Saturday, December 13, 2014

DECEMBER 7-13, 2014

" 1st we'll make snow angels for 2 hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of TollHouse cookie dough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle."
Buddy the Elf

Sounds good to me! 
If only we had snow.  
I'm am so very hopeful that as this is one of the few times I'll ever be in a place where there is a REALLY good chance to have a white Christmas that we will indeed have one.  So far just some light flurries and dustings that melt before you can get out and take a picture in it.

I am quite surprised that it can rain and be 30 degrees and below and the rain doesn't become snow. It has rained here Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in temps that should bring snow. I'm confused. And disappointed. Let it snow!  Let it snow! Let it snow!  :)

We had a low key Pday again.  Had a trip scheduled to Providence, Rhode Island but due to  the Moores' car troubles we had to postpone that.  We just did things close by. Lunch at Sweet Peach Diner, buying supplies for our ward/zone parties, ordering Christmas cards online, etc. It's just so nice to have them so close to do everyday-ordinary-hanging out things with.

Monday night we had our monthly dinner and Family Home Evening with our group of temple workers and temple presidency.  It was in the Bowen's( our temple President and Matron) home in Belmont and was decorated so lovely- very warm and inviting. They decorated with the very New England tradition of candles in the windows!  I LOVE this tradition and look!  It is so welcoming.
There is a glowing candle in every window in the house.  I will try and take or find a picture of this for my next post.

This was Mike and Susan's last one of these get togethers so they were asked to sing a duet and bear their testimonies. They did a beautiful job with both. They will really be missed in every aspect of their mission - not just by us!  Their ward has used them to the max in all kinds of capacities.  At their ward Christmas party last night, their bishop presented them with a book signed by ward members to thank them for all their help and good works. 
It was also another couple's last dinner with us.  Kent and Joan Pulsipher went home this week.  They were the first people we met here on our mission and took us to our very first temple dinner/FHE on our 2nd day here.  They are so kind and genuine.  We will miss them. 
This is their 13th (!!!) mission so I do believe they deserve a little rest!

Wednesday was our every 6 weeks Mission temple day and luncheon for the senior missionaries.  It's a marvelous experience to attend the temple together along with our mission president and his wife.  We then all go over to the mission home for a magnificent lunch.  They provide ham and baked potatoes and mouth-watering rolls and the sides and desserts are pot luck.  Man, this group can cook!  It's like Thanks giving on steroids!  Sadly there is never room to try everything. 

We serve with such an amazing group of people and we all serve in so many different capacities from archives and records, to employment, to over seeing the Hartford Temple building, to working with Young Single Adults, to helping wards in a member leader support capacity, to mission nurse,to area medical advisor,to digital missionaries,to office couples, etc. Everyone has great stories to tell. We are all happy and growing in our love for our Savior and our fellow man. 
Our incredible mission president and his equally incredible wife, the Packards,are at the far end of the table .  We love them!  They always take a few moments to share some words of wisdom with us and build us up.  A delightful day in every way.

Thursday was our  regular temple day. It was our last to share with Mike and Susan. It has been on of the highest of highlights to serve side by side with them in this peaceful and beautiful House of the Lord.  We will treasure those moments always.

Friday means District or Zone meeting.  This time it was Zone meeting. Our darling sister missionaries decorated the room so that it was very festive, happy and warm and welcoming. Future Enrichment leaders in the making!

They did a great job, right? That is all hand-made: the lettering, the fireplace, etc.  So clever and so talented!   I love these girls with all my heart! We have been so blessed by the extraordinary young women and men we have served with in our zone. 

The elders all had on santa hats with blinking lights but they would only stand still (!) for one group photo and as we were in it we don't have that copy yet.  Some of the elders have cameras with timers and they took them with that. As soon as they send it to us , we'll include it. ( what would we do without the Dollar Store where we get all these fun hats and antlers, etc.?)

Speaking of the Dollar Store- I got plain white mugs there and hand lettered them with this cute Pinterest inspired message , filled them with chocolate mix, mini marshmallows and tied them up with twine and cute straws and cinnamon sticks.  It was a gift from us to each of them.
('cause it IS cold outside !)  

