Sunday, 30 April 2017

We went to church in Macon this Sunday. The two hours were taken up by Jordan Hardy (I may have his name wrong.). He spoke about pornography and addiction. He showed how the porn industry has followed the example of tobacco to hook young people, especially teenage boys. Children as young as six are being exposed at home via the internet.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

So Sister Chadwick's topic of discussion at zone conference was burning ceremony. We have found evidence of burning in the form of pots black on the inside and we had heard various rumors. It came to a head last week in an apartment we were cleaning. The louvers in the door to the furnace closet were coated with black lint. There was black soot on the edges of the carpets and on the overhead fans. We questioned the landlord about the possibility of a malfunctioning furnace but it's electric so it doesn't generate soot. She suggested candles but we saw no sign that the elders had been burning candles. Suddenly, we knew! Burning Ceremony.

So in the zone conference, Sister Chadwick said, "Who can tell me about the burning ceremony?" You never say a more chagrined group of elders in your life. No one spoke up. She said, "I know you know. Tell me." An elder stood up and said, "A tie is burned at six months, a shirt at 12, a pair of pants at 18 and a whole suit at 24." She went on to teach them the dangers of doing the burning ceremony inside or near a building. Later, an elder came up to her and said, "I'm glad you didn't take away our burning ceremonies."

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Yesterday President Grayson ask if there was anything we wanted to talk about at zone conferences. We decided that bed bugs and burning ceremonies should be discussed. So we ran a few errands in the morning including taking the trailer for service before a wheel falls off on I75 and left the office about 11. We left early to go to Andersonville and Providence Canyon.

Andersonville is the site of a Civil War prisoner of war camp and is now a National Historic Site and is the location of the National Prisoner of War museum:

If you want to understand the sacrifice and suffering of war, go to this museum. And not just at Andersonville where for 14 months, 45,000 Union soldiers were held and 13,000 died but during all of the wars of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

On a happier note, we went to Providence Canyon near Lumpkin, GA. Here are some pictures:

The red is the Clayton formation deposited in the early Cenozoic and the white is the Providence formation deposited in the late Cretaceous. The canyon is an erosional feature exacerbated by poor farming practice in latter part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century. It's as deep as 150 feet. While it's small, it is spectacularly colorful.

Monday, 24 April 2017

An office day. I've been working to build a data base of all the apartments in the mission including mission, landlord, lease, and utility information. I hope to then use the database to create information about each apartment as we need it such as when leases are due. A problem that I hadn't dealt with was how to get the information from one workbook into another. Today I found the formula online and was able to move data from one to another. Now I need to figure out how to easily switch from one apartment data to another.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Because there are so few member in the Forsyth Group, everyone, especially the missionaries, get to speak frequently in Sacrament meeting and we have High Council speakers more than once a month. Today's high councilman was Randy Thompson whose topic was, "What do you think of Christ." He recounted some of his experiences as a missionary in Mexico. After two days of teaching in a small village and walking a five-mile goat trail to catch a bus, he and his companion contemplated their efforts and whether Christ might have walked there. They decided that when you were doing His bidding, you walked where Christ walked.

The Forsyth sisters, Hobbs and Olcott, had an investigator in the hospital in Macon so we brought them home with us, feed them, and took them to the hospital to visit the lady.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Dorothy's foot is doing well so I returned the roller walker. After several weeks of traveling, the mission van is covered with insects and dust so I spend the better part of an hour cleaning it.

Tonight is the chili/chocolate cook-off at the the Macon Ward of which the Forsyth group is part. I made a chocolate cake with boiled icing.

Got a bed bug call from Rincon. Repeated the now standard procedure: spray the mattresses and box springs, vacuum every crack and cranny, wash every piece of washable clothing in as hot as possible water and dry at the highest possible temperature, other clothing put in black plastic bags and leave in the sun for several hours, do the same with everything else in the infected room(s), spray everywhere and hope for the best.

Friday, 21 April 2017

First call this morning is from the Lenox Apartments in Augusta. They complain that we're sending in the rent too early and messing up their bookkeeping.

