Tuesday, February 17, 2015

IT IS COLD IN NASHVILLE!!!!!  That 20 degrees on the thermometer is the high for today.  It is 4:00 p.m.  Tonight it will get down to 15 degrees-- but tomorrow night it will get down to -3 degrees.  We have about 1 inch of ice under the 2  inches of snow.  This started on Sunday evening and on Monday morning there were Freeze Warnings and everyone is advised to stay in their homes because of the ice.  So we have been home bound since Sunday afternoon.  (Today is Tuesday) and it looks like we will still be here tomorrow.  I handle that okay because I have a terrible cold so laying in bed with all the covers over me sounds really great. But Darryl is driving me crazy.  He did finally sneak out today and drove far enough to put gas in the car--but he is home now with the beginning of the head cold.  Thanks heaven for Netflix......inasmuch as we do not have a television.
   I am actually anxious to get back into the office because on Sunday the auditor is coming to audit the office.  There are a few things I would like to fix up before he comes.  Do you think he will fire me?  Will he send me home?
 The President says that all he will tell the auditor is "Sister Dunn will fix that."   Is that supposed to make me feel better?  Oh Dear!
   Right now the President is in Salt Lake City for 3 days.  He left Sunday and missed all of this great adventure. I sure hope the airport opens before Wednesday night so he can get back.  Although.....no President.....no audit.
   About 2 weeks ago we found it necessary to purchase a new laptop.  I don't think I even need to tell you the frustrations of learning a new computer.....let alone to learn a new Windows 8.1 computer.  Well, another thing to do while we are
on lock down.   And since when did Word come as a "cloud" program?  I can't even begin to tell you the frustrations of that and of all the unseen charges incurred in this process.
  This is a picture of Elder Meldrum (for you JoAnn) helping to unload all the pizza boxes after a trainer/trainee meeting.  Pizza is a surefire bet for a missionary lunch.

This other picture is the bottom of Elder Dickman's shoes.  That is a 1st rate hole he has there----the sign of a really good missionary. He has since left for home, having served his 2-year mission.  We will really miss him.
On February 8th, Pikeville became an official branch.  We drove down there for their meeting which started at 10am......which meant we had to leave here by 7:30 am.  It was fun to see everyone again.....most of them were there, but not all.  It warmed my heart of see Jack & Rosala Curtis there (she is sitting....second person from the right on the 1st row).  She has been quite ill.  I reminded her of the day we sat on her porch snapping beans while she told me about her life....and made me laugh.  There were some of the usual characters there too.....but not William Sapp, our favorite hermit.  I wanted to go find him, but we didn't have time.  Elder Stradling made it down
there (2 days before he ended his mission).  He needed a ride back to Lawrenceburg, so we added another 3 hours to our trip home so we could take him.  It was well worth the time just to spend it with him.  I will sure miss that lad.   Here he is with the 2nd half of the picture. This branch included Pikeville and Dunlap, so there were enough to make a branch.  President Speegle is the gentleman with the white hair in the middle of the front row of the 1st picture.  A great choice.
 So on the following Tuesday was transfer day and time to say goodbye to the departing missionaries.  But SURPRISE.  Elder Stradling has a look-alike to take his place.  Who knew there was another Stradling anywhere.  This is Elder Partida and he sure looks like Stradling's brother.  I sure hope he is as great of a missionary.  It was hard to say goodbye, but now we have a gentle reminder.
Elder Stradling got home okay and now is beginning the 'whole rest of his life'.   Good Luck.
  This is a picture of Elder Meldrum and Elder Dickman telling about a miracle!  Each transfer meeting the President has anyone who has had an extra-ordinary experience come and tell the rest of the missionaries about it.  They call them "Miracles".  They are always good and everyone enjoys them.
   Elder Dickman also went home that day.  We miss him too.  He is so super extra-ordinary too.  I hope we see him again.  Maybe!  He is just in Kansas.

