt Lake administrative departments are closed for the holiday and so that limits what we can do.  First of the month is slow anyway.  We will be preparing for 17 new missionaries to arrive mid-month.

Just a little update on our flooded vehicles.  The new truck is doing fine, the 12 passenger mission van is okay and a mini van is running after spitting out ice cubes from the exhaust pipe.  The insurance investigator did declare 4 of the vehicles totaled though and so a company is hauling them away for parts or whatever.  4 less vehicles that the Fleet Coordinator has to sell. 

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