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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I Don't Think I Enjoy Shopping Anymore

We have a budget of approximately $32,000.00 to spend for the year 2016 on missionary furnishings...beds and frames, pot, pans, and any kitchen item, cleaning supplies, etc.  Thank heavens for Amazon!

I can't begin to tell you the number of pots and pans I have ordered.  Each apartment needs at least a large and small fry pan and saucepans.   Then they need the right utensils to use since they are all non-stick.

The other evening we received a call from a couple of elders asking if the mission had cookie sheets.  They were hungry for Mom's cookies.  At the time we didn't have any, besides it was 9:00 at night and we were not about to go back to the mission office "dungeon".   So we instructed them how to make a cookie sheet out of foil.  It must have worked....we now provide cookie sheets.

Our main goal, to go along with improving the apartment in the New York South Mission, is to make sure each missionary companionship has the supplies they need to have a clean and well maintained apartment.  We don't just order a couple of scrubbing bubbles, toilet bowl cleaner, shower curtain liners, ironing boards, irons, toasters, and bedbug foggers, and ant and roach killer we order at least 25 at a time.  I'm sure Amazon must know me by name.  Here's a picture of the "DUNGEON"

Going Down..Down...Down
Inside the Dark Unknown
The Brave Senior Missionary Went
I have to say, we have never encountered anything scurrying about, moving, hissing, or making any scary noises down in ......the dungeon.  I have not even had a scary dream.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Transformation

Earlier this year, in the winter months, I posted about our lovely park.  All the trees were barren but still beautiful.  Here's a reminder:


Now, after a week of rain and warmer weather the park has transformed into what I knew it would. . .  and it is simply beautiful:




Lesson Learned:
Just as the park has been transformed into something beautiful, we likewise can transform into something more refined.  As we live our mortal life, we are presented challenges.  The way we meet and handle these problems will define what we are to become.  Each decision we make will lead us down a path that will present other issues.  Do we take the easy way, which will ultimately lead us down a dark path.  Or do we take the more difficult way, the right way, that will lead us back to our Heavenly Father.  Life is full of challenges, some more difficult than others, but we have the gift of repentance so that we may be forgiven and start again.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Wonderful Mother's Day

My Mother's Day started on Thursday, coming home to find a beautiful bouquet of flowers from children by our door.  So lovely (the flowers-not me).


On Saturday afternoon we drove to New Jersey to spend the afternoon with David, Nikki, and Sloane.  The drive can range anywhere from 50 minutes to 90+ minutes depending on the traffic....that's New York.

It was such fun seeing Sloane and how much she has grown since the last time we saw her.  She is talking and so outgoing and confident.  She is one happy, always smiling little girl.  But, why not....her life is pretty perfect.  Dad and Mom love her to pieces.
Grandma too.

After playing for awhile (Daddy's a great buddy),




we decided to walk to a nearby pizza place.  I love living in places where you walk...not drive.  Glen Rock is a beautiful neighborhood with tall trees and Victorian houses.  Pizza is now a main food group in my book. Sloane has great restaurant manners, as long as she has a phone to play with.


It was a great day.  David and Nikki are such loving parents and have a happy family.  It will be fun to watch Sloane grow up.

Our First Visitors

Being in New York, I didn't expect to see any of our children for a couple of years.  But we were blessed to have Mark, Sally, and Susanna come for a visit the last of April.  Mark was traveling with the BYU theatre group and so Sally and Susanna decided they would like to tag-a-long.  Mark needed to stay in Manhattan with his group, but Sally and Susanna stayed with us.  Our apartment is pretty small so their bedroom was the living room.   It consisted of a wall to wall blow up mattress.  They had a very full itinerary planned; leaving the apartment in the morning and not returning until late at night.  Here's a picture of Sally and Susanna at the subway station.



They did every tourist thing imaginable.  Richard and I were able to go to Manhattan on Tuesday to see Mark's student's auditions and then on Wednesday to see the Broadway show Matilda.  Mark and Sally are amazing parents.  It was a fun to have them-such a sweet family.




Flushing, Bedbugs, Sisters, Oh Joy!

Flushing is about 70% Chinese, 25% Korean and 5% other.  It's interesting to drive or walk the streets of Flushing.  I would say it is more Chinese than China Town in San Fransisco or New York City.  The streets are teaming with people, even in the middle of the day. . .shopping, eating, visiting, and generally hurrying about in every direction.


Sister Fields, on the right is from Arizona, and Sister Yu, on the left is from Korea, are serving a Korean speaking mission in New York South Mission in Flushing. Richard and I had been asked to find a new apartment for Sister Fields and Sister Yu as they have been sharing their apartment with millions of bedbug for months. We simply could not get rid of them!

After driving and walking the streets, we found the most perfect apartment.  But, alas, it was pretty expensive. We called the mission president, President Reynolds,  to get his ok and he supported us 100%.  We had taken the sisters with us to look at the apartment and they just could not believe they were going to live in such a wonderful apartment.  They had tears of joy in their eyes.

Our real estate agent, Nancy, is Korean and she recognized that Sister Yu was Korean so they started to converse in their native language.  You can imagine Nancy's surprise when Sister Fields joined the conversation!  Her mouth literally dropped open.  She was so impressed.

There were a couple of touch and go situations in acquiring the apartment, ie, a hugh language barrier and understanding the lease contract, Nancy and the listing agent yelling and arguing with each other.  Later we learned that the Korean's and Chineese don't care too much for each other.  But, finally we had the "golden" keys in our sweaty hands.

The apartment is on the fourth floor with a wonderful view of the park across the street.  In the picture below, Richard is not trying to get a better view of the park, he is installing miniblinds.  None of the windows or sliders leading out to the balcony had any kind of coverings.  We made a trip to Home Depot and Target and purchased the necessary items on Friday afternoon and then spent most of Saturday installing the blinds (with no ladder), scrubbing the floors, and general cleaning.  It was a   l  o  n  g  but satisfying day for these two old people.


On Tuesday the sister's beds were delivered.  They had been using air mattress. Today, Wednesday, we drove to Staten Island to pick up some furniture that had been donated to finish furnishing their apartment.  The missionary apartments usually have a kitchen table with 2 chairs, 2 study table with chairs, 2 twin beds, and 2 dressers.  We just couldn't pass up this donated furniture so the sisters apartment is very different that the others.  This is one of the many tender mercies we have received as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Lesson Learned:
Be patient and trust in the Lord.  He is watching over us and knows our trials. After we have done all we can do, He will bless us in His own way if we have righteous desires.  The sisters did not question or complain.  They remainded faithful and went about doing the Lord's work.  They have been blessed in ways more eternal that a new comfortable apartment.