It has been a crazy week with 4 new elders arriving on Monday, transfer Tuesday, 2 returning home, and New Missionary Training on Wednesday. The Boston Temple had been closed for 2 weeks for remodel and cleaning, so we were fortunate to go to the temple on the day it opened back up--Tuesday. It was a wonderful time with an endowment session, dinner at the temple afterward, and hugs and "I love you" from the Elders going home. Elder Brown wants to be a teacher and thanked me for some advice I had given him a couple of months before on his education and future. He asked for my email address so he can keep in touch. He's a wonderful young man and has a beautiful singing voice. He loves children and will be an awesome teacher. I am so glad I got to serve a mission with him for even a few months. I see great things coming from him in his future. Elder Todd also went home. He wants to be a chef. He wanted to make some garlic chicken for us before he left, but it didn't work out. I would have loved to taste that chicken.
Sister Davis and I spend a lot of time getting meals ready to feed the missionaries. On Mondays she and I do a lunch for the office staff including President, his 2 assistants, and the two office couples. It is fun on Monday after the lunch to be talking about what we are going to prepare for next Monday's lunch. Last Monday we had Diana's and Annette's Creamy Chicken over rice that I made. Sister Davis brought in frosted fudge brownies with ice cream and watermellon. Yummy. The Assistants are bottomless pits for sure, but we love to feed them. Our motto: When it's gone, it's gone! Next Monday Sister Davis is making lasagne and I'm making caesar salad with Kortni's mom's cesar salad dressing. I'm also bringing a fruit salad of mellons and fixings for maple syrup milkshakes per request from Elder Baker, the new assistant. Elder Sommerfeldt, who was made an assistant two days before we got here, got transferred to Maine to train one of the new missionaries. I sure will miss him. He is so much fun and likes to try to scare me--usually it doesn't work!!! Here is a picture of him with me and Elder B and Elder Esplin. Elder Sommerfeldt is the second from right. He wants to be a heart surgeon and go into business with two other returned missionaries--one wants to be an orthopedic surgeon, and the other wants to be a brain surgeon. So I came up with an acronym of HOBs which stands for Heart-Ortho-Brain surgeons. Elder Sommerfeldt loved it!!!!
Also, the Manchester sisters get to come in the office about once a week. We love having them visit. Sister Chantry had to answer the phone for me one day for about an hour and has now decided to be a receptionist when she gets home from her mission. Sister Huntsman is always upbeat and happy to be around. I love both of these Sisters. Here is a photo of me with Sister Davis, Sister Huntsman, Me, and Sister Chantry.
I took a picture of the letter and bracelet that Sister Windley sent to me after she had to go home early from her mission here with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It is possible for her to recover from this illness, but it will take some time. The Lord gave her a reprieve from it before she got on the airplane with her mother to fly home and then after she got home she had a relapse of numbness on her body. Our prayers are with her every day.
Tanya and her son, Josiah, have moved their baptisms back two weeks so that Josiah can get all the lessons in before he is baptized. Elder Benjamin and the two Manchester Elders are teaching them both. We are going to take all of them to the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial in Sharon, Vermont next Saturday. We are looking forward to that as are Tanya, Josiah, and the Elders. It should prove to be a very nice day.
We are having a great time working with President and Sister Wilkey. We sure do love them. They never rest however. Go, go, go. Some nights President only gets about 4 hours of sleep. So we in the office try to do as much for them as they are willing to give us. One of the things we are doing is designing a Christmas tree ornament with the JSM on it to give to each missionary for Christmas. One of the brothers in the Bedford ward does stippling and he is working on the JSM right now to be imprinted on the brass ornament. It will be very beautiful when it is done. I found a company online that will make them up for us. We will get a velvet drawstring bag for each one. It will make a lovely gift and keepsake.
I've got to say that most of the members in the Manchester ward are being very good missionaries and fellowshippers to the new converts. I'm so happy to see that happening. Elder B and I are going to attend the ward Bible study on Tuesday evening. Investigators attend that also.
Well, gotta go. Elder B is taking me out to dinner. This is our "P" day after all. We haven't been out to dinner for many weeks now. I mean a really nice dinner. We send our love to our children, grandchildren, and friends. Hard to believe that we are 1/3 done with our mission. Wow, time is flying now.