It is indeed! Got to -21 with the wind chill factor on Thursday this week. And we even went out in it even though we didn't have to! Hale and Hearty New Englanders, we be! We are suprising ourselves with how well we are "dealing' with this "artic air". Especially me- I am always cold, even in California. We look upon it as a tender mercy from the Lord. :)
But the proper clothing and layering is definitely a key. Thermals, soft fleecy warm scarves, gloves , tights, warm socks, boots and the right coat all help.
And speaking of the right coat...
I am devastated that the absolutely perfect coat I found is turning out to have a very major flaw.
Here we are in our Happier Days together.
it sheds its feathers. :( A LOT!
Not only on the side all over my clothes, ( very bad business when I'm wearing black) but all over the car seats etc. so from the outside as well.
I forgot to say that I also got it at a bargain price at T.J. Maxx.
I have been looking every since this started to find another but nothing comes close. The ones I like are far too expensive to buy for one cold winter. Boo!
To be cold or to look nice? It shouldn't have to be a choice ! HA!
Another thing that is keeping us warm (although more mentally than physically) is this wonderful fireplace we got for Christmas from some of our kids!
Yes, we (and they) know it is very cheesy (didn't want to spend a lot since we will be leaving it behind) but it does put out a little extra heat and psychologically, just seeing it helps keep us warm.
This week has seen us on a bit of a different schedule. Our temple is closed for a few weeks for cleaning and maintenance so we didn't go in on Thursday as we usually do. We did, however, go in on Tuesday to help with the cleaning. We were assigned the children's waiting area and nursery. What a lovely joy-filled place to serve. As those who know me well know, how do i put this? I'm not "into" cleaning, not a clean freak. I'm not into dirty either, don't get me wrong. But it's not one of my passions or strengths, let's say. But somehow, I truly love cleaning the temple. There is something sacred even about that. It is an honor and a blessing to be able to do it. And the time passes peacefully and quickly. It was a very sweet experience and actually a highlight of the week.
Wednesday brought around our Mission's MLC : Mission Leadership Council. It lasts all day so we feed the missionaries a nice lunch. The McBrides, our mission President's wife's parents, were here helping her with these kinds of duties but they went home last month so I volunteered to help when and where I could. I helped prepare the lunch, serve it and clean up afterwards alongside 2 elders and a couple from the local ward in Weston where the meeting was held. I love these things because it gives me the chance to see some beloved missionaries who have been transferred elsewhere. Sorry - forgot to take photos. We served BBQ pork sandwiches, baked beans, chips, veggies, fruit and cake and ice cream.
Thursday Dale took a senior couple to the airport in the early morning and we both spent most of the day on projects indoors. We went to the mall in the afternoon to return some boots. Pretty exciting stuff here folks!
Friday we had our all day Zone Conference with the Packards. This is always a very motivating, uplifting, educational, and inspiring time. We met all together with the President and his wife for the first 3 hours, had lunch, then broke off into our smaller zones for our own meetings.
One of the major themes of our mission is "Zion" , to become a zion people right here and now on this mission.
"And the Lord called His people Zion, because they were of one heart, and one mind, and sweet in righteousness." Moses 7:18
The mission has really taken this to heart and many of the missionaries express how much love, acceptance, and unity they feel here.
Our goal is to not just be worthy full time missionaries, but
to be worthy disciples of Christ.
Here are some photos taken at the lunch:
Our 2 Spanish speaking sisters from our zone. Sister Terrones on the left is being transferred to Rhode Island next week. She has been in the ward one week less than we have. We have grown to love her dearly and will miss her very much. She is remarkable.
Our sister Portuguese speakers.
Aren't they wonderful?
We love them all!
This is what we found when we went out to the parking lot after the meeting:
Poor Ol' Bessie.
We haven't really named this car till now, but for some reason this seems to fit.
She's been a good ol' girl for us and is looking pretty sad here. (please notice the icicles :)
And this is why we didn't buy a new car for our mission.
The traditional Pday didn't happen this week due to other obligations and such, but we enjoyed the time we took inside and accomplished quite a bit. Our big fun outing for the week was meeting our two single senior missionaries for dinner at a famous Boston restaurant- No Name. It was started by an Italian immigrant fisherman and became quite popular with the local fishermen and local residents. When asked the name of his establishment, he simply said in his halting English, 'No name, just good food.'
Well, times have changed and we wouldn't be able to agree with that statement today.
The delightful Sister Valentine and Sister Elmer!
Sister Elmer is going home at the end of the month and had never had a lobster since she'd been here (WHAT???) and she had heard about this restaurant and wanted to go there so we told them we'd meet them there. We wanted to try it too, and we wanted to spend some time with her before she leaves and we wanted to be able to drive them home. These ladies are some of our heroes! They are both in their 70's. They don't have a car and are pros at taking the T and the bus everywhere but we didn't want them having to walk anywhere in between in this freezing night air. They would have had to walk about a mile from the T to their apartment. Just to get to church each Sunday they take a bus to the T, catch a subway, take it to another T stop where they get on another train, then take another bus and then have to walk about a half a mile to the building. Super Women! They never complain and never want to inconvenience anyone. You practically have to twist their arms to get them to let you take them anywhere. (except when it's super cold like this, then they are more than happy to say yes!)
We love them!
Church was back to normal today with the pews filled. Our student families have returned from the holidays. It has been rewarding and exciting to see the growth of our little ward just since we've been here. Today was especially nice as nearly all of our newly baptized people were there. One of my special girls, Miranda, 16, was confirmed today. It is so wonderful to see the change in her countenance since she has been baptized. She was kind of an angry teenager before - not because she was angry but because it was cool to be. You know. Now she is all smiles and friendly and happy. Love seeing that!
Before I sign out, here are 2 more things I love seeing:
The candles in the windows at Christmas time. At least half if not three fourth of the homes here have these shining from all their windows during the holidays. It is often the only lighting they use. Lots of greenery, lots of wreaths but simply those and the candles. Charming.
We passed a pond on our way home from church today and saw several people out skating. This isn't it, we were in the car and I couldn't get a good photo but you get the idea. The best!
We love New England so very much. Even in the winter. Each season has its own beauty.
Is it any wonder we go our way rejoicing?
Is it any wonder we go our way rejoicing?