Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week 2 in Nashville

Well, we're still here in Nashville.......well, actually Brentwood, Tennessee.  The land of big homes, massive lawns, beautiful landscaping and fancy cars.  No, we don't live in this house.  Wouldn't it be nice?  Only if I didn't have to clean it.

Just as a reminder, this is where we live right now!
We are still in the little apartment under the Mission Home.  The 2-room efficiency with the Luci and Desi Beds, and the kitchen with almost nothing in it.  But we love it. (as long as we don't have to stay in it very long). We will be moving this next Thursday into our new apartment, as soon as the Johnson's check out.

There aren't many places where your landlord washes your car.  We woke up Monday morning to find President and Sister Anderson just finishing their car.....they had already washed our car earlier so we wouldn't be late to work.  Such service from such a humble man.  That's why we love him so much.

On Tuesday the mission hosted a outing for all of the senior missionaries. (There are 22 of us, but only 20 could attend)  We had an afternoon cruise on the General Jackson Showboat.  It is very nice and the ride was very smooth as it only travels at 7 miles per hour.  We had a wonderful buffet lunch (complete with grits if you wanted them) and a great show called "Nashville Live."

As we cruised along we viewed the landscape of Nashville.  This peculiar building is the AT&T building.  Can you guess what it is nicknamed?   It is called the
Batman Building.

This couple is the Ainas.  You don't pronounce the A, so it sounds just like the Ina in Tucson.  We were so happy to see them.  They came out of the MTC at the same time we did, but they are living in Hopkinsville, Kentucky.  They had already served one mission in Hawaii.

I love this picture of President and Sister Andersen.  I don't know what he is looking at, but obviously he is a little shocked.  He caught me singing along with the band once (wonderful country music), so maybe it was my singing that shocked him.  The other lady is Sister Godfrey.  She is the President's secretary. She answers the phone etc.  She is a wonderful person.

Here I am sitting in my office.  Notice the wonderful window behind me.  It is a good sized office with a door that locks.  I am in charge of finances which means I submit all payments for rent on ~150 apartments and utilities for all the missionaries.  I manage all credit cards and fund the debit cards the missionaries carry.  There are more responsibilities and I have about 3 business days left to learn them before the Johnsons leave.  Fortunately there are very nice people in Salt Lake City who are always available by phone who save me routinely.

This is Darryl's office.  He works in an area that is actually a storeroom.  But I told him he could come sit in my office when he has time.  He is in charge of all the mission vehicles.  He has 88 cars, trucks, jeeps, and the mission van to keep track of.  He makes sure they are all registered, serviced and kept in good condition.  Remember, there are 18 and 19-year old young men and girls who may be a little older (not much) who are driving these vehicles.  If they need repairs, service etc. he is the one they get in contact with.  He is also over bicycles and bus passes also.  The one big advantage he has is that he is out of the office more frequently than the rest of us.  The other day he was teaching the 2 assistants to the president how to back the 15-passenger van, with a trailer attached, down the narrow driveway at the mission home, with a real tricky turn in process.  I don't think he even said a bad word.  HE'S THE MAN!!!

These are some of the books stored in the storeroom.  There are Book of Mormons in Persian, Polish and something else.  We have Books of Mormons in all languages, plus many videos, Pass-along-cards, pamphlets etc.

Friday was a Zone Leader's Conference.  Aren't these girls beautiful?  Who wouldn't want to talk to them?  There were Elders there too, but they weren't as cute.  We served dinner to, salad and watermelon, with ice cream for dessert.  This was easy as there were only 40 at this meeting.

You may remember, when we moved to Nashville, Darryl renegotiated his contract with me.  On Saturdays we were to have an adventure.  So this week we went to the Belle Meade Plantation.  At the end of this blog I have put a link to a site that explains this significance of this place.  The one important fact is that they were the premier horse breeding farm in he country in about 1850.  Their horse "Bonnie Scotland" is the great grandparent of every horse that has raced in the Kentucky Derby, including Secretariat, and California much more.

That Darryl is such a swinger!!!

This is Sister Cotton.  She has been quite ill so she is spending a week in the Mission President's home.  Saturday night we spend the evening with her, keeping her company while the Pres & Sister Anderson had other duties.  We had a lot of fun baking german chocolate cupcakes.  Yum Yum.  She had never baked anything from scratch before her, so she enjoyed it.  But we did wear her out.

Well, that is all for this week.  We will try to find an adventure for next week.  We are looking forward to Elder Stradling and Elder Hansen coming up to go to the temple on Wednesday.  They are bring some clothes we left behind in the dryer.  Elder Stradling noticed Darryl's John Deere pajama bottoms and he says he has a pair we may take a picture of them both in the John Deer PJ bottoms.

Here is the link for the Belle Meade Plantation.    

due my lack of computer knowledge, you will have to copy it and paste it in your browser.  Or, when I right clicked on it I go select....go to bellmeade et.........

Love you all!!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pikeville to Nashville

Things don't change much in Pikeville, so things are about the same as the last time I wrote you. Well, with a few changes.  We had another Tuesday evening Study Meeting.  These meetings are mostly for investigators of the church....however most (all but 1) of these are current members.  We give a lesson from the scriptures and then we mingle and eat lots of goodies.  We didn't have a very good turn out for this meeting. It was held the day after the Labor Day weekend. 

