Sunday, January 25, 2015

Springtime in Salt Lake Valley

Is this January? It's a lot more like spring. Monday was Martin Luther King Day and we decided to take a walk along the Jordan River. We took a different path and found some interesting things.
Are we in the middle of a big city?
What a sight for an Electrical Engineer
A real "Green House"
Happy Holiday 
The river runs under it
Tuesday brought our district meeting followed by a pass through Sprouts, a health-food store close by where we had the district meeting. Our cupboards are so small we always seem to be shopping for groceries. We had our missionary coordination meeting in the evening where the ward planned an exciting 3-month missionary activity.

On Wednesday we had our monthly MLS missionary meeting. It is a little strange because all the other couples are living in their own homes and are assigned to their own stake instead of a single ward. Of course our ward covers all of their 87 stakes plus some. In the afternoon we went to visit several families on the west side of the valley. No one was home, but we got a closeup view of the Oquirrh Mountains. We found out my computer had problems with the sound cutting out. That's the one I just got fixed!

We decided to go to the Draper Temple on Thursday morning and it's a good thing we did. Diane got a name that was really hard to pronounce. The temple worker asked if she were willing to take the name. It ends up that no one else was willing to take it. Maybe we were meant to be there that morning.
Draper Temple
View of the valley from the Draper Temple
We called the missionary travel office about our visas and were told that the area office in Brazil had taken charge of the problem. We will see if something changes soon.

On Friday we picked up my computer. They got another logic board from California and had it working this morning. Every time we go to church (and many other places) we pass a little store that sells string instruments. On the way to the computer store we stopped by to take a look. They not only sell string instruments, they make them. It is the Paganini label made by Charlie Liu and his group.
Louis repairing a cello
Jaime showing off their instruments
We had our first new-member lesson with Val this evening. The elders turned the lesson over to us to teach (of course we included everyone). We used the PowerPoint we had prepared which included the video of the First Vision. Diane even helped with the lesson in Portuguese. We found out on Sunday that the elders were in an accident on their way home from the lesson and totaled their car. A lady ran a red light and ran into them. They are shaken up and have shorter noses (from the air bags), but are otherwise OK.

We spent Saturday getting emails sent to stakes in Brazil. Including what was sent earlier, we sent training emails to 91 stakes with technology specialists and 161 emails to stake clerks without technology specialists. Diane really enjoys receiving and reading the return emails. Some come back within minutes of sending. 

After being in the room all day we decided we needed to go out for another walk. Each time we walk we explore a different stretch of the Jordan River. During this stretch we encountered a lot of warnings. Salt Lake Valley must be a dangerous place.
That's what that smell was!
We stayed on the trail!
Faster than an instant camera
The ducks seemed to really like the water where the effluent entered the river. It comes from a large water treatment plant. It isn't sewage, but it isn't drinkable either. The speed refers to the Trac.
Ducks like this water
Water treatment plant
The speeding Trac
As we were walking, a runner saw our name tags and called out, "O Divine Redeemer by Neil A. Maxwell, read it". When we finished our walk she passed us again and stopped to talk. Her name is Tori and she was delightful - a speed skater. Yes, it was a classic - Elder Maxwell's first talk as an apostle.
Tori stops to talk
We had stake conference this weekend. Elder Teh from the First Quorum of the Seventy was our visitor. We figured with 87 stakes in our mission having stake conferences twice a year that means there are 3.5 stake conferences every week. How is it we got a general authority? It was a good conference and he was a delight to hear. On Saturday evening they had two Brazilians speak who joined the church a little over a year ago. One spoke in English, the other in Portuguese. Diane seemed to follow the Portuguese without too much trouble. On Sunday morning they were both presented to receive the Melchizedek priesthood.  
Elder The
We have a lot of good members in the ward. It's a pleasure to be here, but we look forward to the time we get our visas and can start the mission we were called to.

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