Sunday, July 10, 2011

Finally a P-Day

We have been in Toronto for six weeks and haven't had a real P-Day until this week. We have snatched a few hours for wash or some activity, but haven't really been able to see the beauty of Ontario. On Friday four senior couples (The Dodges, Mayos, Bolins, and Wheelers) went on the Thousand Island cruise of the St. Lawrence River. The Lindseys were planning on going, but Elder Lindsey has been in the hospital from a reoccurrence of a situation picked up while on a mission to the Philippines.

After a three-hour van ride to Gananoque, east of Toronto, we loaded on a boat to see the 1000 Islands (actually more than 1800) in the St. Lawrence River. Some of them are in Canada and some in the USA (Don't worry, we got permission to leave the country from Pres. Eyer as he was leaving the mission home on his way home from his mission).

Our tour boat
Some of the islands were large with many summer homes. Others were mere rocks in the river. 

The shortest international bridge connecting Canada with the USA is between two small islands.

International bridge - Canada on the left, USA on the right
We stopped for two hours to tour Boldt Castle, built by George C. Bolt a millionaire then abandoned (before it was finished) when his wife died. There were hundreds of rooms, only a portion have been restored. This tower seen in front is a play house. It has several floors and looks like a tower Rapunzel would live in.
Boldt Castle from the river
Sister Wheeler at the castle
The mote at the power tower
Don't they make a cute couple in their P-Day clothes?
We still don't know what we are doing here as missionaries. We figure that we are here so the Lord can use us any way he wants. If we were still in Logan we would be of no use here. The mission office is officially closed and many of the senior couples we have known are (or soon will be) gone. We did have a zone conference on Tuesday with President Brower, however, most of the topics covered are for the younger missionaries.

We will maintain a missionary supply room across the hall from the former mission office so missionaries in Toronto can pick up supplies directly without having to go to Brampton. We will go in each Monday (p-day for the missionaries) to be available. There is still a lot of work to do in organizing the supply room.

One of many shelves in the supply room showing the Book of Mormon in 95 languages
We are also helping with ESL (English as a second language) classes. One time we may have a man who speaks Mandarin and little english. The next time we may have someone who speaks only Portuguese. 
Paulo and Elder Wheeler studying English
Sister Wheeler has started tutoring sessions with Sidy (See-gee), a member of the ward who taught Portuguese in Brazil. She teaches the gospel doctrine class and has beautiful Portuguese. 

Sidy tutoring Sis. Wheeler in our apartment
We have noticed that some times our car would get covered with a gooey mess when we parked at the stake center. We finally figured out it was because they are demolishing a building next to the stake center and clouds of debris blows right onto our car.
The building being demolished with piles of debris
Yesterday (Saturday) we heard a lot of music coming from the street and noticed that the street by our house was blocked off. It is the St Clair (the street by our apartment) salsa festival. We went down to see if we could find some good salsa and found something quite different.

St. Clair Salsa Festival from our balcony
They have the street blocked off for several blocks for the festival. Apparently this is what they do in the summertime in Toronto. This was only one of three festivals (that we know about) going on in the city.

Barrier for closing off the street
 By now you know that salsa is not something you put on your tortillas, but a hot (as if it were not hot enough) Latin American dance. Every block had a band blaring salsa music for people to dance. the measure of a good band is not how well they play, but how loud they play. Why did we ever invent electrical engineers who could design sound reinforcement systems. Audiology will be a good field in the future when everyone is deaf.
Doing the salsa in the street (only one of many groups)
 Besides music and dance there was also a lot of food. You could choose from many different items, including whole fish and pig heads.
Anyone for a pig head?

Besides the activities listed we have been working in health care. We have been helping Sister Lindsey get ready to return home. They were to fly out Friday, but Elder Lindsey's platelet count is not high enough to travel so they are still in limbo. We have not settled down to a routine yet, but I guess that is OK. We love the Lord and are willing to help in any way we can.

1 comment:

Tricia said...

Dr. Wheeler,

It looks like you and Diane are having a wonderful time. I have a quick question for you. You got some mail in the office last month that you will probably be interested in looking at. President Albrecht sent you something that you can order something for yourself in honor of your retirement. Do you have an address that I can forward this onto you? Thanks for keeping your blog updated. It is fun to seeing what fun things you and Diane are doing.