Sunday, January 11, 2015

Week 2

We have now finished the second week of our mission. Do we know what we are doing yet? Of course not, but we are closer.

Jan 5 (Mon)
Was today preparation day or not? I spent a lot of the day working on a presentation for technology while Diane did the wash. It was a single load of mixed whites and colors. In the afternoon we went to the south part of our ward. When we got back we spent the evening reading through training material for a class we have this week.
This is where we live

Jan 6 (Tue)
We started the day with a district meeting in a chapel near the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. We had often wondered what it was like for missionaries serving in Utah. We found out. Being a missionary is the same no matter where you serve. The landscape may change, but the work is the same - role-play and all. Tonight we had a missionary coordination meeting. We were really surprised, it actually was run as it should be. The ward mission leader took charge. We had reports, assignments, and training for the ward missionaries who were there  in force. We received the assignment to coordinate with the elders to give the new-member lessons.

Jan 7 (Wed)
We started the morning with our MLS (member leader support) missionary training meeting. All the other missionaries are live-at-home missionaries who live in their home stake. Our topic for the day was helping members overcoming roadblocks in returning to the church. We have very good presenters and missionary couples with a lot of experience. There are eight lessons, one each week.
Getting ready for MLS training
Since we will be helping with the new-member lessons we started today to make PowerPoints for the five lessons (in Portuguese, of course). We went to an Apple store to get an HDMI interface for our Macbook. We continued taking the road the store was on and before long found ourselves at Snowbird and Alta ski resorts (yes, they not only are in our mission, they are in our ward).
Snowbird ski resort
 On the way back we could see the smog in the valley from the temperature inversion. We have lived in it all week.
Smog in the Salt Lake valley

Jan 8 (Thur)
As we were going about our morning activities we heard a knock at the door. It was the missionaries tracking out the complex. We invited them in for a chat. One was from Canada, the other from Oregon. They are serving in the Salt Lake Central Mission which covers our area, but we are also living within the ward boundaries. We decided no one really knows the boundaries here, even though I have them marked on my map.
Missionaries tracting
We decided to go to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple in the afternoon. 
Oquirrh Mountain Temple
There are actually three temples within our ward boundaries: Oquirrh Mountain, Jordan River, and Draper (we haven't passed by this one yet).

Jordan River Temple
Actually, we were mistaken - there are four temples in our ward. 
A Thai Buddhist temple near the mission office

In talking to the elders we found out there are also a Hindu temple and a polygamist temple, but we haven't seen them yet.

While waiting in the chapel of the temple for our session to start I pondered on the picture of the Savior by Harry Anderson. I have noticed that Anderson paints an older Jesus. A officiator was sitting by the painting. I could imagine Jesus to look more like him than in the painting. At the end of the session I asked how old he was - 37 (much closer to the 33-year-old Jesus than as depicted in the painting).
An older Jesus
In the evening we had the 3rd missionary lesson with Val. She really is looking forward to baptism. We used the PowerPoint I had prepared for the lesson. It included a video about the baptism of Jesus.

Jan 9 (Fri)
Today was a slower day. We worked on some more lessons. We drove through Taylorsville to find out where some members lived. The traffic was really bad. We had a planning meeting with the elders set for the evening, but they called and postponed it until tomorrow.

Jan 10 (Sat)
We were awakened at about 1 am with a knock at the door. It was a policeman who had found a 2-year-old child and was trying to find the family. That doesn't happen every day in Logan. We went out and tried to visit four families today. One address was incorrect, one had moved, and two were not home. We walked down by the Jordan River which was close to one of the families.
Sis Wheeler by the River Jordan
We also passed a chapel with very interesting brickwork.
A chapel within a chapel?
We had a good planning meeting with the elders in the evening.

Jan 11 (Sun)
Today was ward conference so we had meetings in a mixture of Portuguese and English. This evening we gave a 4th lesson to Val. We took the parents of our bishop with us (they are ward missionaries) and met the elders there. It was a good lesson. 
This is the crew. Val is the third from the right.
Well, let's see what next week brings. Hopefully some visas!

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