Hello Family and Friends, We are sorry that it has taken us so long to be up and running with our blog, but we have moved twice and finally got Comcast hooked up and all the technology wired. We laft home on January 12 with the help of Andrea, Blair, Cèlin, Holly, Cliff, Kate, Lilly, and Eli for Idaho Falls to spend a few days with Diana, Ian, and Payton. We had a great time there and enjoyed visiting. But we will not miss the cat, Bridget, trying to claw her way into the bedroom in the middle of the night!!! (No offense, Bridgett, but you are a little neurotic for my tastes!) Then we left for Tony's and Annette's for a few days in Farmington, Utah. We had a great time there as well with them and Jared, Breanna, and Grant. Then on to Paul's and Kortni's and Kurt's for a few days to visit with them and Ryker and Kaydence. Had a great time there also and then checked in to the MTC for two weeks. We enjoyed seeing Alexis working in the MTC cafeteria a couple of times a week. What a great place to be and to feel the spirit. We loved the other senior couples, teachers, classes, devotionals, and food. Elder Nelson and Elder Holland were speakers at the 50th anniversary of the MTC. That was a very special treat. The first week we were at the MTC there were 40 senior couples. The next week 30 more couples came. It was the most they have ever had there. Everyone there including the young Elders and Sisters treated the senior couples so nicely. Dad and I commented that if all the members of all the wards could spend one week in the MTC learning how to teach the Gospel, the Gospel would spread like wildfire. We left the MTC for New Hampshire on Friday Feb 3rd, but because there was a blizzard raging in Denver and areas around it, we chose to drive down through Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was an extra 10 hours of driving, but we didn't want to get stuck in a snow storm. Personally, I'm glad we went down that way--now I know that I never want to live in the dry, ugly, desert south. Yuk, it was ugly. I have got to say one thing about a higher elevation, though, my arthritis didn't bother me as much. We arrived in Bedford, NH on Tuesday, Feb 7th and moved into the a small motel with a kitchen, But I think the place was built in the 1950s. It was dark inside and the can opener mounted to the kitchen wall looked like it had been there and never washed since 1950! The bed was the hardest I've ever slept on besides a concrete floor. So we moved to the Marriott Residence Inn in Merrimack, NH for 2 weeks until our apartment was ready. The Franklins (the office couple we replaced) were still living in the apartment. Residence Inn had a hot breakfast every morning and free dinner Monday thru Thursday nights. That was a real bonus. We finally got to move into the apartment on Saturday, Feb 25. We have been having to shop every few days for stuff we need--like, a toaster, cookie sheet, cutting board, pot holders, and on and on, but we are finally stocked up with the necessities and able to cook and bake what we need. Dad set up a 6-foot table in the living room and hooked up our desktop computers and printers. When you walk in the front door and see that all set up it looks like we have got some sort of business going! But, you know how we are about technology! We have even ordered a new iPad 3 for each other!!!!
The office work goes really well. We are responsible for the operation of the whole office. Dad takes care of all the finances for the mission and all 140 missionaries. He also has to make sure that apartments are rented/leased for all the missionaries. He does all the shopping at Staples, Sam's Club, Costco, and anywhere else he has to go to keep all the supplies and apartments furnished. My job is as confidential secretary to President Wilkey which means that I take care of all the paper work for all the missionaries and the mission office. The other couple in the mission office is Elder and Sister Hymas from Green River, Wyoming. They are going home the end of this month and will be replaced by the Davises. The Hymases had us over for dinner two weeks ago and we are having them over tonight for dinner and Mexican Train dominoes. They are great people and we do enjoy working with them. Elder Hymas takes care of the fleet of cars for the missionaries (that includes selling any cars that get to the 50,000 mile mark. I can't believe how may vehicles the mission sells. Sister Hymas takes care of all the ordering for missionary supplies, ie., Books of Mormon in all languages, teaching supplies, manuals, teaching kits, etc. The list is very long. We will miss them, but have talked with them about stopping in to see them on our way home in Jul-Aug 2013.
There are about 20 apartments in our building. We are on the second floor. We have been here since Feb 25 and have only seen one person who lives on our floor! I guess we will just have to go knocking with cookies in hand. We have only had one person in our apartment--and that was the Comcast installer. It is very strange to be in such a small home, but it is cozy and clean.
Dad was able to go teach a family from the Sudan the other evening with two of our Elders. It went very well, but Dad was really impressed with how the Elders taught the 10-year old boy about the Prophet and Apostles. The boy was just not interested when Dad and the Elders got there, but as soon as the Elders pulled out the picture kit and started showing how the Apostles are part of the foundation of the church, he tuned right in. Dad loved it.
Every six weeks missionaries get transfered because of new ones arriving and those going home. We have been warned that for Monday and Tuesday of Transfer week we will have very long days and not much sleep at night. Our first transfers start on March 19. We will be very busy, but we get to go to the Boston Temple with the departing missionaries. We are looking forward to that.
We do miss all of you and love you. Everyday I get the mail in the office and go thru it hoping to get something other than a bill or statement. With the exception of a card from Eli and one from Sister Barbara Ives, we have received no good mail. I know--call the whambulance!!! We would love to hear from our fabulous children and grandchildren though.
Tomorrow we will be attending the Manchester Ward. We have visited the Bedford Ward and Derry Ward twice each. After two Sundays in the Manchester Ward we have to tell President Wilkey which ward we want to attend regularly. We have enjoyed the other wards so far. But, I've got to say that Woodland 1st ward is very dear to our hearts as the best ward on the planet!
I will post pictures along the way after I figure out how to do it.
All our love, Dad/Mom/Grandpa/Grammie/Mike/Karen, etc.