This is Sister Osborne and Sister Dixon.  I refer to them as the "Char-Ladies".  They are the 2 sister who cleaning up the terrible, terrible house in Fairview.  This was not Sister Dixon's first round at doing clean-up duty.  She seems to have the bad luck of falling into these "unclean" situations.  But they are in a new duplex now, and all is wonderful.  Sister Osborne is from Yuma Arizona, but her family just moved to Mesa.

Well, that is it for now. I hope all of you are doing well.  I check on you on Facebook all the time....so you aren't getting away with much.  Love you all.....

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hello!  Yes, it is winter time in Nashville.  It is cold for an Arizona girl.  It is a special kind of cold because it is a wet cold.  This is a picture of the snow we received about 2 weeks ago.  It didn't last too long....about like Tucson snow.  It wasn't as cold that day.....but the next day it was very cold.  But no matter how cold it is we go to work where every time someone comes in the door it send a cold....cold....burst of air through the office.  You can believe that I have a little space heater at my feet all day.....not to mention the 4 layers of clothes I have on.....and that is just to sit in the office which is actually pretty well heated.
   It hasn't been an extremely busy time in the office....just a mild state of "how do we get all of this done?"  The opening of new apartments has slowed to only 4 this month, and usually all in one day.
   I am still at war with Altamont TN, (population 1,290...and about 85 miles south-east of Nashville).  Well, war is misleading.  I struggle with them.  They love to turn the water off in the sisters' apartment before we even get notice that the bill is past due.  It is never past due, they just need a new bookkeeper who can put
the money in the correct account.  This happens about every third month.  The members in the local ward say that they just really don't like Mormons.  Pray for the south!!!!
   Here we are.....the office staff (minus Elder Dunn who is probably out in the parking lot changing a license plate). There are 3 sister missionaries in this picture......(LtoR) Sisters Schenk, Herbert and Bishop. I am between Herbert and Bishop. Sister Bishop has more pairs of glasses than any one person should have.....all flamboyant. I suspect she grew up in a hippy commune. (just kidding, but it would explain a lot).
    About 10 days ago one of the missionaries
mailed the nurse (the little lady in the pink sweater) a letter he had received from the landlord complaining about how dirty their apartment was.  I still can't figure out why he was dumb enough to send it into the office.  However, Sister Crawford hit the roof.  She call the Elder on the phone and told him to get off of his ___ and clean that apartment because she and Elder and Sister Dunn would be there in 45 minutes to check it.  So we went on that adventure to Smyra TN.  Well, those Elders must have really moved fast because it looked pretty good by the time we got there.  We went down and spoke with the manager who said it looks good after the 3rd time she inspected it.  I'm sure those elders will not forget our visit.  Sister Crawford is small, but she makes up for it in fury.
 It was really quite fun.
    That same week, the Young Single Adults had a talent show.  It was regional, but most of the talent was from the Nashville area.  This picture (yes, the out of focus one...I was in about the 6th row from the stage and my phone is not an Iphone)...is of Denny Burton...my favorite future famous song writer.  He sang an original tune that was fantastic.  A country song called "Going South".  Apparent Ronnie Dunne (of Brooks and Dunne) among others are considering recording it.  Pretty good for a boy from Canada.  The best part is how humble he is.
   There were many other singer/songwriters and musicians who performed. 13 in all.  A great pianist who just put in her mission papers, and another who played the chop sticks theme song
for Charlie Brown.
   This is Anne Marie.  She is the new Relief Society President.  She sang a funny song called "Taylor the Latte Boy".  If you haven't heard it, search for it on Youtube.  You can find if you search:
"Kristin Chenoweth singing "Taylor the Latte Boy".
If you go to:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UICytbEmHn4  you can see the real Ann Marie.
   It was a fun evening.

