Some of you may have heard or seen announcements that the East Coast is closed this weekend due to snow......I must say this past week did turn out to be very interesting with more cancellations that usual....Let me tell you how it went.
Monday started out with staff meeting and the President telling us to get ready for a BUSY week. When he starts a staff meeting like that, I know I need to have pen in hand to write down the schedule because there is no way I will remember it unless it is written down. Monday would be farewell dinner for the 9 missionaries leaving for home on Tuesday, Tuesday would be 13 new missionaries arriving and dinner for them, Wednesday would be regular transfer meeting PLUS a 2 hour video training from the general missionary department of the church then making sure all the missionaries got to the correct places with all their luggage, etc. We expected a new missionary couple to arrive on Thursday and we already knew a storm was predicted. Ready, set, GO!
Monday went fairly smooth with the Assistants to the President going to North Carolina to pick up a few missionaries that would be going home and attend the farewell dinner at the mission home. They are instructed to be at the mission home at 4 p.m. but didn't arrive back at the office until 3:55 and the mission home is 30 minutes away. I guess they made it and got some dinner because I didn't hear any complaining from them on Tuesday. We left the office and came home to find some dinner. As I reached under the kitchen sink to get a new roll of paper towels, I noticed water sitting on the bottom of the cabinet and on the top of the paper towel package....indicating some type of a leak. We removed everything from the cabinet and wiped it out with a towel.....and on Tuesday morning I called the rental office to ask them to come fix the leak.
Tuesday when we went to the apartment for lunch the maintenance people came over and found that we had a leak in our disposal and within 15 minutes they had it replaced and we were as good as new!
We returned top the office with plans set to leave about 2:45 to go over to Norfolk to meet the new arrivals and feed them dinner........then things got a little crazy!
The president asked Sister Slater to check on the status of the incoming flight and when we got on-line to check we found that it was delayed by one hour leaving Salt Lake City and the group would only have about 18 minutes to catch their next flight. Sister Slater called Missionary Travel and was told they had a contingency plan for the missionaries......
...From Atlanta they would wait a couple of hours and catch a plane to Detroit, have a 2.5 hour layover and then catch a plane to Norfolk, arriving about midnight. Our plan to serve them Chicken Alfredo, salad, breadsticks and dessert probably wouldn't work very well at midnight. We took a few moments to gather in the President's office and offer a prayer for the safe arrival of the missionaries - hoping and praying that they would be able to catch their connecting flight. Elder Ashton pulled up flightradar24 and was trying to track the plane and us three Sisters in the office were trying to figure out what to do for dinner.....should we prepare sack lunches for them or just snacks?
As we were discussing options, we could see on the internet that the plane from Salt Lake had landed but now they only had 17 minutes to catch their connecting flight. I tried calling the airline to see if they could tell us if the missionaries had made their connecting flight.....because of FFA regulations they could tell me nothing. Sister Slater got a text from the President indicating that he got a text from the airline saying the missionaries were now going to LaGuardia Airport in New York. And the missionaries would arrive at 8:30 p.m. instead of midnight. Sister Slater verified this information with the missionary travel department. And we checked the internet again and found that the "connecting" flight had been delayed by 15 minutes so we thought there might be a chance they would make their flight. So we started our meal discussion again. During the discussion, the phone rang and I answered. It was the Sister from missionary travel and the first words out of her mouth were, "All the missionaries made their connecting flight in Atlanta." We started cheering and thanked her profusely for the good news! Supplies were quickly loaded and we soon all headed to Norfolk, back to plan A. Missionaries arrived, ate some dinner, had an opportunity to teach a lesson to an investigator and get a good night's sleep before transfer meeting on Wednesday. At the transfer meeting I heard President Baker tell the new missionaries that it was literally a miracle that they were in the meeting that morning and said he would tell them about it sometime. So thankful for the Tender Mercies of Heavenly Father in delaying a connecting flight so the missionaries could catch it!
Bikes lined up waiting for new missionaries on Wednesday morning. Elder Ashton gets to put some of the bikes together and others come assembled but he tags them and makes sure they have all their safety equipment - then tags the bikes.
We had about 125 missionaries in the office on Wednesday for the training which followed the transfer meeting. Of course, many of them needed questions answered and help with cars, so it was a little crazy from 2:30 to 4:30 but we only ended up with one duffle bag that got left behind and it didn't have any extremely important items so that will be delivered sometime this next week.
As we left the office Wednesday evening, the air was crisp and cold with a bright blue sky and a bright white moon rising and just a tinge of pink near the horizon.....I love the appearance of the winter sky but the cold....not so much ;-)
Arriving at the apartment on Wednesday evening with the same blue sky - I looked up and was surprised to see how many pine cones were in the top of the tree branches
The new Missionary Senior Couple, Elder and Sister Rands, arrived in Chesapeake on Thursday evening and came into the office on Friday morning to meet us. They are a delightful couple who will be working as MLS (Member/Leader Support) missionaries in one of the branches for a few months and we will be training them to do our tasks when we leave. Since we will have a few months to do that, we should be able to walk them through each of our tasks in a "live" mode, such as actually paying the rent, receiving new cars, going through the annual audit, working car accidents, receiving new bikes, replacing lost debit cards, etc. We are looking forward to having the opportunity to work with them.
In the last few days we have had.....Rain.....
...and ice! - baby icicles on the patio railing.
In fact, due to the ice covered by snow/ice crystals church was cancelled today. I know those of you who have lived in other parts of the country are wondering why there would be cancellations with so little snow, and I have been told it is because they don't have the equipment or supplies to deal with trying to keep the roads and bridges clear of ice and snow. So we are sitting in our 'not so warm' apartment this morning listening to church music and writing to family and friends. Hopefully it will have warmed enough that the Sister Missionaries will be able to make it to dinner as I am cooking a turkey breast with mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables, salad, and Banana Cream Pie.....too much food for Elder Ashton and I to eat alone.
I just had to post this picture of all the cars in the parking lot with their "antennae" sticking out. This is required to keep the windshield wipers from freezing to the window :)
We are still having a great time! But as we shiver back here in this icy weather, I'm thinking I just might like the feel of almost 100 degrees when we arrive back in Arizona in early May :) Happy Winter from Virginia!