Actually, quite a few things have happened...Mom was involved in an accident a week and a half ago when she was hit from behind...no injuries but she was shook up. Rear left fender & back bumper need to be replaced - $2,700 to be paid by Allstate. And, of course, I was traveling up north.
Then, I found out that I need another hernia operation - last one on April 25th didn't hold. New surgery scheduled for Sept 11th. Bummer!
No new apartments needed until next month, but we have inspected some older units and have asked for some improvements. The Sisters are usually pretty good at keeping their apartments clean, but some Elders are another matter. I guess if they were not trained at home, it is hard to train them here, but we try. One companionship left their air conditioner going 24/7 at 68 degrees and when I got the utility bill, I nearly fell off my chair..$453. Needless to say we corrected that quickly...no more air conditioning.
On Sept 3rd new missionaries arrived. That is always a great experience. Some are really ready to go to work and others are not quite sure what to expect. We had two sisters stay with us Tuesday night, which is always fun. They were not new, but they were involved with the transfer. One is a VISA Waiter and is leaving on Monday for Brazil. The next day we had another 80 transfers and the new missionaries met their new trainers and were assigned to an area. Another order for 75 pizzas which were all consumed. Then we had a short testimony meeting with the missionaries leaving and then the new missionaries standing to tell where they were assigned and which trainer they were assigned. It was pretty intimidating for them to stand before all the missionaries...several couldn't even remember who they were assigned to or which area they would be working. Then the departing missionaries stood and bore their testimony. What a difference...confident with strong testimonies and the love for their Savior and their mission.
That evening, we were blessed with the invitation to have dinner at the mission home with those departing. What a wonderful evening...full of laughter about various experiences during their missions, tearful spiritual memories and discussions about what they were going to do when they got home. Each six weeks we get to experience this event and we love it. It is really the highlight of the transfer week. It is one of our favorite experiences -- love the missionaries!!!
So, during the last 8 months, we have experienced freezing cold, intestinal flu, food poisoning (6 weeks to fully recover), Claire's passing, mail merge frustrations, finding 40 new apartments and furnishing them, forgetting to pay rent, causing damage to two mission vehicles, getting our own car damaged, one hernia repair operation, which didn't hold, and now preparing for another hernia repair operation on Sept 11th. Through it all, we have never thought about going home...we are called to serve and serve we will. We love it and love the missionaries.
One of the father's of the missionaries has a hobby of carving Styrofoam pumpkins for Halloween. He has an incredible collection. He asked for a logo for the mission, and this is what he sent, complete with a light inside. We have it on a table in the office, and it is really a fun addition until after Halloween.
Today we went to Clinton to see the Hamilton campus, founded in 1787. We were supposed to go to the gardens, but it was raining so the best we could get was a picture of this church built in the 1700's. The campus is beautiful, and most of the buildings are stone.
Now Mom typing: I was called last Sunday to be a counselor in the Relief Society Presidency in the Branch. It is going to be interesting -- continuing to teach Primary with Dad, leading the singing in Sacrament Meeting, conducting and teaching every third week. I don't know when I will be able to do the visiting teaching and general visiting of the sisters. I thought I was busy, but I am going to be REALLY BUSY! It will be fun, though, getting to know the sisters better and being involved with a fantastic president.
Thanks for all your support and prayers. We love each one and pray for you individually and collectively -- included is our friends as well.
Elder & Sister Cutler, Herb & Sharon, Grammy & Papa, Friend