Sunday, October 11, 2009

9th Post Sunday, Oct 4 - Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009

Another week gone by already and all is well in Houston. We thoroughly enjoyed conference last weekend. We watched it on our computer at the apartment both Saturday and Sunday. I am very grateful for modern technology that allowed me to dress "casual" and be at home to see conference. So many words of counsel and powerful testimonies shared. I especially was touched by Elder Holland's testimony on the Book of Mormon. I look forward to reading the talks in the Ensign next month. Sunday evening we went to Elder and Sister Greenwood's apt. for peach cobbler and ice cream and a nice visit. Sunday was also a special day for our beautiful Granddaughter, Jenette Pratt. It was her eighth birthday and she was baptized between sessions of conference. Christine and Derek and their family were able to be there and participate in that special day and we are thankful for that.

Monday, the traffic was bad going to the employment center and it took us about one hour to get there. We enjoy being able to be around the other senior missionaries on Monday. We went to lunch with Elder and Sister Dorius. They are proselyting missionaries and are also over the missionary apartments. We were in Saudi Arabia at the same time but we did not meet them while they were there. Anyway, they knew of this Middle Eastern shop and we had chicken that were very tasty and a nice visit with the Dorius'.

Tuesday, we were up at 4:45 to exercise and to a doctor appointment at 7am! Elder Walker keeps me on the move and a TIGHT SCHEDULE! Dr. Poliack will be our family doctor while we are in Houston. He was very nice and it was a beautiful office. We were impressed by nurses, receptionists and labs. We had blood work, chest xrays, ekg's, three immunizations, EAR WASHES, and we didn't have to wait more than a minute for any of the above! It was quite impressive. I hope that we are not doubly impressed by a bill also! Since Tuesday is our late day it worked well for the doctor appointments that we had. At the Bering building (employment center) we met very nice representatives from BYU, BYUI, and LDS Business College. They came on Tuesday late afternoon to set up for a fireside at 7pm for youth and parents. There were over 700 people that came, the place was packed. The fellow from BYU is not married so I wrote Aimee Vincent's name and phone and email on a card for him! The sister from BYUI visited with us for awhile. She has been working there for about 16 years and lives in St Anthony. She came back to visit after they had set up and brought us BYUI gifts - fleese blanket and small flashlight. She said that she would take a letter back to David and Raquel so we quickly wrote a note and gave her a hug to give to them when she returned on Friday.
After the fireside we met President Perez, Stake President of the Houston Texas West Stake (Spanish). He told of us of his concern for those who are here without proper documentation and their employment needs and welfare. It is sad. He said that a young man in the stake, who is now a missionary did not have the experience of the MTC because he is without proper documentation and does not have a drivers license so can not get on an airplane. He came with his parents when he was about seven years old. His dad was sick so they came on humanitarian papers for medical help. Well, his dad died and he and his mother just stayed. I don't know where he is serving his mission, I assume it is close by and his mission president is giving his MTC training. I am sorry too that he was not able to have the MTC experience. My heart aches for those who do not have proper papers and employment that they need so badly. I pray for them and the many others who have so many needs. We are truly blessed. I am grateful for this mission experience and the fine companion that I have, how I love him.

Wednesday was just a normal day at the Bering building. Read a lot on BJM (between job ministries) and about job leads. It is hard to try to match them with our candidates because we don't know exactly what they are looking for or qualified to do but we keep trying. We did discover that one of our candidates has found work and another is in school full time now so that is good news and of course we celebrate with them. On our way home from work we received a call from Michael telling us that Niki's mother was very ill and had been taken to the hospital. He called back later telling us that she had died. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and Niki's father and siblings.

On Thursday we were thankful to arrive at the Broadway building and find the phones and Internet working! The room was still filled with boxes needing to be taken to the Bishop's storehouse though. A couple came in for help on starting their own business. She had made a small table centerpiece to show us. She had done a nice job and we referred her to Steve Stotts, who teaches that class. On the second Thursday night of each month we have to return to the center for a ward and stake employment specialists meeting. Elder Walker had to teach one of the classes again and he did a great job. It was a full day and a late night.

Friday was Elder Walker's last BCG treatment for another six months. He felt pretty lousy for the rest of the day. He was running a fever in the evening. Kept saying it was cold and we needed more BLANKETS - I knew he was sick! BLANKETS, we did not need! Instead I gave him Aleve.

Saturday, Steven felt a lot better. We did some laundry and then at 11:30 we went to the Clayton Library. This is where Elder and Sister Greenwood work, cleaning very old books and records and scanning them and sending them to SLC and from there they go on line. This is a great tool for family history research. There were other senior missionaries there from the Houston South Mission we had lunch together and had a tour of the process. It was a fun day and we met more missionaries.

We are enjoying our mission and just being here together. We take turns being senior companion - I am very good at letting Elder Walker know when it is his turn. We have had a great week!
Love, Mom & Dad

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