Wednesday, 17 January 2018

We went out the door this morning to more than an inch of snow on the car—first snow we've seen in Georgia. By noon, when we came home for lunch, it had all melted except where shaded. It caused havoc on the roads. Two people were killed in Macon when a car skidded off the road into them.


Sunday, 14 January 2018

700+ miles the previous week, 400+ miles last week, one trip planned tomorrow and maybe another before the week's out. The previous housing coordinators had the office staff and Macon missionaries to supper last week. He commented that they put 50,000 miles on his pickup while they served.

We acquired a new orphan plant, an amaryllis bulb, when we closed an apartment in Valdosta. We have several in the window that have been abandoned by missionaries. We haven't decided what to do with them when we leave. Given that we've acquired a piano that I hate to give up, we're likely to have to rent a truck so there'll be room for the plants.

Whenever we close an apartment, we invite any local missionaries to take what they can use of the food and furnishings. It's easier that loading the stuff, unloading and then storing it. In Valdosta, we got rid of a desk, lamps, books, and chairs. We always admonish the missionaries to get rid of any duplicates that are worn out. Usually, we find the extra stuff tucked out of sight in a closet when we whitewash or close the apartment.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

The start of a new year and we're past the halfway point in our mission.

Since being in Pennsylvania, we came back to a work back load and Christmas so the blog has been neglected. We were only gone three working days. I had no idea how much we have been doing until I saw how much we didn't do in just three days. But this has been crazy for a variety of reason. We're switching missionary companionships in three areas from one apartment to a new apartment. That means closing out the old, finding the new, doing all of the paper work, moving the missionaries and then cleaning the old apartment. Plus there were at least three apartment renewals.

Finding an apartment can be difficult. The Evans Ward in the Augusta Georgia Stake is suburban with few rentals. We lost three opportunities because someone else was able to make a deposit before us. Finally, after two trips to the area, we were able to get an apartment by writing a personal check for the application fee.

Then we have two landlords from which we rent multiple apartments. The complexes changed owners so we needed to establish the new owners as vendors. One would think that getting a simple W9 form with the owner's name and tax ID number with a current date would be a simple thing. It is a simple thing. It's the ... (Put whatever word you want in there.) people they have managing their business that don't seem to know how to successfully fill out a form in a timely manner. Four apartments will have late fees attached because we couldn't get an accurate, timely W9 from landlords.

And, of course, all of the minor housing kinds of things need constant attention—broken dryers is three different apartments, for example.

Then dealing with Sears cost me hours of time on the phone. We've been frugal this year and stayed below budget the entire year and Elder Jensen, the mission financial secretary, suggested we could spent the remainder before the end of the year. I bought 10 vacuum cleaners, 4 dryers, 2 washing machines, and had a dryer shipped to one of the sisters apartments. I made one error. I put the billing address for the credit card as the mission office address rather than the credit card address in Salt Lake. I had at least five different people from the Sears fraud prevention department call. Elder Jensen had to call and confirm. I was told I had 72 hours to resolve the problem. Within 36 hours, the orders were being canceled. Eventually, everything got resolved but I was worried about my blood pressure.

We needed to do a number of things including taking a replacement box springs (One of two bed bug infestations this month) to North Carolina and various furniture and stuff to places from Savannah to Hilton Head to Barnwell to Aiken to Augusta. One set of elders in Martinez ask us to have a look at some of the physical problems in their apartment including a hole in the shower wall. We got everything loaded on the trailer and took off early New Years Day planning to be gone two nights. Mid-afternoon I discovered we had forgotten the suitcase, no change of clothes, no senior citizen medications. I got to tell you that CVS is great. A pharmacy gave me three days of medication. Fortunately, it's been cold and so body odor wasn't too much of a problem.

One fun thing—The Martinez elders had two small Christmas trees, one fake and a pinyon pine three. A PINYON PINE TREE!! It seems that when his dad served a mission, his grandparents shipped a pinyon pine to him each Christmas while he served and this missionary's parents (He is the first in his immediate family to serve.) are continuing the tradition. We thought it was really cool. This is the apartment with the hole in the shower. It seems a missionary, days from going home, got a "Dear John" letter. In anger and frustration, he punched the shower.

On Wednesday, we changed the schedule to go to Waynesboro before going to Thomson and missed the snow that fell just after we had left Waynesboro so, much to our relief, we missed and didn't have to travel in the snow that fell in south eastern Georgia for the first time in a long time.

The mission office landlord, Raines Newberry, took Pres. and Sister Grayson and the office staff to lunch at his country club, The Idle Hour Club, on Thursday. It was nice but nobody knew what to talk about.

The rest of the month looks as crazy. The mission nurse is going home and being replaced by a couple, she's the nurse and he'll be doing cars. The Jensen go home in the first week of February and no one has been found to replace them. They've been the mission secretary and financial secretary. We have transfers in two weeks and all that that entails including resolving a bike issue in which the incoming missionary thought he had ordered a bike but never completed the online purchase. We need to move missionaries in two districts. There is an apartment in Valdosta, down next to Florida, we have to empty and clean.

This may be the last entry ever.