Saturday, August 22, 2009

2nd post

It has only taken me about 45 minutes to start this note for the week. My skills at blogging are not well honed at this point - maybe after 23 months (ya think!).
We invited the missionaries (threesome, and Elder and Sister Greenwood) that live here in our apartment complex over for ice cream last Sunday. It was nice to visit with them. The young elders seem like really good missionaries, I hope they invite me to go with them some evening.
On Sunday we attended the Mission Bend Ward in Sugarland. We have been asked to attend a different ward in our area each week so folks can get to know us and to promote use of the employment centers. It seems there are a fair number of members who are currently unemployed but not many have a pressing immediate need for help. Maybe as a church we are better prepared to care for ourselves for the short term. Anyway we did talk to some about their employment concerns. It seems each ward has its own little quirks. In this ward at least a 1/3 of the brethren had beards, some with real Santa-type whiskers! On our way back home we drove out past the Shell Westhollow Technology Center. That is where I use to go on my business trips to Houston 3 or so times a year for several years.

On Mondays we are up at the Hafer Road employment office. We have staff meetings and some training from the center manager, Steve Stotts and the assistant manager, Alex LaMar. The Mission Office is right next door so it is nice to see some of the other senior couples in our mission (the senior couples in our apt. complex are in the Houston South Mission). Monday evening we invited the other senior couple in our apt. complex, the Haywards, over for ice cream and a visit. They go home (Colorado) in a couple weeks. They are very nice folks, just real quite. They have a married son and two single daughters who live in this area so they visit with family often on the week ends.

We are at the Bering building (church house on Bering Drive) on Tuesdays. Our office is in a large clerks office. They have an old computer, printer, files, & etc for us. It is actually a nice set up. We have keys to the whole building, so we have access to rooms for teaching, interviewing and what ever we need. Brother Alex LaMar is with us all week for more training and to help us get situated in our new surroundings. We worked on the old files and started to get things organized so we can find stuff.

Back to the Bering building on Wednesday. More training on the audio/visual aids part of our Career Work Shop responsibilities. A non-member woman came into the center for help today. She spoke pretty good English - thanks goodness Alex was with us. He was born in Columbia, but has lived in the USA for most of his life. Anyway he is so good at helping folks see how they can help themselves, including speaking English even though it is hard for the candidates at times. The woman seemed so thankful for the suggestions and information and help Alex provided.
We went to the Broadway building (church house on Broadway) 0n Thursday. It is about 15 miles southeast of our apartmen and is the oldest LDS church building in Houston. It is also the stake center for one of the Spanish Stakes. The building is well maintained. Our office (stake clerks office) is smaller but we have all the facilities we need. Alex has been in stake leadership positions over the many years he has lived in Houston, so he knows lots of people and history of the growth of the church in this area. He has many interesting stories to tell. All the buildings have tile floors in the kitchen, hallways, and multipurpose room areas. Much better for food clean up (Leona tells me) and all the buildings we have been in so far have multiple rest room facilities, like 3 or 4 different ones. For those who know about the Newark building (stake center) there is only ONE rest room facility (one men's and one women's). Also the parking lots at all these building are huge. When I told Alex about our Newark building he said it was because the Stake President did not "demand" the additional facilities. Well I know for sure there were many requests, but no action from the building department except no.

Friday we were back to the Bering building. We worked on files and made some contacts with some of our newest candidates (phone calls and emails). Right now we look for appropriate jobs on various websites and then contact the candidates to see how they are doing and what progress they have made. Then we suggest where they might look for a job that may be a fit for them. It is a bit of a slow process, but we are getting our files and spreadsheets organized so we are better at what we are doing. After we left the office we drove up to the temple. It is about 25 miles north of the Bering building and the Bering building is about 3.5 miles north of our apt. The temple is small, but beautiful. They run sessions every hour and there were about 16 on our session. The temple is in a very nice area. In fact the main road just to the north of the temple property is lined with homes that are larger than the temple, some much, much larger - unbelievable. We could hear thunder during the session and the lights flickered a couple of times but did not go off. The storm was going basically south so on the way home it was in front of us. I have never seen lightning like we saw. The lightning would go horizontally across the sky, it was really spectacular. We got home without any incident and never did have to drive in the rain, which is a good thing especially on the very busy freeway's here.
It remains very warm, in the 90's and very humid 90% most all day. But we are thankful to be able to serve and pray we will do what is expected of us at all times.
Love, Dad (Elder Walker)

Brayden Walker - Mike & Niki's latest addition - born 8/12/09


Jessica said...

Nice to hear they're keeping you busy. I was hoping for a weigh-in update! Love you.

Derek said...

How come you have a picture of Brayden at home and I don't . . .hello Michael! Glad you are able to go the the temple--maybe you could run in that neighborhood? Take care!