Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Deep Freeze

When we moved into our apartment in Toronto we were happy to have underground parking for the dreaded "Canadian Winter". The winter has been very mild across most of Ontario this year - until now. Just as the winter began we moved to Cambellford where we are parking outside. The first of the week wasn't too bad, but the snow came on Thursday and the deep freeze on Friday and Saturday. We had to scrape a lot of ice off the car before we could use it. Fortunately the car started on Sunday so we were able to go to church. There wasn't too much snow, but there was a layer of ice under everything from freezing rain.

Our car after scraping
We stayed in our apartment more than we would have liked this week. On Monday we had to wait for the technician from Bell to install our internet and cable TV. It ended up being two technicians, one for the internet (which got installed and working) another for the cable (which did not get installed because he couldn't figure out the "rat's nest" of wires between the large satellite dish for the  apartment building and our apartment). After they left, we did have a chance to walk around Campbellford a little to get to know the town. 
Local store in our neighborhood

Tuesday we took a big loop around the villages that comprise our small branch. We only traveled 120 miles because our branch isn't spread out over two states like Dave & Faye in Louisiana and Texas. We had identified the addresses for most of the members of the branch and found them on maps. The trip took us through Warkworth, Hastings, Norwood, Havelock, Marmora, and Stirling then back to Campbellford. We know most of you will be clueless about these villages, but Doug (and maybe Wendell) will have their maps (or Google Earth) out trying to locate them. We were able to drive by most of the houses of branch members, some off the main roads.
Fowld's Mill in Hastings
The other Angel Moroni (also in Hastings) outside a Catholic church
Our dirty car after our jaunt
On Tuesday evening we met with the branch presidency to go over the list of members and talk about how we can help the branch. There are only two members of the branch presidency. Trent Hills is a small branch that can run smoothly without a full slate of filled positions. They struggle with making meaningful callings that help people grow and an older membership that has served in almost every calling. For example, is a primary president needed if there are no primary children? We will be doing a church record audit by finding less-active members (some without addresses) and completing the information needed for the record. This is an excuse to visit members in their homes and find out their current disposition toward the church. 

President Holt and James McComb (1st C)

On Wednesday we had district meeting in Belleville (about 45 minutes from Campbellford). Our district covers a much larger area now with Sisters Arnold and Jungart in Belleville, Elders Anderson and Kwok in Trenton, Elders King and Stubbs from Nappanee, and us from Trent Hills. The zone leaders, Elder Robinson (who was our district leader in Ossington) and Elder Cozzens came from Kingston to meet with us. It was a nice meeting. [Sorry, no pictures yet.] On Wednesday night we had a dinner appointment with Meheffin Morgan (she pronounces is like "my heaven"). Dinner appointments are something new for us to get used to. Meheffin is from Wales. She joined the church almost a year ago after living in Canada for more than 30 years. This has been a big year for her - the death of a daughter, joining the church, and cancer treatments. She has a very positive attitude and is fun to visit. In perusing the Books of Mormon in various languages in Toronto Elder Wheeler often asked, "Who would read the Book of Mormon in Welsh?" It ends up Meheffin does. She sent a copy of the Welsh Book of Mormon to her 94-year-old father in Wales. He joined the church. 

Meheffin and Sister Wheeler
 The apartment manager informed us that they had labeled the cable wires so we had another "wait around the apartment for the Bell guy to come" day, which was good because traveling in the freezing, snowy weather would not have been good. Again he couldn't find the cables, so he left without providing the services. While in the apartment we assembled and installed a medicine cabinet in the bathroom. We also cleaned out the storage closet (which was left in a real mess) where the water heater is located and the spare bedroom (which is now completely empty). Because of the freezing rain our Thursday dinner appointment was canceled.

On Friday (another snow day) the superintendents husband came with the owner to sort out the cable problem. The whole building had been rewired a year ago. Since we took over the apartment where the elders were living, and they didn't have TV, the cables had not been labeled for this apartment. We did venture out, however. After scraping off the snow and ice from the car we drove it downtown (less than a mile) to pick up a package from the post office and get our library card. That was as much adventure as we could muster on the icy roads and cold air so we headed back home.

Saturday was another cold day so we worked on dot maps (a chart showing the location of each member of the branch on their village maps).  It was still cold (did we forget to mention the wind and the added chill factor?), but the sun was shining so we bundled up in the afternoon and went for a walk. By the time we got into town we needed to warm up so we stopped by the grocery store to pick up some food. Walking to the grocery store in the cold reminded us of the days when we were first married and living on Apple Avenue without a car. We even walked to the Provo temple in the snow.

Frozen Trent River
A senior crossing with grocery bags (the sign says Seniors crossing)
 Our second Sunday in the Trent Hills branch was not eventful since the car actually started this morning. We are beginning to learn the names of the branch members. We can get to know them even better when we visit them in their homes. Since Sister Wheeler promised you in the last blog to show you why we had difficulty getting furniture into our apartment, here is the picture of our hallway doors. Each door only allows 24 inches of space. Our apartment is the first door to the left (which is conservative for Canada).

How can we get our couch through here?
 Luckily there was a door at the other end of the building and the hallway at that end did not have this problem. It did not have the elevator at that end however so the couch had to be carried up stairs to the third floor. The legs had to be taken off for it to get through our apartment door. We are all in now and pictures will come in the future.


AZ SMITHS said...

Oh man! This is the season that we love living in AZ. Just looking at those pictures makes me shiver! I remember on my mission wearing thermals and sweats under my dresses. I'm excited though to hear about your new adventures.

John Woodruff said...

I MISS YOU!!!!!!