Sunday, August 18, 2013

St. Lawrence River.

 A few weeks ago the Howards and we took a leisurely Saturday drive along parts of the St. Lawrence river.  Quebec is split along its southern latitudes by the St. Lawrence river, one of the longest rivers in the world.  The St. Lawrence is the gateway to North America and the Great Lakes and flows all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.  It is surprisingly wide.  Ships come to Montreal via the St. Lawrence and we often drive past the locks.

 The Howards are the CES couple and they run the institute program here.  We often take a Saturday drive or have some fun outing with them.  They are a very fun and interesting couple that we enjoy spending time with.  They also both have a great sense of humor so we get to laugh a lot too.

 We stopped at this Drive-in which you can't drive through. Haha.  The food was good though.

There are quite a few little harbors along the way with lots of boats docked there.

We have been so busy as usual.  Last week we went to 2 zone conferences.  One of them was in Quebec City.  Tomorrow we have to drive back almost to Quebec City to get one of the mission cars out of impound.  One of the missionaries was wrongly stopped by a police officer.  He, the policeman, told the elder that he was illegally driving because he didn't have a Quebec license after being here more than 3 months.  He impounded the car, gave the elder a huge fine, and left the 2 missionaries on the side of the road.  Luckily zone leaders were in a city not too far away and were able to pick them up.  It has been a real runaround and big problem for a month already.  John and also the mission president have been on the phone with the legal department in Salt Lake and with various agencies here in Montreal and Quebec City.  The Elder absolutely was legal, but it will take a while for all of the paperwork to be approved, signed and sent here.   Meanwhile John is the only one with power of attorney to get the car out of impound.  And so tomorrow morning we drive there to get the car.  Then we turn around and back track and drive in the opposite direction to go to Ottawa for a zone conference which will be held on Tuesday.  Thursday is another zone conference.  In between, we go to the office to catch up on the multitude of tasks there.  I'm not complaining.  I'm happy to be serving the Lord, but it is a lot of work.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Birthday and Transfer Day

 I had my birthday clear back in June, but have been too busy to even blog about it.  I had the most wonderful few day.  I received so many texts and cards and calls that it blew me away.  I am so blessed.  Elders McCook and Smith called me on the phone and were talking to me.  Then they asked me if I could go downstairs for a minute.  I did and when I got there, they sang happy birthday to me and presented me with this Cannoli, "From the best bakery in Quebec."  They were several days early, but that was because they wanted to be the first to give me wishes.  I was so happy and excited and appreciative and it was delicious.
 Elders Ruby and Wilber helped me get zone orders ready and packed.  We had a good time together laughing and talking.  Sadly a few days later Elder Ruby got a phone call that his grandpa had passed away.  We have now had about 6 missionaries with that sad phone call.
                        Here's a photo of the delicious Cannoli and what is in the ice cream box?
 Yes, it's banana "birthday" bread from Elders Ruby and Wilbur.  Is there a better way to transport yummy bread?
 At transfer time last week these 4 all moved away.  Elders Wilbur & Ruby and Sisters Bolanos & Bourdon.  I will miss seeing them every day, but they are needed elsewhere. Transfer time is always exciting.  Which missionaries will move? Which will stay?  Who is going home?  Who are the new trainers.  All four of the above will be training newcomers this transfer.  I love the shot below of the bear hug.  I love how all of the Elders give each other a huge hug when they meet, even if it's a brand new Elder coming into the mission who doesn't know a soul.  Each Elder always get a big hug from the others.  These missionaries truly love other and they especially love serving the Lord.  The Sisters get a handshake except with each other, of course.
Transfer time was so, so hectic and busy for me.  I had to get supplies to fill 10 new apartments and also phones for all of the new missionaries.  I also had to get the zone orders filled and packed up.  That along with the regular duties of answering phones, billing insurance, writing letters, etc. etc. was A LOT.  In addition, we have a new president and so he has changed a lot of the standard form letters.  Well, actually he changed one and I had to change the rest of them because "Now you know how I like the write the letters and what I want in them.  You will be able to handle the rest,"said the Pres.  We also had to change all of our filing and labels because he also changed the name of the zones.  I had to match everything up to reflect all of the new changes.  John and I also did training of the new missionaries.  As well as all of that, I did the flights for the departing missionaries and arranged and went to a temple session with the departing missionaries.  Whew!  What a busy two weeks!