Partly Cloudy......Partly Sunny
January 11, 2015
When a person comes from Arizona and the weatherman here reports that one day it will be partly cloudy and the next day will be partly sunny, that person from Arizona may wonder which one of those days to look forward to - the partly cloudy Tuesday or the partly sunny Wednesday? That sums up the weather here. Partly cloudy and partly sunny with a stiff breeze in from the north. Brrrrrr.....
Since I am such a sun loving, fairweather type of gal, I have to look for other activities to make me smile, or better yet, laugh. This week, it is Elder Carlson. He and Sister Carlson are serving in our mission office. This is their fourth mission. They live here in Missouri. Sister Carlson is the sweetest lady I have ever met. She is so quiet and reserved and takes care of phones for all the missionaries in the mission. Elder Carlson is titled the "Fleet Manager". He has a desk in my elder's big office. That desk looks like a bomb went off day in and day out. It hasn't changed a lick since we got here. When I place important papers on his desk, I always kind of begin to shake not quite knowing where to place it so he will find the latest news about the mission.
Elder Carlson can't hear well. It is my goal each day to make him chuckle a bit or at least smile. I go yelling in there each day with a cheery greeting or a smarty pants comment just to get a rise out of him. He looks up and studies me, processes my comments, and takes it from there. It is a good moment for me when he likes my joke. I especially love it when he laughs and joins in with my silly plans to hide my elder's soda. Oh, he thinks that is funny.
The office was quiet one morning this week. I can hear him in on his phone. Since he can't hear well, he speaks loudly and has those poor missionaries on speaker phone so he gets every word of their response. He proceeded to contact five sets of missionaries and yell into the phone that they did not get their mileage report in on time and, so, he was taking three days of car privleges away from them. I could hear mumbled replies of, "Ok, Elder Carlson, thanks for calling." Man, I'm glad the Lord isn't counting my miles. The thing about my friend, Elder Carlson, is he says he loves to serve missions. Then, in his next breath, he wonders how he is supposed to get everything done or why in the world those missionaries can't keep air in their tires.
I have decided that the majority of seniors who serve missions are quite serious souls. They love to study the scriptures, work hard, and ponder the meaning of life. Sometimes, I just want to cut loose a bit and take everyone out for recess break to get some fresh air. No one falls for it so I quietly sneak into my friend, Elder Carlson's office, around lunch on those partly cloudy/partly sunny days and tell him I am going for a walk and I will be back soon. He thinks about it a minute, smiles, and tells me it is too cold to do that so I better be quick about it. I always let him know when I get back. If I word it just right, the old guy will give me a smile and then turn around to that desk of his to get back to managing the fleet.
Love you all,
They report to the Mission President tomorrow morning at 11:00. They are senior couples coming in from the MTC this past week. One set from Utah and one from Georgia. They don't know it yet, but they are being assigned to the outer reaches. One couple will be in Harrisonville, MO to do MLS (member leadership support,) The other one is being assigned to a YSA (young single adult) branch out in Shawnee, KS. My assignment is to get them decent housing for nothing right in the center of their assigned area, nice, comfortable furniture for nothing, and do it within a weeks time frame. President Vest did not tell me where they were going until last week. Consequently, I have spent lots of time in Harrisonville and Shawnee since last Friday.
Harrisonville is a small town about 40 minutes south of the Mission Office. Shawnee is about 40 minutes Southwest of the the Mission Office. It is about 40 minutes between the two towns. For the past three days I have driven that circle once every day. Delivering furniture or signing leases or dropping stuff off to other missionaries along the way. I take furniture from vacant apartments and the storage facility (irreverently called the Bat Cave) that we have for furniture under the Stake Center here in Independence. And if need be, we buy used furniture first and new furniture second. The apartments become a blend of old, new and a mish-mash of colors. The mission handbook for the housing coordinator actually says to buy used furniture. It is a trick to buy good used stuff that doesn't smell like smoke or body parts or isn't falling apart but it does save the church thousands of dollars.
All of the above is an introduction to the story I am about to tell you. I have used my P-days (preparation day or day-off is Saturday) as work days since we arrived because of the demand. Yesterday was another one of those days. I took Sister Seaman with me. She likes to go with me and I love her company. It can be lonely traveling the bush country of Missouri. Anyway, I loaded the trailor with 3 washing machines and 3 dryers and a chest of drawers. I buy the washers and dryers at a new/used appliance store. They re-build them there and it is a BIG place full of all kinds of used stuff that smells like smoke and cats. We headed for DeSoto, Kansas (10 miles further than Shawnee), where a new area was opened for missionaries last week. We dropped off a chest of drawers and a washer/dryer combo. The missionaries weren't there, so I had to do the hauling and the install. The dolly is my best friend. Next stop, Harrisonville, where we dropped off a washer/dryer combo in the new apartment where the missionaries from Georgia will live starting tomorrow. I did manage to get missionaries to help me move the washer/dryer upstairs. We bought them lunch because they hadn't eaten. They often skip meals because they spend their money on something else. Had to switch out the dresser there because Sister Seaman said it was unacceptable. It was. Had to buy a new one there. Next stop was in Blue Springs MO. Washer to a set of Elders. I hauled the new one in the house and the old one out. I did the hook-up while the elders watched. I was getting frustrated by this time. It was 4:00pm and I had missed the dead line for delivering a dryer to some Sisters in the same area. I called them and they said that they were at an appointment and couldn't come back to let me in. I hung up and started for home. I didn't get far when I decided that I would call back and see if I could get a key from them, wherever they were, so I could finish. No answer. Headed for home. Phone rings, it's them. Did they miss a call? Yes they missed a call, and it was too late I was already headed for home. Maybe next time. Maybe next time? At that point, I would not have driven anywhere for them. I was so frustrated.
My dear sweet companion is telling me not to be angry, after all I was late. And that was my Saturday. I had to do some serious thinking about it. As the evening went by, my dear sweet companion thought I was mad at her. I wasn't. Just frustrated that I had failed which depresses me.
Today is a new day and I have resolved a few things. One of them is this. The missionaries are here to preach the gospel, not spend all day waiting for an old man to deliver a washer or dryer as important as that can be. The missionaries are very young and inexperienced. They are expected to act like mature adults and preach the gospel. They are really just kids. I did not help them much. I am asking for forgiveness and I will do better next time. This is the Lord's work and it is a miracle every single day. What a great life.
|Lights at the Visitors Center will|
come down soon. Too dang cold to worry about now.
|We've got mail!|
|Love notes from Show Low|
|Look at all this mail!|