December 16, 2016
It’s been a great week! We got to hear from some of the Quorum of the Seventy who are over Family History at a special Christmas devotional and luncheon. Elder Ian S. Arden and his wife (from New Zealand) showed us some slides of their family and of the beach near their home, where they will be spending Christmas. Then, Elder Erich W. Kopischke and his wife (from Germany) shared special Christmas memories, and a cute video of some of their family singing a carol (in German, of course). First though, Elder Kopischke said, “I know what Elder Arden was trying to do there. He was trying to make us all jealous [only he pronounced it yell-us] that he gets to spend Christmas at the beach! (It was fun to see their banter with each other.) Then, we also heard some special memories from Elder Bradley D. Foster and his wife. Elder Foster is over the Family History Department.
All the missionaries in our mission have been “invited” to a special meeting this Sunday (Dec 18). Elder Craig C. Christensen, one of the seven presidents of the Seventy, will be presiding. Our mission Presidency said “We can’t really say it’s mandatory, but, all full-time missionaries are expected to attend.” Of course, there are all sorts of rumors flying around about what might be announced at this meeting – so it will be interesting to learn what really is presented.
Currently, we are the only mission in the Church that is not under the Missionary Department. (We’re under the Family History Dept.) – so one rumor is that we’ll be moved under the Missionary Dept. . . Also, right now, we have two branches that meet on Sundays that are entirely composed of full-time missionaries. So, another rumor is that those two branches will be disbanded and all the missionaries will be scattered among the various wards in Salt Lake City. Plus, lots of other ideas are being batted around as well. It’s kind of funny to hear some of them. But, we shall see. . . A member of our mission presidency DID say that there are changes coming, and that they are the result of counsels and prayer among the Family History Dept., the Missionary Dept., the First Quorum of the Seventy, the Quorum of the Twelve and the First Presidency.
Thursday night we went to a wedding reception about 30 miles south of SLC. It was for Ben Housley and his bride, Krysta Moss. We were in the Morrisville Ward with the Housleys several years ago – and it was fun to see them again! We also got to see Jordan Rawlings and Quinn Volpe, who were there!
Later tonight, Catherine Plautz is arriving and will spend a couple of nights with us. Her sweetheart’s mother is serving here in the same mission as us, and Cat and her beau are flying out so she and his mom can meet. Since we have an extra bedroom, Catherine is staying with us, and Derek will be at his mom’s. I think we’re all going to the temple tomorrow afternoon.
We also learned that LouAnn Brady’s brother is a patient at the Veteran’s Hospital here in SLC, and we have a goody box ready to take to him – hopefully, this weekend.
Last December, Bob had bariatric surgery, and while it has cured several health issues, nevertheless, I've been concerned about him for a while, now. This week he had his second endoscopy in as many weeks. He’s been having a really hard time eating anything, especially meats and vegetables, for several months now. (Has mostly been living on protein drinks, Greek yogurt and snack crackers.) He’s had frequent episodes where he would try to eat, but, after one or two bites, had to stop. He couldn’t eat and was miserably uncomfortable, yet, at the same time, couldn’t bring anything back up – it felt like any meat or vegetable he tried would get “stuck.” (even with lots and lots and lots of chewing to soften it.) He finally saw a Bariatric specialist in mid-November and that MD scheduled these two endoscopies to “stretch” the little bit of stomach Bob has, as well as the small intestine connected to it. When the first endoscopy was done, they discovered an ulcer, as well as the stricture, and between those two things, he was struggling to eat much of anything. He was given a prescription to help with the ulcer, and, with that, and the two “stretchings”, he seems to be doing much better. He actually ate most of a small hamburger for dinner yesterday! Hopefully, now, he will gain back some weight — because he’s gotten too thin. (i.e. He currently weighs what he did when he was 14, and a freshman in high school.)
On another note, I think I’ve discovered why so many of the women out here use hairspray. With this dry, cold weather, there is so much static electricity in the air that whenever I run a brush through my hair, it flies all over the place – and I look like I stuck my hand in a light socket!! (I think I need to put hair spray on my next shopping list.)
We are participating in giving gifts to some refugees in the area, so it’s fun to see a few presents under our little tree – for a few days, at least. We’ll deliver them to the refugee agency in the next day or two.
And, we look forward to visiting with family via Facetime on Christmas eve! Of course, the best part of Christmas is remembering the best gift of all - Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ!