Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Week in the Life

This is pretty much my journal from the past week.

Monday, July 28, 2014
On Monday, we had quite a lot to do in the office to get ready for the new missionaries on Tuesday and transfers. Elder Helm and I put together packets for the new missionaries and the missionaries going home. I also worked on updating the housing report with the last two zones we had visited so I could give a copy to Sister Boucher. We met with the president to go over assignments for the activities with the new missionaries. John and Elder Bennett were asked to present finance and I am supposed to go over keeping apartments clean. If I remember right, John and Elder Bennett went out in the afternoon to line up a storage unit. We have been storing things in an empty apartment, but a storage unit would be cheaper. That night, Sister Heidenreich took Elder Bennett and Elder Helm out to Longhorn Steakhouse so we and Sister Allred joined them. We sure do a lot of eating out.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Tuesday was busy, but fun with transfers. I spent the morning getting apartment supplies together in bags so that missionaries who were at the office for transfers could take them back to their areas. About half ended up taking the supplies. Some areas didn’t have any transfers and some just got missed in the confusion. We had to be at the mission home at 11 for the training and lunch. It was fun to meet the new missionaries. My little presentation on apartments didn’t go that great. I didn’t have Sister Boucher’s cleaning policy until that morning and I was busy getting the supplies together. Unfortunately, today was landscaping day at their house, and it was so loud with the trimmers that we all had kind of a hard time concentrating on what we were saying. We had six sisters and ten elders. All of the sisters were from the US except one from Mexico who is so cute. She speaks English very well. Another sister is from Utah, but she speaks Spanish fluently so she went to the Provo MTC. Actually, she wasn’t there on Tuesday because they accidentally booked her flight to the DR. She did get in Wednesday morning, however. Elder Bennett grilled hamburgers and hotdogs along with fruit, chips and dessert. We sat out on the deck where there are several big tables. It was hot, but nice except for the landscaping noise. I sat with the five sister missionaries. One is from Roseville, another is from Michigan, the one from Mexico, and the other two are from Utah.

New missionary orientation at the mission home.

After lunch we went back to the office. It was swarming with missionaries there for transfers. One thing I didn’t anticipate was all the missionary supply requests. We have items they can purchase like the missionary reference library or PMG. I fill out a slip and the money gets taken from their debit card. That kept me really busy. Then, of course, all the sister missionaries hug and kiss. It was crazy, but fun to see everyone. The Wentzels showed up to help with rides. Sister Wentzel had a big bag of Costco rolls she was passing out and Sister Allred had a big box of granola bars left over from her conference. I also spent a lot of time trying to help an Elder going to Dominica get his luggage organized. He could only take two 50 pound bags and one 15 pound carry on so that is really one carryon short of what he would have come with. He had to leave some stuff here. The elders who were there before had warned him to take toiletries because they are super expensive there so he had stocked up. I think he ended up paying the extra $20 to take a 70 lb. suitcase. 

Around 5 pm, we were asked to drive a new sister and her companion to Adhuntas way up in the mountains. We drove the truck because of the luggage and our trunk is full of apartment supplies. As we were leaving, the older missionary said they needed another dresser. I found that a bit frustrating because we had just drove a truck up over two hours and could have taken one. We were exhausted when we got home about 10:30 pm.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Because of transfers, we found out that we have about five apartments that need to be closed meaning getting all the furniture and appliance and any belongings left there out and cleaning. Sometimes the missionaries clean and take everything except the big stuff that we need to move in the truck but sometimes they just walk out with their suitcases leaving all the pamphlets and their food. The dishes stay with the apartment so I have to box that stuff up if an apartment is being closed. I did some work around the office and after eating some pizza at Costco, the four musketeers moving company headed to Caguas. We dropped off a dresser at the Caguas sisters’ apartment, then we took some fans to the Cayey elders. They live in an apartment that belongs to a single male member who lives upstairs. He cooks all of their meals and does their laundry. He has had over 100 missionaries living there and he collects a nametag from each one. Apparently a general authority told him that he would have missionaries living there as long as he does

Then we headed over to another area in Cayey and emptied the furniture out of an apartment. The sisters in there kept it very clean. We just had a few things to carry out other than the furniture like a microwave and other small appliances. We didn’t have to do any cleaning. We then took some fans over to the Humacao sisters. Then the Caguas sisters called and said they needed another desk and a chair. We had a desk from the empty Cayey apartment and the Cayey elders said they had an extra chair so we drove over there and picked it up and then went back to the Caguas sisters to give them the desk and chair. A desk is about a five foot plastic lifetime table. We got home by ten.

