Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines Day

 Well another week has passed by so quickly.  We stay so busy at the office and I am so tired when we come home that I hardly have the energy to do much else besides the basics.  Last Saturday afternoon the Howards came over to play games.  I bought these yummy french pastries for us to share.   Sister Howard always brings popcorn.  We have a good time munching on goodies and playing either Mexican Train or Hand and Foot.
 One evening this week we were driving home and I wanted to take pictures of these tents.  All over the streets of Montreal, people put up these tents in their driveways and also on the paths to their front doors.  The tents shelter the cars and the people from all of the snow and bad weather.
 I was surprised the first time I saw a block full of tents, but now we're used to them.  Although winter snows are not gone, quite a few of the tents have been taken down.  I guess the Montrealers are hoping for spring.  I think they have a long wait coming because it's still very cold and just today we had another snow storm.

 This morning we both woke up to find an identical Valentine's card to each other besides some other goodies.  I thought it was so funny.  Of all the cards that we could have gotten, we picked the very same one.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monuments Men

 Today after working at the office we decided to go and see The Monuments Men.  It was a really good film.  This true story was very interesting and I really enjoyed it a lot.
The film follows a platoon of 7 men during World War II who are given the task of saving many great pieces of art as well as other culturally important items before their impending destruction by Hilter.
 I loved seeing the Bruges Madonna and Child and vividly remembered going there to see it in personl when we were in Belgium.  It truly is a beautiful piece of art and one of those that was saved by the men.

 I also remember the gorgeous cathedral which houses the Madonna and Child.  Belgium and France are full of many beautiful cathedrals and churches.  Unfortunately they are now mostly empty except for the tourists.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

New Hampshire

 Last Saturday we went to New Hampshire with Sister Abrams to do some church banking business.  The state is just beautiful.  We passed little rivers like the one above except they were all frozen over.  We saw beautiful little covered bridges and lots of lovely countryside.  I can just image how lovely it is in the spring and autumn.  It has been a lot of fun to visit some of the New England States and to experience how beautiful they are.

 We visited Dartmouth College campus which was also so pretty.  We saw lots of students walking around with skis.  They were either going to classes or just going to have fun.
 We drove through Lebanon and I though that was such an unusual name for a US city.  It is, however, a very lovely little city.   We had a long, busy, but nice day even though we had to drive about 30mph because of the little snow storm that we had to travel through.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Chinese New Year 2014

 Happy Chinese New Year 2014 was on Friday the 31st.  In our mission we have a young Elder who was born in China and came to the US when he was a teenager.  Elder Geng and I have become quite good friends.  About a month ago he gave me a Chinese cook book which I really really appreciated.
About a week and a half ago he came into the office and said to me, "You're Chinese, so you're invited to our ward New Year's Celebration."  I'm not Chinese, of course, but because I was born in Shanghai he likes to think that I am.  We decided that it would be really fun to go.  It was a pot luck, but instead of cooking, I took the easy way out.  I went to a Chinese take-out place and bought lots of Chinese noodles with beef.  I really am not a Chinese cook and besides that we work at the office until after 5:00.  As it turned out, they had sooo much food that I needn't have worried.  There was plenty of delicious food and they kept bringing more and more out.  Also when we were leaving, I saw a ton more food in the kitchen.
 We had such a fun time.  Everyone was very, very, especially nice to us.  When we first got there, the missionaries welcomed us and then we spent quite a long time talking to some of the young adults.  They were so nice and we enjoyed talking to them.  After that we went into the cultural hall.  Of course, we didn't understand a single word of what was going on at the party, but we certainly could tell what was going on.  Also, people would come over, talk to us and translate for us.  Everyone welcomed us, young and old alike.  We sat at a table and several people came over to sit with us, to talk to us, and again translated.  We felt so welcomed and loved.  The cultural hall was a large one and it was full of people.  We later learned that about half of those people were investigators of the church.  It was really impressing.  Some of the ladies were wearing beautiful, long Chinese gowns and some of the men had the Chinese silk shirts.  After the dinner there was a very nice program.  First some little children played the piano and then there was a beautiful violin/piano duet.  The duet played classical Chinese music and it was really lovely.  After that there were some games.  We were so glad that we decided to go.
 All of these photos are from google because I didn't remember to take my camera, but the variety of food was vast.  There were tons of dumplings of different kinds and everyone had their fill of delicious food.  While we were watching and listening to the program, they passed around plates of sunflower seeds roasted with soy sauce for people to munch on.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

New Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 I am beyond excited.  Michael and JaNee had their first little baby.  She's perfect and she's beautiful.  It's a girl and both Mommy and baby are doing fine.
 I don't know why, but I was so nervous for them both.  I spent many an hour praying for their safety and well-being.  Many of my family and friends were keeping them in their prayers too.  Lots of my wonderful young missionaries were praying for them.  I appreciate everyone's prayers and love.
Now I have 18 grandchildren and they are all GRAND!  There are 10 girls and 8 boys and I am one happy, excited, blessed grandma.  Of course, I also remember my two sweet great granddaughters.

Friday, January 17, 2014

A week in January

 Since we have been having such bad weather in Montreal and so much snow, we take the Metro almost every day now.  Luckily the Metro's come very quickly one after the other during rush hour and so we never spend too much time waiting.  Sometimes we will come and a Metro has just left.  The crowds will have looked like this photo, but in just a few minutes another comes along and the crowds are much thinner.  Below is a picture of an empty car which we have never seen in real life.  Even though there are usually a lot of people and the cars are cramped full, the people are very polite.   I have not seen any pushing, shoving, or anything like that.  Often a younger person will stand up and offer me their seat.  I think that is really nice and I appreciate it.  Going into the Metro one must walk down or up  several flights of long stairs in addition to taking a really long escalator.  I hate it when the escalator breaks because those escalators are really long.
 We take the Orange line getting on at Sherbrooke ( in our basement) and gett off at Laurier.  It hardly take any time at all.

