Our weeks are flying by in the mission!! We get up on Monday morning and the next thing we know it is Friday afternoon. Last week we both were intent on not only catching up but getting ahead in our mission assignments. The church financial systems will be updated from the 15th of May until they are done with the update, which could take anywhere from a week to perhaps 10 days. So, Dad has been busy paying rent and utilities. This could not come at any more difficult time, as Dad is responsible for obtaining leases for 8 apartments by the first of June. This means that he needs money!!! His mission credit card was increased so that he can get cash, charge, and also use it as a debit card. That was a huge blessing as the costs are enormous -- approx. $20,000 for furniture and furnishings, plus security deposits and first month's rent will cost at least $10,000 for the eight apartments. Not having access to writing checks is a huge issue, but he thinks that he will be able to handle the situation with the increases with his card and the President's. I am just paranoid about having another month like the first month we were here. I might work myself out of a job if I am not careful. I am more than caught up on the files, binders, booklets and such that need to be done for the next group of missionaries that come on the 11th of June. I just do not like feeling that I am going to fall apart!!! At last I am conquering Mail Merge, yippee!!! I guess we both are becoming A-type personalities.
Dad is starting to feel better, for which I am very grateful. He gets really tired, and he just cannot do any lifting, so he is not doing the mail run so much anymore. If it were just letters it would be okay, but there are huge packages that weigh a lot -- no can do.
Last week we went out for a walk one afternoon. I have mentioned that we have not seen the golf course across the way from our apartment complex until the middle of April, so now we know that there is a green golf course nearby. I think it is a private one, and without golf clubs, he won't be doing any golfing. Just not enough hours in the day. The weather last week was balmy and warm. It was wonderful!!! We opened up our windows and thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air. By Saturday it was raining torrents and quite cold. We did the laundry at the Laundromat.
The countryside is all different colors of green,and the blossoms are out and very beautiful. The rain kind of destroyed the blossoms, and hopefully any fruit trees did not get ruined. We live in an area where there are lots of apples, and Dad loves to go to a store called Twin Orchards and get his Dutch Apple Pie. He now is a fan of Pirate's Booty!!! He has given me trouble for years about liking the tasty morsels. I guess it is an acquired taste, but we are great fans. I remember when Madelyn Staffieri loved the Pirate's Booty -- does she still like it? This tree below is right outside of the mission office. The blossoms are gone now.
We went out to dinner with President and Sister Wirthlin and the Barlows on Friday night. It is fun to have the opportunity of rubbing shoulders with these great people. We had a nice Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. A young priest gave an incredible extemporaneous talk about how much his mother meant to him. It was pretty remarkable since he thought he was going to be teaching a Primary class. The main speaker spoke on the sacred nature of mothers -- talking about Eve, the prophetess/judge Deborah and Hannah, the mother of Samuel the Prophet. We taught the 6-year olds in Primary, and then the Elder's Quorum took care of Sharing Time in Primary so the sisters could go to Relief Society.
I was fine for the day and I guess I had a steel rod going up my backside to keep my emotions together. As the day turned to night the tigers started coming out, and I pretty much had a meltdown. I can explain -- I grieve for the loss of Claire (even though I understand she is out of pain and all), but I also grieve as a mother for Debbie. It is hard to watch any of our children struggling, and I think about each one every day. Our mission experience has taught me a lot, for sure, and I see the difficulties many people are facing in this area. Poverty is a real issue for many, and we are very blessed. We are quite comfortable in our apartment. I did two loads of laundry downstairs last night, so I am moving forward on that weekly chore. I guess that is good......
I have been sad over the death of Nettie Noble on Mother's Day evening, but I know that she has suffered a lot the last while and she was very ready to move on. Before the mission, Sharon Albrecht, Gretel Ferwerda and I brought lunch over to her and she proceeded to show us what her coffin would look like, where she would be buried (St. George) and we took some pictures that are priceless now. So cheerful while suffering. So grateful I listened to a prompting to call her last Thursday -- there are no coincidences in this life!!! I was able to tell her that I loved her while she could barely speak.
Enough of the preaching. We know the church is true -- Christ is our Savior and we are very grateful for His atoning sacrifice. We have had a good week so far and are loving the work. We love each and every one of you and so enjoy calls, emails and notes. We look forward to mail just like the elders and sisters do!!
Love to all,
Elder and Sister Cutler