Friday, October 25, 2013

Sushi lunch and Sis. Nilsen's B'day

 Sister Nilsen and I found a yummy little Sushi cafe just a block away from the office.  Once in a while we run down there and buy sushi for lunch.  Yummy!!!!  I often get Salmon Make.  It is so good!  John doesn't like sushi so he will either eat what we brought from home or sometimes he gets a good old American hamburger.  One of his favorites.
 Today is Sister Nilsen's golden B'day.  I made a special rice pudding for her with rice, honey, goat's milk and eggs.  She is allergic to so many things that this was what I thought of.  It turned out really good and luckily she LOVED it.  I made enough for the missionaries to try too, if they were brave enough.  We had a ton of missionaries today because it was Zone Leadership day and all of the zone leaders, Pres, AP's and a few other missionaries were here much of the day.  A lot of the missionaries ended up liking it too.
Exactly at 11:00, the time she was born, we sang Happy Birthday to her.  First we sang in French and then in English.  We also gave her some nice gifts.  I think her day went really well.

 I also made lots of chocolate chip cookies for the Elders and Sisters.  They went like wild fire.  I barely had a chance to take a picture.  I was saving these for the Elders who helped me pack up zone orders this week.
 After their training, the missionaries came up and sang Happy Birthday to Sis. Nilsen.  You can see Pres. Patrick on the far right and his wife on the left in a red jacket.  It was so nice that they remembered her on her special day.

Monday, October 21, 2013


A funny story from our babysitting adventure.  On Saturday I made brownies.  I forgot to take a picture, but these from google look about the same.  Anyway, today President's wife came to the office to thank us for taking care of the kids.  She said they were all happy, calm, the house was clean and everything went great.  She was happy and that made me happy.  Then she said that they loved the food that I prepared and they also loved the brownies.  She wanted to know how I made them and did I just use the brownie mix that she left at the house?  I told her that yes, I had just used the brownie mix.  "Well," she said.  "The kids liked yours much better and in fact so did the President.  What was my secret ingredient that I added?"  I laughed and told her it must have been the contest.  As we were finishing up dinner, Dan wondered who would be the lucky one to get the first piece.  When I told him that I hadn't even cut the brownies yet, he said that was even better.  Each person could cut just the size they wanted.  Then the kids said we should have a contest.  I quickly said that yes that my John and I would ask questions and the first person to reach 10 points would be the winner.  We proceeded to ask some very difficult questions; scientific facts, equations, literature questions, mathematical questions etc.  The older kids got all of the answers instantly.  They are all very bright.  Then I had to throw in a few ballet questions for little Emily to be able to get some points.  I asked what a pas de chat was.  She quickly showed me and got a point.  Then I asked what an arabesque was and she and John almost tied.  John was first, so he showed us an arabesque.  We all giggled at his manly attempt.  Then I had Em do it.  Of course hers was perfect, so we gave the point to her.  Everyone agreed that she should have the point.  We laughed and had lots of fun asking questions and the kids giving the answers and trying to beat one another.  It was a close contest, but John finally won.  We all applauded.  No wonder those were the best brownies ever.  They had to work to get them.  Haha.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Babysitting Week

This week our mission president and his wife went to Pennsylvania for a mission president's conference.  They asked us to baby sit for four of their children, so we agreed. We packed our things and moved in for several days.  The kids were awesome.  They were so well behaved and they were very quiet too.  They are really very nice and very smart kids.  We had to get up at the crack of dawn every day to get everyone fed and then we drove them to their private school.  Then we went to the office and did our regular office days except we had to leave early to pick them up and take them home from school.  We also needed to take Emily to ballet a few times.
I feel badly that I made a bad decision once though.  One day as we were waiting to get the kids from school, Emily called me and said that she was in the middle of a soccer tournament and that there would be 2 more games.  It would end at 5:15 which meant she wouldn't be able to make it to ballet which is from 5 to 6.  She didn't exactly know which she wanted to do.  I asked her if she was playing in both games and she said, "Yes."  Then I asked her what would happen if she missed ballet and she told me that nothing bad would happen.  I questioned her if there would be points taken away or anything like that and she replied that no there would be no problem.  I couldn't reach the parents and so finally I let her stay and finish playing in the tournament.  It ended up being the wrong decision.  As it turns out, the ballet students are only allowed 3 absences the entire year no matter what the reason or they will be kicked out of the school and she had already had 1 absence due to illness. Her Mom was not very happy that she had missed ballet.  I am so sorry that I made that choice, but I really didn't know what to do.  She is a member of the soccer team and she also is in ballet.  It's too late now, but I sure wish I had known.  
Besides that incident we had a great week.  They family has an interesting way of doing scripture study.  Each day one of the older children picks a verse that seems important to them.  They read it aloud and then talk about the verse and what it means and how it applies to us.  Then we discuss it for a while.  It was a great way to have some great conversations and to emphasize and some important gospel principles each day.  After that we always had prayer.  
Some of the dinners I made for them were Chicken with mushrooms and spaghetti with a white sauce and salad, Pork chops cooked with apples and maple syrup sauce served on mashed potatoes, Loaded Nachos, and Creamed turkey on toast with brownies for dessert.  On Saturday morning I made pancakes and eggs.  They seemed to really like all of the meals.  Each evening a different kid helped with the dishes.  
Saturday we were supposed to go to the Biodome and Planetarium together, but John had hurt or pulled his Achilles tendon and has been barely walking all week so we couldn't go.  However, their parents allowed them to go by themselves and so we just drove them there and picked them up.  They had a wonderful time and enjoyed seeing everything.  
We had a great week, but oh so busy with the office work and all.  Also, I had kind of forgotten how much work it is to take care of a family and do everything else too.  I am tired today.

A few weeks ago we were asked to teach the temple prep class.  Here are our students.  We have only had 2 classes so far, but it's going really well.  The class members even take notes.  We are enjoying teaching this little group.

 Today was the children's Sacrament program.  Here is a picture of our tiny Primary.  Four families are represented here although I think there are a couple more on the roll.  The branch we are attending now is a little, struggling branch.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mid Transfer

This week we had an extra transfer.  We had 6 new missionaries come in, all of them will be Chinese speaking missions.  Above are 4 of the Chinese speaking missionaries who met at the office for transfers and were so excited to see each other.  "Our family is together again!"they exclaimed.  One of them is the great grandfather, then the grandfather, the father and the newest one.  I love how they all consider themselves family.  The father is the original trainer and so on.  Of course now all of them will be trainers.   The work does go on.  We are having quite a few people getting baptized in the Montreal Mandarin Branch and now we will have 2 new areas opening up in Ontario.

The first time I got Chinese name tags, which I myself ordered, in all Chinese characters, I was so excited for the missionaries to be able to get them.  However, just a moment later I thought,  "Oh no. Now which tag goes to which missionary?  Haha..  I can't read Chinese.  They have to figure it out themselves.

These Chinese missionaries are from France, originally China but now Ca, U.S., Canada and Switzerland.  It's so fun for me to get to know Elder Riff.  He is actually the best from of one of our French Sisters from our last mission in France/Belgium.  Soeur Fritch is now married and has a little boy of her own, but they still remain good friends.  If's fun to have so many connections with people that we already know and people that we become friends with on the mission.
Each day those that live near the office come in to check for mail and to do e-mails.  Elder Fontaine from France, Elder Smith from Provo and Elder Fernandez from Toelle are some of those that come in quite often.  They are all awesome missionaries.
                                               Elder Renier in the middle is from Canada
                Sisters Ryser from Germany and Sister Zelaya  are always so cheerful and friendly.  I love to
                                     see them every day and to get a big hug from them.