 We have been so, so busy in the office.  Last Tuesday night after working all day we went to the Temple.  It is our regular evening to work at the Montreal Temple.  It was unusually busy there and we didn't get home until almost 11:00.  The next day we began our regular day at the office starting before 8:30.  We had to train incoming missionaries in addition to our regular work.  I was also extra busy for a couple of days with two missionaries.  One Sister had to go to the hospital for a suspected appendicitis.  That took several hours of work to get her admitted and then after being there over night she was sent home only to return a few days later for further testing.  She did not have appendicitis, but is being treated for a different problem.  We also had an Elder who slipped on the ice and broke his wrist.  That also was something that had to be dealt with for almost a week before he got the help he needed.  Part of the problem was that he waited to go to the clinic until we told him that he absolutely had to go.  With the medical system here, it also takes a lot of time to be seen and only because a member had some connections was he able to go to a clinic so soon.  Then President asked us to take the three departing missionaries to the Temple.  We were happy to do so.  We love Soeur Houde, Elder Bangerter, and Sister Grossenbach.  They have been awesome missionaries.  Afterwards the President invited us into his home to participate in their Testimony Mtg.  After that they had dessert and after that he asked us to stay and just visit with him and Sister Patrick.  By the time we got home it was 1:00 a.m.  I didn't want to wake up the next morning, but of course I did.

                                   Here we all are after midnight.  You can see our tired faces.

 About a week and a half ago we received notice that our car had a recall on the steering shaft and some other problems.  So today we drove to Plattsburg, New York to have the work done.  The car place had a driver take us to a little shopping center while they worked on the car and they picked us up when it was done.  We did some shopping, some talking, and some reading. After we got the car back we went for a late lunch to Buffalo Wild Wings a new restaurant there at Consumer Square.
                               I loved the poster of the chicken in the car with a seat belt.
                                    Papa had a yummy sirloin tip with horseradish sliders and fries.
I had Asian Style wings that were too hot for me even though they were medium.  Next time I will choose mild.

I am beyond tired this week because I haven't been sleeping well either.  Hope for better sleep next week.
I forgot to say that Elder Arhets has been busy with several accidents.  Our missionaries have been having about 2 accidents a week.  We have been blessed that there have been no injuries.  As I am writing, he is on the phone with some Sisters who just had an accident.  It is now after 9:00 in the evening.  The roads here are very bad and very slick so lots of accidents occur.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Busy Few Days

 Elders Williams and Lopez, our wonderful assistants to the President spent all P-day (Preparation) working hard, hence P-day clothes.    Of course when they come into the office, they have to goof off just a little bit.  This past Saturday was Transfer Day and after spending 6 transfers as an AP Elder Williams is being transferred to Trois Rivier as a trainer.  He is excited to be going.

 Friday was zone council and after all of the meetings the leaders of the 8 zones come to the office to pick up the supplies, packages, and mail for their zones.  Each zone has 2 missionary companionships as their zone leaders.  I always try to make some yummy treat for them.  This time I made Banana Breads, one of their favorites, and also a large package of candies for each team.

 Here is our hallway with part of the zone orders packaged up and ready to go.  I used to pack up all of the zone orders myself, but now that our mission has doubled, I have 2 Elders helping me.  It is still a huge job.
 Today after church we had a little luncheon to say good-by to Patrick Robertson our Branch President.  He and the entire presidency were released because Pres. Robertson got a new job and is moving three hours away to Quebec City.
                                   Marie Lise, Joanne, and Perpetue working in the kitchen.
 This is the new Branch Presidents wife and her little girl.  The baby is in the stroller asleep.
 Here is Patrick with one of his 6 children.  Patrick is from Jamaica and served a mission in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  He just finished school and passed the intensive testing to become  a border patrol and immigration officer.  He only served as president for two months and even then he had to be gone 5 days a week and some week-ends for his schooling which was far from Montreal.  President Patrick said it was quite unusual to have such an arrangement, but that the Stake Presidency was sure that he was to serve in this calling.  He said that if the Lord wanted him to do this work, then of course he would do his very best.  He is an awesome young leader and even though he was gone so much, he fulfilled his responsibility well.  He will be missed.
                                                     Sisters Allard, RS Pres, and Ordonez      
      Some of the kids couldn't wait to eat.  They had to have a few samples as the food was being           prepared and set out.
                                                   Sisters Issacs and Chen Hua
 Our new Branch President Stewart.  He is a great guy.  He is from Montreal and served a mission in France.  He and his family moved into the Branch three months ago from the Spanish Ward.  After being in the Branch for one month, he was called into the Branch Presidency as Second Councilor and now just two months later, he is the President.  I'm sure he will be wonderful.  He gives the best talks and both he and his wife are great people.  He is a brand new teacher this year too.
The Branch is quite small.  Though the numbers are few, the members are awesome.  They have to take on a lot of responsibilities and they doing it willingly and happily.  I took a few photos today of some of the people.
                                        Jarod Issacs and Oliver and Anthony Pardieu
                                                       Leah and Mimi

                                                       Rebecca and Jonathon
                                     The Pacquettes Branch Mission Leader and Primary Pres
                                                            The Pardieus
                                       Brother, Elders Quorum Pres, and Sister Verde and Yoali
                                    On the way home we drive past this Buddhist Pagoda.

                                                       An empty, snowy lot.
                                                       The side of our church.

                               Some of the frozen parks on Sherbrooke as we drive to our apt.