Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Transfer Monday/Tuesday is always hectic. Missionaries go home, missionaries come from the MTC, and then there are transfers. It started Monday morning at nine o'clock. I got a call while we were at the mission home saying goodby to the departing missionaries. I was able to get to it so they left a message. The message, "Elder Chadwick, please call us. We've got a housing problem." I called. The elder said, "We've got a RAT! I woke up at 3:30 this morning and could hear a scritching sound. I woke my companion and we moved the dresser and there he was. We ran and jumped up on the bed but then closed the room and chased him back into his hole. He gnawed a seven inch hole in the baseboard. We put a piece of metal in front of the hole and pushed the dresser in front of it and have called the landlord."

I assured them that they had done all the right things. The landlord is sending an exterminator. Our first rat.

Then because we were unable to move the Hineville sisters and have all their furniture in large trailer, only the small trailer is available to move new missionary luggage, missionary bike and missionary bedding. After the new missionaries got to the mission home, unloaded their luggage, had a meal, and Sister Chadwick and I had done our brief training, we took the small trailer with the bike a missionary is sending home (His mother said, "We not leaving a $900 bike in the mission field." Who pays $900 for a missionary bike?) to the shed, left the bike going home, loaded the new bikes, went to the office and loaded the bedding and went to the Macon chapel. We needed the bikes and bedding at the chapel for the new missionaries getting companions and their first assignment Tuesday morning. Both the front and back doors of the chapel were unlocked—not a good thing. We got the pickup and trailer back to the mission home at 9 PM so the APs could move the luggage to the chapel in the AM.

It's always fun to see all the missionaries coming into Macon for transfers as there is great love between the missionaries. They are anxious to see what their new assignment and companions are going to be but are glad to see old companions and hear tales of cities where they have labored.

Our plan then was to get the large trailer ready and go to Augusta to set up a three pack (three missionaries as companions) setup and then go to Hinesville. We finally got the W9 worked out and have a rent check so we can move the sisters. President Grayson called and ask us to wait until tomorrow and take a piece of lost luggage south with us. It's due at the mission home at 10:30 Wednesday morning. Maybe I'll have time to cut my hair although I still need to turn on the utilities for the apartment in Hinesville in the morning.

As I promised on Saturday, when I got Elder Klibingat's piece about memory palaces, I would make it available. Click here.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Because we had to do the whole key duplicate thing again today, we got to be in part of the second zone conference. While it wasn't totally different, Elder Klebingat's remarks covered much the same ground but in different ways. I'm amazed at the level of knowledge, understanding, spirit and testimony of General Authorities. They adjust to each audience and situation. The last thing he talked about was "memory palaces." A memory technique he uses to recall scriptures. I've heard of things like that but never encountered or had a presentation. Certainly seems worthwhile. You imagine places and then put stories of people and objects into the imaginary places such that they remind you of something, in this case, scriptures. For example, to remember the number 31, think of Baskin Robins ice cream; to remember the number 26, think of alphabet soup; to remember Mosiah, think of King Benjamin's tower. He spent over an hour teaching this so this isn't a place to repeat that. He left an instruction sheet with President Grayson which, when I get it, I'll put it in this blog.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Today started at 8:15 at the Macon building collecting keys from missionaries attending a zone conference with Elder Jörg Klebingat of the Seventy. The keys became necessary after President Grayson had to go through a window to get into an elders' apartment. We had duplicate keys for many apartments but not all (obviously) and so ask those whose keys we hadn't duplicate to bring them to zone conference.

Elder Klebingat reminded me of the occasion when Gorden B. Hinkley visited the Finnish Mission when I was a missionaries in 1963. The themes and instruction have changed little in ensuing 50+ years: Now is the time to make the habits by which you will live the rest of your life. Make a personal commitment to marry in the temple. Live the gospel for the rest of your life.

Elder Klebingat started with a illustration. He ask three elders and three sisters to stand at the front of the room emphasizing that their selection was in no way inspired. He explained that statically, that within twelve months six former missionaries would no longer be active in the church. He ask what the elders and sisters thought would be the cause. The reasons: Failure to live up to their potential as a missionary and then live their live the same way.

There was no question who was in charge. The Grayson had a portion of the program and they were more nervous than I've even seen them. Then Elder Klebingat took over and expanded the lesson they were teaching.