Thursday, July 31, 2014
I got up and put on my jeans and t shirt. John and I went to Walmart to return a set of pans that had one with a big dent and some silverware we ended up not needing. Then I headed over to the apartment across from the office to battle the cockroaches. At least, the ones I could see were dead. They sure were big, though. Elder Bennett picked up John and they headed west to Mayaguez to close an apartment. They then planned to head down south to close an apartment in that area and drop things off. For example, the Elders in Mayaguez were moving to an apartment that provided a stove, washer and refrigerator, but some sisters in Cabo Rojo needed a washer and some elders in Juan Diaz needed a new fridge.

I cleaned from about 9 to 1. I washed all the dishes left in the apartment and boxed them up so we could use them if needed in the future. We also need supplies for the new office couple coming September 12. After I finished cleaning, I went home, ate some lunch and took a shower. I went to the grocery store and got some things I need to make dinner for the four elders in the Bayamon Ward that we usually attend. I made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and salad with ice cream drumsticks for dessert. They really liked it. They said they eat a lot of fried chicken, but it’s more like KFC. We all read our favorite scripture in our non-native language for the message. It’s a pretty diverse set of elders. Elder Frampton is from Utah, but he’s half Korean, Elder Obi is from California, but his parents came to the US from Nigeria, Elder Perez is from Mexico, and Elder Lembert is from the Dominican Republic.

Friday, August 1, 2014
We took Friday off to go to the beach with the Wentzels because the beach is always so crowded on Saturdays. Later, after making our plans, we found out that a storm was coming in on Saturday anyway. We left it up to them to decide where to go. They have done a lot of traveling and have taken 46 cruises. They said when they are on cruises and get off the ship to go to a beach, they usually go to a beach by a hotel. They buy lunch there and then use the hotel facilities and beach. So they decided that we would go to the beach behind the Hilton. The beaches here are all public so I didn’t think it would be a big deal to go through the lobby to get to the beach. However, when Sister Wentzel saw the pool, she wanted to hang out at the pool. It was kind of funny that the guy standing there at the entrance of the pool didn’t say anything to Sister Wentzel or me when we went in, and he didn’t say anything to Brother Wentzel. They really looked like tourists in their Hawaiian shirt and coverup. However, when John went through in his old stained Rockies t shirt, he asked him for his room number. John just told him he was with us. We spent quite a while in the pool, and I got really burned. I was going to put on sunscreen, but I thought I should wait until I got out of the pool. But we didn’t really swim; we were standing in there talking and between the pool reflection, being right at noon, and having not been in the sun yet, it was the perfect combination for getting burned. Then I went over in the ocean where there was kind of a calm cove area and snorkeled. My back got really burned doing that. The water is warm so I was out there a long time. I saw a few fish, but it’s definitely not like snorkeling around a coral reef.

We went over to the pool bar and grill and got two hamburgers that we split. They were $15.99 each and John’s can of Coke was $5. When we left, parking was $17 so they outing came to $60 for the four of us to swim for a few hours. We will definitely find some place cheaper next time.

Saturday, August 2, 2014.
The storm definitely showed up Saturday, but not with the intensity that was originally predicated. It was a gray, rainy day all day. We often have rain sometime during the day, but then the sun will come out. Today, it rained all day, but since they say there is a drought here, that’s good. We went to Costco and to a grocery store called Amigo (owned by Walmart) to get the things we needed for the senior dinner. I planned to have Hawaiian Haystacks. I bought two Costco chickens, peppers, cheese, cream of chicken soup, coconut, ice cream, watermelon and strawberries. I wanted to get tomatoes and chow mein noodles, but the tomatoes looked terrible everywhere except Costco and I forgot to get them there, and the chow mein noodles on the shelf were almost expired.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty boring. We just stayed in the apartment while it rained. At least it wasn’t very hot. I did some chopping and getting stuff ready. Everyone showed up at 6. They seemed to like the dinner. Then we played Catch Phrase for about an hour. While I was making dinner I had a gross bug encounter. I used all the rice in one bag that we have been using that is stored in a Ziploc bag so after I made the first batch, I made some more using the original rice and then added another cup of rice that was in a bag in a Tupperware type container. I thought it would be fine, but when I was putting the container away, I noticed there was this weird brown dust on the bottom of the container. I looked more closely and saw that there were tiny bugs in both the container and the bag of rice which hadn’t even been opened although I think I saw a small hole. It was so gross. I threw all the second batch out and took it all to the trash and cleaned the container out really well. Everything has to be sealed in Ziploc or kept in the freezer. 

I wish I had more pictures! 

1 comment:

  1. Chris, that is nuts! You sure are keeping busy! I am glad you got to enjoy your Friday and I hope your sunburn is better!