Off to the dump. I had suggested that I go while Sister Chadwick got her hair cut this morning but she wanted to go with me. We dispose of the trash from the trip this week but had to wait while two bubbas conversed outside their pickups before we could back into the area for unloading the trailer.

I am actually able to back the trailer. The wonders one learns in the mission field.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

We are fortunate that today is garbage day in Milledgeville. We are unfortunate that we have more trash from the apartment than the collectors are allowed to take on one day. We have to leave some to be put out next week.

The trailer is packed to capacity: two dryers, one washing machine, twelve mattresses and box springs (I not sure how they break down but there are three mattresses and two box springs in the Milledgeville apartment.), two desks, two dressers, a sofa, two hassocks, a table, three chairs, a bunch of other stuff just from this apartment. That doesn't account of excess stuff we collected yesterday including the ping pong table and foam filled sofa.

The assistants to the president help me unload at 7 P.M. except for a dryer and a washing machine, the aforementioned "sofa" and ping pong table and a desk that Sister Chadwick adopted.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Up at 4:30, on the road at 5, get to Macon at 5:45, get into the storage facility at 5:52 behind someone who has a way to open the gate before 6 A.M., get the bike rack, wait 2 minutes at the gate for 6 o'clock to roll around and the system will allow me to open the gate, back in Milledgeville at 6:45, spent the rest of the day in Augusta and the corner of South Carolina that is the northeast corner of the mission.

We find a ping pong table in the North Augusta apartment. It takes up the entire living room. I confiscate it and leave the love seat from Gray. In addition, the elders have a "sofa" sort of thing about 6 feet long and 4 feet wide, red, filled with broken up pieces of foam, with a split down the middle oozing foam. We put the contents and the sofa into three plastic construction bags. One of the elders lies on the bag and sucks the air out with a vacuum. The collapsed bags goes into another bag with two other bags and get tied closed.

Here's Sister Chadwick and an elder filling the bag:

Here the elder getting the air out of the bag:

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Packed the van and trailer. A sister in Gray, GA gave us her mother's large couch and love seat which we traded for beds. The elders in Gray loaded them into the van. I am generally only able to get things moved with the help of whatever missionaries are currently assigned to an area.

We stay overnight in the Milledgeville apartment. At about 9:50 P.M. I remember that I am supposed to bring a bike rack for the sisters in Cooker Springs.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Most of today was spent planning for this week trip to the east, Milledgeville, Augusta and Aiken, SC. We're vacating an apartment in Milledgeville and taking a bunch of stuff to missionaries.

Sunday, 16 April 2017—Easter

Thirty-six people at church in Forsyth, the most we seen since going to sacrament meeting there. Only missionaries spoke. I played the keyboard. I have difficulty with electronic keyboard. The touch is so difference. Even hymns I know well, I struggle with.

After church we took an former member to meet with the Macon Bishop and then drove her home in Forsyth. She is now scheduled for re-baptism.

We had broiled salmon and new potatoes and peas. I used fresh spring Vadalia onions in with the potatoes and it was excellent.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

It's Saturday evening and I'm just getting a chance to write in this blog. It's been a busy week. Tuesday all of the senior missionaries meet with President and Sister Grayson in the mission home. There are four military relation couples, two member leadership support couples, two office couples and a nurse, seventeen total. The major topic of discussion was how to keep young soldier who join the church connected with the church when they move on to other assignments.

Immediately after the meeting, Sister Chadwick and I got the van/trailer and headed for Albany. We bought a blowup bed recently and so just stayed in the empty apartment. Worked great. Wednesday we spent most of the day moving furniture into the trailer and throwing out stuff with the help of the remaining Albany elders. Then we cleaned the apartment and returned the keys. We owe two months rent and the lease is broken. Onward to Valdosta where we stayed the night in what had been a sisters' apartment.

Sister Chadwick has been testing the washing machine and dryer by using them. The washing machine door hinge was broken and while she could get it to work, I exchanged the washing machine from Albany for the broken one in Valdosta. We threw out the couch which had a dictionary for a leg and rips in the material for two good lounge chairs from Albany. Cleaned the apartment. One of the things we begin doing when we close an apartment, either permanently or temporarily, is to remove all food. Food in unbroken containers we offer to missionaries remaining in a district or we've brought a bunch home thinking we'll offer it to a local food bank/kitchen.

