Report to Pres
August 9, 2008
The week of August 3rd was very exciting because it was our first Transfer Week in the mission. We came on a transfer week, but were part of it, not affected by it. We got away a little late last night after taking care of all the last-minute needs and challenges. This was the view at the end of our driveway as we turned into it from the office.
First, I am amazed that anyone, you or the Assistants, could organize such a complex logistical event and not loose someone or something in the process. Getting missionaries from city to city is quite a job, but it is complicated by the need to keep each missionary in a companionship and the fact that traveling companions may not be going to the same city. The Visa Trip schedule and the missionaries that are going home or coming into the mission further complicate this. And this is all contingent on getting the right missionary in the right town for the Lord’s purposes that may not be clear at the time of planning. WOW. Who ever plans these sure has my admiration.
Second, I am constantly surprised and delighted by the missionaries themselves. They are among the most intelligent, confident, insightful, and genuinely nice people I have ever met. The office elders’ skills and strength surprise me constantly, but I get used to it. Finding that all of them qualify for that accolade is most surprising and delightful.
Third, I want to specifically praise elder Fry. At first he seemed just quiet, competent, and skilled. As I worked with him over the transfer, I saw depth of thought and kindness that I had overlooked. I overheard his reply to someone over the phone one day that startled me. The caller had apparently used the current phrase, “You’re lying”, to which he said with some sternness, “I never lie.” I believe that. I think he has the depth of character required to make such a statement, and I shall miss him very much.
Our apartment is becoming home and with a couple of exceptions, it is very comfortable, if a bit beat-up. We are investigating a larger refrigerator. The one we have now is 60x60x130 cm and is just too small for the food we have to buy to keep feeding the missionaries. Besides, it needs defrosting every 2 weeks and is iced-up again already. We are considering buying our own and donating it to the mission. That will require our returning the small one to the landlord or storing it in the sunroom.
I have been doing some repairs for the missionaries that came out during our apartment inspections this week. I repaired two fans and ordered the new wooden slats for sister Cropper’s bed from President Gushin so the mattress won’t sag. I can do other repairs, but I need a source for parts. I’m on the lookout. I hope the zone leaders are actually doing apartment inspections. There is one apartment in another city (can’t remember the name) that has an inoperable stove and refrigerator that stops regularly. These need to be addressed by those zone leaders.
We have been feeding the missionaries, including those passing through and our record for bodies around our little kitchen table is 8; 6 missionaries and two of us. We also hosted the zone meeting this Friday and enjoyed the 19 elders and sisters in our home. They were all fed with an old Hawaiian recipe meatball soup, veggies, coleslaw, and jello-lemon cake. They all seemed well fed. The lesson was on using the Questions of the Heart to contact and find the elect. Well done. The video is the opening song of the meeting. It will make you cry.
We are happy in our assignment and working hard to be of service to the Lord, you, and the missionaries. We hope that you will tell us if there is more or something different that we should do.
Elder & Sister Simmons