 Waffle time again but in honor of Christmas, we made green ones and  showed them how to make decorated  Christmas trees with them!

We will be gone next week so we had this simple lunch this week and the day after Christmas we hopefully will have our nicer luncheon. 

After lunch, Dale and some of the elders "hooped it up'!

And just to let you know- old Elder Braithwaite's still got it!
They played Horse and Speed and he won both games!
Don't know about you, but I'm impressed !  :)

Saturday was ward party prep (marketing, cooking, shopping)  for me and Dale doing his area medical work.  This morning he drove to Roxbury to pick up one of our elders and took him to Belmont where he was meeting others to carpool to a musical fireside. (2 1/2 hours, round trip). Since then he's had his "nose to the grindstone" (the phone and computer).  It's not a grindstone at all- he truly loves what he does here. 

As many of you don't know exactly what he does I'll describe it .
He is the Area Medical Advisor for a portion of the Northeast Area of the Church.  Geographically this entails 9 missions or geographical areas.  These 9 missions are:

Canada Toronto
Canada Montreal
Canada Halifax
New York Rochester
New York Utica
New York New York North
New York New York South
New Hampshire Manchester
Massachusetts Boston

So this is essentially the 5 Eastern provinces of Canada, all of New England and all of New York state.  This includes some of the most beautiful areas in North  America and such dynamic cities as Toronto, Montreal, Boston and New York City.

Within this area are about 2500 young and more senior missionaries who are serving  for 18 months to 2 years.  These missionaries come from nearly every country in the world and as such are from vastly  different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.  Not surprisingly with this many individuals, they will occasionally have medical problems that require some assistance, some minor and some major.  That is where Dale comes in.  If these missionaries have a medical problem arise, they will call the Mission President's wife or the mission nurse.  If they can handle the problem it goes not further. But if its is something that can be handled by a physician over the phone ( i.e. perhaps requiring a prescription) or there is a need to get medical care from a physician, urgent care, or emergency room, the missionary or mission nurse (if there is one) or president's wife will call Elder Braithwaite for assistance.  For that reason, the majority of what he does involves being available over the phone.

Here he is hard at work in his "cubby hole" office in our apartment.

One of his other responsibilities is to identify medical facilities and establish relationships with them in order for the missionaries to get reliable care and to ensure they will accept the missionary's insurance plan.  This is especially important in Canada where there is a government health care system.

Lastly, we will travel on occasion to the different missions and attend as part of their zone conferences which are held 4 times per year.  It is here that we give classes on various health topics to keep the missionaries healthy.  Dale offers a clinic where the missionaries have the opportunity to have one on one time with him and if any have health issues they wish to discuss face to face.  These zone conferences are one of our favorite things we do.

This mission has been a blessing for us as we give this service to others and try to represent the Savior. We are very happy and very busy.  We know that this is His work and are touched by all the wonderful , selfless people with whom we work. 

"Rejoice! ,Rejoice in the Most High,
While Israel spreads abroad 
Like stars that glitter in the sky, 
And ever worship God
And ever, and ever worship God."

 We are rejoicing!

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  1. those hand lettered mugs are adorable! love them! and thank you for the more in-depth description of what dad i'll be able to explain it a lot better when people ask me. are you guys ever going to travel to canada?

    p.s. hoping and praying for a white christmas for you too!

  2. Merry Merry Christmas and a Very Happy Healthy New Year! Loved those mugs Nancy those young sisters must love learning from you! And you Dale with those basketball skills what can I say! Very impressed with how many areas you service with medical needs for those missionaries and what a relief for those parents! May you be blessed with a happy and healthy New Year!

  3. Wow I have not read in a while. I loved the home pictures and New York. Can Seth and I please go somewhere with you one time and learn your traveling ways!!! I love and miss you tons!!!

  4. Great to see what it is you guys do on a daily basis. And dad winning at Speed and Horse? I don't know if I have ever been so proud!