After lunch we had duplicate keys made, shopped for an office chair, delivered the keys and various other stuff the missionaries had ask for, picked up bikes for transfers Tuesday and got home after 6 PM.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

A teenager from Forsyth was baptized this morning, a thirteen-year old. Part of his family are members and part not but now he is.

Since we were already headed in the right direction, we decided to visit an art kind of thing in Perry, GA. Turns out it closed down about six months ago so rather have a completely wasted trip we were to the nearby GoFish hatchery. It is a great facility with exhibits, activities and aquariums (Everything from minnows to alligators) all about fishing and water quality in Georgia. In addition, there is a pond for fishing and during October (catfish and blue gill) and March (trout) you keep what you catch.

It is an actual working hatchery. The fish being raised now are sturgeon which the state is attempting to reestablish in Georgia water. There was a tank with probably a hundred or so baby sturgeon. I have never seen a live sturgeon of any size and these exhibited an unexpected behavior. The stick their bodies out of the water and walk across the surface. I asked the ranger why? No one has a clue. Here is a video: Baby Sturgeons

Friday, 20 October 2017

I have great difficulty having a Christian attitude towards business owners and their employees who can not properly fill out a W9 form. Is it so difficult to supply the name of a company, its Federal tax id number, and an address and then sign the form? It would seen so. I had two instances when I have gone back and forth numerous times with them to get it done—wrong name, wrong number (A social security number rather than a Federal id tax number, or some number other than either of those.), no address. One wonders how they do business at all.

In order to pay rent, we must set up apartment owners as vendors. The church will not pay recurring costs to anyone other than a vendor for whom we have the necessary information. The Federal government wants to know who's get what. Today I wasn't able to move some sisters because a business owner simply could not get his act together.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Saturday is is nominally preparation day for the office staff in the mission. This is an the regular exception when we do three-week training for the missionaries who came into the mission three weeks ago and their companions. We go over the important rules, policies, and considerations. In addition, we sent a table and chairs home with one set of elders.

Then this evening my phone rang. The elders in Beaufort, SC called to see if some sisters traveling from Atlanta back Beaufort could pick up the hammock that been taking up space in the bike shed—a real thorn in my side. The box is six feet by 18 inches by 12 inches, heavy and falling apart. I was only to happy to get rid of the thing. So we meet the sisters at the shed. Turns out one of them joined the church on Long Island and we have mutual friends from NY. We also learned the story of the hammock. It seems the missionary's mother ordered the hammock for his father and provided the wrong shipping address. She then instructed the missionary to give it away rather than try shipping back. It's taken several months to organize all that but it's done!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The mission president recently changed preparation day from Monday to Tuesday. The APs, Macon Sisters, and the office staff less Sister Chadwick who stayed behind to answer the phone decided to use this preparation day to go the

Here are some pictures in the sequence in which I went through the fair:

First the crafts and arts exhibits. There was a scarecrow competition displayed outside.

These are antiques.

There were not a lot of animals but goats were being judged:
Gypsy horses were going through a routine. I had never heard of "gypsy" horses. They look a little like the much larger draft horses but are only about the size of an Arabian horse.
In the rabbit and cavies exhibit there were some baby bunnies.
There were just a few cattle, some FFA beef cattle and five dairy cows that were part of a milking exhibit.
East of the animal barns were some tractor, mostly antiques but some more recent.
A very large Ferris wheel dominates the north end of the fair grounds.  
I took the tram to the south end and walked back through the midway. The midway was enormous with at least two of everything including two additional Ferris wheels.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

It started raining today right after Sacrament meeting and THE primary teacher couldn't get to her car. I was recruited to go get her bag. She said, "It weights 40 lbs. Primary is a heavy responsibility."

Saturday, 7 October 2017

It's been busy but I didn't realize how long I had neglected the blog. We went to Savannah again this time to find an apartment for sisters in Hinesville, GA. We took new beds to sisters in Statesboro and a new washing machine to elders in Vidalia. This is routine stuff for the housing coordinators and that's what it's been like for the last couple of weeks: routine.

We did become grandparents for the 28th time this past week. Sara had a baby girl, 5 lbs, 12 ozs, name: Amy Jane Forry.

This morning we took a walk in a local park in Richmond Hill, GA where we stayed overnight. It was warm and very humid. Here are some pictures.

We stopped for lunch today in Soperton, GA at the Boneyard BBQ. I can recommend it.