Last Sunday we attended the Alief Ward which is about 15 or 20 miles southwest of us. We were able to spend a few minutes with the Bishop and also the ward employment specialist reviewing the candidates we have on our list. It is really important that the quorums and the relief society are doing their part to help the unemployed. Later in the evening we took some peanuts to the other missionary couple in our apartment complex, the Greenwoods and visited with them. They are on a family history mission and work in the Clayton Library down town. Elders Blair, Chacon, and Pehrson came by to pick up their pants that Leona has been altering for them and to pick up some peanuts. We got a box of peanuts from the peanut butter factory a while back - more than we will ever eat. They are really good. I think of Jerold every time I eat them or the peanut butter cookies or peanut butter brownies that we get on Mondays at the mission office.
Monday we were at the Employment Office at Hafer Road so we were able to go to lunch with the Mission Office couples. It was fun to visit with them - such good people. One couple lived in Damman, Saudi Arabia for a year while we were there, but did not recognize them.
Tuesday we were back at the Bering building. One young man came in who was an experienced auto mechanic and electrician. His English was very good, but his computer skills were a bit lacking. We sat at the computer with him and helped him find a couple of job leads. The very first one he called was for an auto mechanic and they wanted him to come the very next day to talk with them about their job opening. That was exciting. I have also been contacting some of the people who I used to work with at Shell just to network and see what engineering jobs might be out there for some of our engineering candidates.
Wednesday and Thursday we made contact either via email or phone calls with some of our candidates to check on the current job status. Some are making better progress than others - just depends on how much work they are willing to put into their job search. We had another lawyer contact us, he had lost his job in San Antonio and moved to Houston hoping to find work. Our other lawyer did get a job within a few weeks so I hope this fellow does the same.
Yesterday, Friday, we spent almost the whole day at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Institute. MD Anderson is one of the world's leading research, teaching, and treatment facilities. The whole medical complex is huge. It is like a small city, many multi story buildings all clustered together. The nurses and doctors that I met were quite impressive. The first doctor that visited with me (after a long wait) told me "after reviewing your records and talking with my colleagues, you do not really want to see me". He deals with those who have had or need to have major bladder surgery. So he referred me to a Urologist. The Urologist that will be handling my treatment while we are in Houston is the Deputy Chairman and Professor in the Dept of Urology. As the nurse was explaining who he was, etc I pictured in my mind the typical college professor - the nerd. Well sure enough the doctor had the slicked back hair parted in the middle, bow tie (yes that is right), and the "look over the top" glasses. I just about laughed, but he was very good, very informative and they really do try to tailor each treatment regimen to the patient. Anyway, I had another cystoscopy, boy are they fun. The equipment they have must be top of the line. I was able to see a small monitor next to the table I was on and the doctors (2 of them) were looking at the big screen behind me and of course "driving" the "TV camera" all over the place. Most of the time it was not to bad but the "going and coming" felt like the TV camera you see on the nightly news! The one doctor said she could not even see where the tumor had been removed and they both commented on how good my bladder looked. In as much as I have now only seen the inside of one bladder, I thought it looked very good also. I am scheduled for the next series of BCG treatments starting next Friday and continuing for three weeks - oh what joy - I can hardly wait - but as the medical team all remind me it sure beats the alternatives. So brothers make sure you get your yearly lab work done and prostate checked. I will go in the last of the month to have another dermatology check. The MD Anderson folks told me that my melanoma was not really melanoma but was "mela" something or other, and that I should continue to be checked, and that all my siblings and children should be on the look for possible issues themselves - very much a heredity thing. So get checked!
The weather seems to be a bit less humid and the temps are in the high 80's so it does feel a bit better.
We love our mission experience and are really blessed to be able to serve. Thanks for your love and support.
Love Elder and Sister Walker (Mom & Dad)
PS I thought this school sign was kind of neat "Holy Ghost School" first line "Welcome back God".