On to Douglas and what had been the Douglas Spanish Elders' apartment. Along the way we went through Lakeland, GA. Probably half of the buildings in downtown Lakeland had murals painted on the outside wall. Various themes that reflect the town history and culture. Most the the murals appeared to include people who worked or came to the building including the students in a school. It was pretty neat.

That evening in Douglas, the other six missionaries (The zone leaders and four sisters) in Douglas came over and scavenged food and other stuff including a pair of shoes that fit one of the sisters perfectly and a Jango game. Sister Thatcher said, "I think I can use this for an object lesson." Sister Chadwick pinky swore them to not leave any of it in their apartments when they were transfered.

We started out on Tuesday with a bunch of light bulbs but in every apartment we had to either replace or add bulbs to provide adequate lighting. After Douglas, they are all gone. We been able to get LEDs for less than $3 and have been only installing LEDs to both reduce electricity costs and not have to replace them for a decade.

We stopped in McRae to see Sister Jacobson who we got to know in Forsyth. It was her first transfer after six month in the mission field and she has had a difficult time. We brought news of an investigator who is making good progress and I think just talking made a difference for her.

Next in Dublin, we delivered a couple of bath mats and a set of measuring cups and took away a book case, three desk lamps and a boot for a broken foot. We never know what we might find in a missionary apartment. Sisters Braithwaite and Boyer really spruced up their apartment. One of the best we've seen. Something had bitten Sister Braithwaite and she had big red, swollen patches on her arm so I took pictures to show Sister Goff, the nurse. By this morning, Saturday, she was improving.

Sister Chadwick realized that she had only completed half of the washing machine/dryer test in Douglas so instead of doing taxes today, we hit the road to move the wet towels from the washing machine into the dryer, a trip of 220 miles but we could not leave wet clothes for the next five weeks until a new set of elders might be assigned to that apartment. We did buy some newly harvested Vadalia sweet onions and wandered back roads sightseeing and taking pictures on the way home. Here are some of them:

There is a city or county courthouse in every small Georgian town. Most of them are build in a classic style. This is the count courthouse in Abbyville, GA

There is also a church in every town, usually Baptist or Methodist. This is also Abbyville.

One of the things that we have been struck by is the number of ponds and small lakes that seem to be everywhere. The other thing about Georgia is the number of pine trees, mostly loblolly or long leaf. I love that name, "loblolly." It just rolls off the tongue.

Here's another pond with bald cypresses growing in the water.

Some of the fields are not plowed yet and wildflowers are making the most of the opportunity.

Others are plowed ready for, I'm guessing, peanuts or cotton.

We stopped several places to take pictures of wildflowers, bluish, in this case.

Reddish, in this case.

And yellow.

And white.


Monday, 10 April 2017

So this morning I put the ham hocks and turnip greens and a little bit of water in the crock pot and set it to low heat. In the meantime, Dorothy invited the Cunninghams for summer. They came up from Savannah for tomorrow's meeting of senior missionaries with the President and Sister Grayson. Ham hocks and turnips is not something I would normally offer guests not having grown up in the south. They said they liked it.

Elder Cunningham had a stroke about 10 years ago and has had to learn to walk and talk. He has a limp and isn't able to tell about books he has written. Nevertheless, they're serving a mission in a small ward and helping activate members. I imagined one needed to be in excellent health to serve a senior mission given the information dump and tests Sister Chadwick and I went through in the process of preparing for a mission. That's not the case. There's another senior couple in which the sister has been diagnosed with Parkinson's since coming into the mission field. She has difficulty walking but it hasn't prevented them from serving as military outreach missionaries. They expect to serve their full mission.