To catch up on some of my favorites.   Elder Hansen is now a District Leader in Hendersonville, TN and he assured me yesterday that before he goes home he will convert the Oakridge Boys to Mormonism.  Hendersonville is where the Oakboys live.  As district leader I am sure he is designing role-plays for his district meetings to be unbelievably hard and humiliating.
Elder Stradling is ending his mission on February 11th, 3 days after Pikeville Tennessee will actually be made a Branch!!!!!  I think that was the best news of his mission.  He worked so hard for this to happen and he is probably the main reason it did happen.  Unfortunately, I don't think he will be able to attend that meeting because he is in Lawrenceburg TN.  He is a great missionary and we learned so much from him when we were in Pikeville.  I am so grateful that we were able to get to know him and to love him.  We will miss him greatly.  Keep in touch Elder Stradling!

I just had to add this picture because it looks like Elder Hansen is asleep.......again!!!!!

 Yesterday we had quite the adventure.  We were to meet the Assistants' at the office to get their
truck---go to Walmart to purchase a microwave and a crockpot--go to Big Lots in Franklin TN and purchase a king-size bed--take that plus a dresser to Lafayette Tn (pronounced LaFAYette in TN)--and then take a box springs to Smyrna TN.  Sounds easy enough. A round trip of about 3-1/2 hours driving time.  It was great until we got to Big Lots.  There is a gentleman there named Jack that I deal with quite a bit.  As he says:  "I take care of you, Sister".  He says that about every other sentence.  Well, this time he did.  We purchase the king-size bed and frame and he helped to load it in the back of the truck.  There was that bed, plus the other box spring and a dresser.  It was in there so tight you couldn't get a dime between
anything.  Then we tied it down.  We got on the freeway and went about 1 mile and the plastic on the big mattress was flapping badly, so we pulled over to check it out.  Much to our surprise.......the two box springs that went with the king size bed (the new ones) were completely gone!!!!!  There was no sight of them.  No one honked.....no one yelled out their window to us that there was a problem.  Nothing.  They were gone in 1 mile.  We went back on the freeway and found one of them on the side of the road......run over and when you picked it up all the wood fell out.  We threw it in the truck and called Jack.....who says he takes care of us.  Well,
he did.  He said to bring back the 1 mattress we found and he would replace both.  So we did.  But we were smart enough to first go way back to the office (about 30 minutes away) and pick up the trailer to haul the furniture.  We load it up and were on our way about 3-1/2 hours late.  We were supposed to meet the senior couple in Lafayette for lunch.....but it was more like dinner.  Of course as soon as we got back on the freeway with our new box springs.....cars in back up us started flashing their lights at us.....OH NO.... not again.  So we pulled off the freeway...at the exact same exit road, and pulled into the exact same parking lot that we did before and went and check the back of the trailer.  FALSE ALARM.  There was nothing wrong.  I
think the flashing lights were a delayed signal or something.  So we were on our way way.   We got to Lafayette only to find there were no young bodied missionaries to help us unload the trailer, so Elder Matthews who is about 80 years old and Elder Dunn (with almost no help from me) unloaded and put together the bed, and carried in the heavy dresser.  We went to dinner at a small mexican restaurant and then said goodbye to this delightful couple.  This is their 4th mission.  They started with their first one at age 30 years old to Samoa.  She was 7 months pregnant when they got to Samoa.
  Lafayette is a beautiful area.  Not a beautiful town, but a beautiful area.  It is the kind of place where we could be very happy.  But we drove on to Smyrna.  We got there at about 7:30, handed off the box springs to the spanish Elders there and drove on.  We got to the office at 8:30pm just as the Assistants drove in so they could unhook the trailer and take the truck.  The President was there also so we told him of our adventure.  He just howled in laughter, which was not good because I needed to use the restroom. But we were relieved that he laughed.  Elder Dunn told him that if we had lost the mattresses the 2nd time when we went back to check we were just going to come back and get our car and drive back to Tucson.  I read Darryl a passage from "Preach My Gospel" on the way back to get the trailer after losing the 2 box springs about Christ-like attributes.....patience during trials.  I'm not sure it helped.

That is all of our adventures for now.  I'm sure there will be more.  Hope all is well with each one of you.  We are loving our mission....every minutes of it....well, minus a few.  If you have ever considered a mission.....do it!