This is Valerie and Kara Pendegrass (daughter and mother).  They live a little ways up the mountain in a situation that is not desirable. They live with their father/husband, and they have no transportation most of the time. They are such sweet people and deserve so much in this life. They have a brother/son who lives in New York City.  He was able to leave this situation and get a good job. He is preparing to serve a mission for the Church.  Valerie made this Christmas ornament (an angel) and 3 magnets.  They hang on my refrigerator.  Valerie usually is making beaded jewelry, and she is quite good at it. They are so special.

We went to lunch is this diner in Crossville one day. It is called Sisters because it is run completely by 2 sisters who are about in their 40s.  I wish I could have snapped a picture of them.....but then that would be rude. Originally I never wanted to go to this place, but after it got the stamp of approval from the young Elders, I thought I would chance it. They serve real down-home cooking.  We had an open-faced roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes w/ gravy and a salad for $4.50.  What a ganga!!! Then topped it off with pie. Elder Dunn had a peanut butter meringue pie (a southern treat), and I reverted back to apple.The dessert was extra.These two sisters work so well together that it was inspiring.  They are only open 5 days a week. One Sister does all the baking.

These are all the missionaries in the McMinnville Stake which goes from Kentucky to a small portion of Alabama and Georgia.  There are 5 or 6 other stakes in the Tennessee Nashville Mission.  This training conference lasted for about 7 hours in Cookville, Tennessee.  It was superb.  The 3 young Elders in the front rows (the assistants to the President) all gave excellent talks and training.  The young girls in the first rows of each picture are the trainers for the Sister Missionaries. (They handle any training unique to the girls). Miracles happen to these young people when they enter the mission field.  They grow and develop into strong teachers with unbelievable talents and testimonies.

This is President Andersen.  He looks a little shocked or befuddled.....maybe that is because he was
about to complicate our life.  He pulled Elder Dunn and I aside and told us they may need us to move to Nashville to work in the mission office.  They are having trouble finding a senior couple to go there to replace the couple who oversees all the housing & finances of the mission and the automobile co-ordinator.  This was just a possibility and he would let us know on Monday if we needed to move.   Sounds pretty simple.....but I sure do hate waiting!  You really can't begin packing, because then maybe we would have to just unpack.  So we waited.  And I prayed.  This opportunity sounded wonderful to me, but I am only 50% of this partnership.  I found myself bargaining with the Lord......but I did promise that if we were to stay in Pikeville I would be happy.  On Monday night we received word that they had interviewed a couple that would not work, but there was another couple that a Stake President had found that was coming in more waiting.  Tuesday night the call came that the couple was so excited to come to work in the we would not have to move.  I didn't understand that because I felt that I had gotten a real impression from my prayers that we would go.  But I had promised to be happy in Pikeville for 16 more months and I was reconciled with that.  The next morning we were preparing to leave for district meeting when we got another call at 9am from President saying the husband of the couple has diabetes and had gotten very ill and would not be able to work in the office.  We need  to come ASAP.  I said......hey, I think the Lord is rattling my chain.  But he assured me this was for sure.  
We did have the opportunity to have a good Mexican lunch with Elders Hansen & Stradling, and Sisters McDonald and Hess.  I can't express how much we have come to love these kids.  We have worked hard with them in Pikeville and Crossville and we were just now seeing the returns from our hard work.  They are devoted and strong and so much fun.  It has been so much fun to tease Elder Hansen, who says his family teases him and so he knows he is loved.  I can hardly bare to leave them. 

This was all complicated by the fact that it was time for the Bledsoe Co., (Pikeville) fair.  Once again we had a booth there where we handed a survey for people to fill out and distribute literature.  This was the first time that I was really hot.  85 degrees and 75% humidity.  But it was only for a few hours. 
So we started packing.  But, nothing is easy. This is a picture of Elder Hansen who was as sick as a dog. As we packed he laid on our couch and moaned and slept.  He had a virus. In order for his companion to go out and attend to the appointments they had, Hansen needed to stay with us.  I felt so bad for him, but all he needed was sleep. When they get sick you know they are still kids who are away from home and feeling lousy. I can hear Elder Hansen say "Just shoot me!"
But he lived through it.

So we loaded up the car again.  But how is it that in 2 short months you can obtain so much more that it doesn't fit in the car?  We had to call for help from the Assistants to the President who drove down from Nashville in their truck to haul back out extra.  

Below is Elder Fiore who thought he looked like a cowboy in Elder Dunn's hat.  Well, maybe he is because he rode to the rescue.  

So we said goodbye to Pikeville.  We did go by and said goodbye to some of the most colorful people I have ever met in my life.  As we started out it started to pour rain.  Therefore, we made an executive decision not to go by and see the family with 11 dogs....there was no way we would get out without more than our share of mud.  We went and saw William Sapp, who is still building his cabin where he will be safe from terrorists.  Some of the other people we had to just call on the telephone.  I sure hope we are able to get back to see them again.  We had so many unfinished stories.

This is our new home.....for about 2 weeks, until the Johnson's go home and vacate their apartment.  We live in the back and under the Mission Home in a small apartment there.  You can see the door we enter through on the right hand picture.  It is great...except we do have Desi and Lucy beds (twin beds).  But we can work that out.  We have begun to learn our new responsibilities and are blown away by them.  A lot of learning in a very short time.  I know we can do it because we will be led and guided by the Spirit of the Lord.  The 50% of this partnership that was not so excited to leave Pikeville has re-negotiated his contract with me.  On Saturdays we will be travelling up and down mountains in search of adventure.  

Until next time........