I also made cornbread. Sister Cunningham asked for the recipe of which there wasn't one. So I guesstimated:

Preheat oven to 375

Grease and flour a pan

1 cup cornmeal

Not quite a cup of whole wheat flour

Maybe a 1/4 cup of sugar

A little salt in the palm of my hand

About a teaspoon of baking powder

About 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Mix well

About 1/4 cup of bacon fat

Mix well

1 egg beaten a little

1 cup of plain yogurt

Mix egg and yogurt

Add to flour and mix

Spread in greased/floured pan

Bake about 25 minutes until a tooth pick stuck in comes out dry

Serve with butter and honey

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Church was in Macon because the hall we use in Forsyth was rented. We fed the Forsyth missionaries and Sister Goff speedy enchiladas before taking the Forsyth companionships home.

What made our day was a call from the elders in Statesboro, GA. It seems their white board marker wasn't marking. In classic missionary thinking, the elder reasoned that he could use centrifugal force to get ink moved to the tip of the marker. He tied a rope (his word) to the marker and began swinging it around. It worked wonderfully spraying ink all over the walls and ceiling. Fortunately, there was some spare paint in the apartment. We've instructed him to try painting over the spots, maybe with two or three coats. I also told him to get some new markers.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Mostly ran errands while Sister Chadwick rested her food. At a farm market I bought a $5 bunch of turnips, maybe ten turnips with the tops. Bought a ham hock. Monday we'll have turnip greens with ham.

Thursday and Friday, 6 and 7 April 2017

Office days. I finally got all of the missionary phones in my phone so that when someone calls I know what apartment is calling. I'm not going to attempt to keep up with transfers, at least not now. We planned to go to Albany and Valdosta next week and close and clean one apartment and clean another which will remain empty until more missionaries arrive from the MTC.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

The first thing we did today was rearrange all of the missionary companionships. There are 168 missionaries in the Georgia Macon mission in 82 apartments. There are seven senior couples and one single senior sister in eight apartments. Rents range from a low of $300 to as much as $1200 per month. With this last transfer, the number of missionaries dropped and we're left with six empty apartments. I'm waiting word from President Grayson on whether to keep them for companionships we may get later or to close out the leases.

I got notices from Georgia Power that they were turning off utilities in two apartments but they turned out to be in the Atlanta North mission. When I spoke with the housing coordinator, I was surprised that she didn't like her job.

Did I mention we found a full size ping pong table in an elders' apartment last week complete with paddles and balls. Not what I would call proselyting material. It filled the living room.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Transfer day. Sister Chadwick stays home to nurse her foot. I deliver bikes and bedding to new missionaries. Take the Forsyth elders home. Take a bed and desk to Warner Robins sisters who have become a threesome. Take two bikes to Bike Tech to be boxed for shipment back to missionary homes.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Six new missionaries arrive today. This small group means that only the Jensens are needed so Sister Goff and the Chadwicks man the office.

Caught up on leases. I'm developing a spread sheet that will have all of the information about apartments broken into four categories: Mission information; Landlord information; Utilities information; and Maintenance information. We currently have this information scattered between various paper files. We have two pieces of paper that has some of the information, an apartment information sheet and a card we keep on the wall to show all of the missionary apartments. Once I get the spread sheet finished, I'm going to build an apartment sheet and wall card that can be created from the spread sheet. When something changes, I can put it in the spread sheet and recreate the apartment sheet and wall card more easily that we're currently doing. I hope.

Saturday and Sunday, 1 and 2 April 2017

I got a rolling knee walker for Dorothy and we have stayed at home today and watched conference. I did go get the Forsyth elders for the Priesthood session and take them home. I particularly enjoyed Elder Bednar's discussion of the difference between a calling and an assignment.

We had an ongoing discussion about the merits of white bread starting with Claire and Theo on Friday. Theo asked if, as part of the vacation to Florida, could they have only white bread. Claire was really not into that but then, as part of the package of BBQ, we got there were four slices of white bread and eight white bread buns. I think Theo ate one slice. I was reluctant to just throw that all away so I brought it home to dry to make bread crumbs and dressing. Dorothy said, "Do you think that will make it any more healthy?" For Sunday dinner we had chicken with dressing make from white bread to which I added an egg and broth so maybe it was a little bit healthier.