Sunday, January 22, 2012

Have you ever taught in the nursery?

Why would a branch where the youngest person attending church is 35 years old have a primary president? The answer: for days like today. Sister Rowen (our primary president) approached Sister Wheeler after sacrament meeting and asked if she had ever worked in the nursery. "How many years of experience do you need? Is experience in Provo, San Diego, and Logan sufficient?" No, she didn't answer like that, but could have. Brother Heaps (from Smithfield, Utah), our visiting district counselor, brought his wife and six children (they work in foster care so we don't know how many are their own) as well as Brother Wilder (who spoke) and his mother (who also spoke) and two children (one of which threw up all over the chapel). Yes, we had primary today.

Brother and Sister Heaps

Mabel, their daughter
We wonder why district leaders pick the fourth Sunday to come to Trent Hills to visit. Could it be because of the pot luck luncheon we have every fourth Sunday? Other branches do the same thing, but Sister Heaps explained that the Trent Hills pot luck has the best food. Members take time to prepare good dishes rather than throw together canned soup while getting your children ready for church. Sister Wheeler made her apple cake with caramel sauce. There was plenty of food Elder Wheeler could eat.

Our "pot luck" with Sister Wheeler and Timma Holt

The Holts: Debbie, Tim, Debbie, and President Holt

On Monday, after waiting for the cable guy again (it's finally working), we took a little trip to Brighton (34 km south) to change our address with our bank. We needed a letter to us using our new address (thanks Andrea).  
Winter time in the park at Brighton

Haute boutique in Brighton (plastic bag dress)

Tuesday we went visiting in Trent River (close to the church). We found the house of a less-active member and talked to his wife (who had requested removing her name from the church). We also followed up on a potential investigator we found in the area book left by the elders before they were taken out of Trent Hills. She didn't even remember talking to the elders. We stopped by the church to get some metal shelves for our storage room then returned to the apartment as the snow began to fall.  Our dinner appointment for the evening was canceled because the house was located on a dirt (make that ice) road out of town. 

Tour of the Trent Hills building

The entry
Our simple chapel
Our Relief Society Room
Ladies luxurious washroom 
Our vast kitchen
The attic storing the elder's old furniture
We had district meeting in Belleville again on Wednesday. Fortunately, it was a nice day for traveling. After the meeting we all went to Wendy's for lunch. 

Our District

Sister Jungert and Sister Arnold - Belleville Branch

Elder Anderson and Elder Kwok - Trenton Branch
Elder King and Elder Stubbs - Napanee Branch
On our way back to Campbellford we tried to find the house of a less-active member in the Stirling area. We did find the house on a country road. As we were going there we passed by King's Mill and couldn't resist a picture. 

King's Mill in Stirling
Thursday was another snowy day. Since the family history center is open on Thursdays, we decided to drive to the chapel and investigate. Joan had found some possible Knapp relatives for Sister Wheeler. They ended up not being part of her Canadian ancestry. Joan, from the Belleville Branch, often goes there on Thursdays to help. 

Sister Longmuir and Joan at the family history center
We had a dinner appointment with Sister Franklin in Marmora (30 km northeast) for Thursday evening. Last week she cancelled because of freezing rain. This Thursday the snow was getting heavier and we wondered if we should call and cancel, but decided to wait and see if they would cancel again, but they didn't (though they were thinking about it). We had quite an experience driving there on snowy roads and little visibility. We left early and were only 3 minutes late. It was a wonderful meal with good company. Sister Franklin lives with her sister Eileen, her daughter, Linda, and her son Rod. It's a bit confusing because they all have different last names (unlike the Holts who have the same names, but are not related). The return trip was much better. It had stopped snowing and the streets had been plowed and sanded.

Sister Franklin, Linda, Eileen, and Rod
Friday was a cold, but clear day. We decided to investigate the Apple Route, Highway 2. As we were headed for Brighton we were splashed by a truck which covered the windshield with slush and made it hard to see. The windshield washing system was frozen up and didn't work and the wipers couldn't clear the ice, so we drove as carefully as possible until we got to Brighton. We bought some washing fluid and tried to unplug the system - without success. At least we were able to clean the windshield and continue on. We drove west on Highway 2 until we reached Cobourg, a summer tourist town. Of course it was winter and very cold so we made our walk down main street very short. We were able to locate a Honda dealership hoping they could help us find and unplug the washer nozzles. They did it for us without charge. We made it back to Campbellford where we could thaw out. 

Pigs in a Cobourg store window
We were finally able to work on our long "to do" list on Saturday. We put up the pictures in our apartment, worked on locating members houses, and went through many files in the desk. We were even able to get the car washed, since the temperature got up to 2 degrees. Sister Wheeler wanted to show off our new apartment (now that we have been here two weeks), so here it is from back to front:

Apartment tour

Our cozy bathroom (we put in the white cabinet)
Our empty spare bedroom
Our "not so empty" bedroom
Our hallway
Our living room (working side) 
Our living room (lounging side) 
Our dining area
Our cozy (cramped) kitchen
We sometimes wonder if we are doing any good here. We have had a lot of bad weather and have decided not to venture out when it is really bad (except for going to Marmora last Thursday). We have a list of people to visit, but many of them live on country roads outside of villages removed from Campbellford. Then we remember that we have only been here two weeks and will have sufficient time to visit people. We don't have to do everything at once. We also have activities the younger missionaries don't have to worry about, like changing our address with banks and insurance companies and preparing for income taxes in two currencies. Today in Priesthood and Relief Society we studied President Uchtdorf's message "You Matter to Him" It was very comforting to remember "He knows where we are" and "He will use - in His own way and for His holy purposes - those who incline their hearts to Him." 

The lesson reminded Sister Wheeler of an article she read in the National Geographic about a ship drilling through the earth's crust to get to the mantle beneath. The picture below shows the challenge. We  often seem so insignificant (like the boat on top of the water) with such a tremendous task (the salvation of the souls of the world) we forget the power of the one who created this world and has already atoned for the souls of the world. We can be grateful we are a small part of this wonderful work.

Getting to the core 

1 comment:

AZ SMITHS said...

Those were some great closing comments (just what I needed to hear). I remember leading primary in our branch as a missionary. I'm glad they had plenty of food for Dad to eat. We love you!