March turned out to be a bit of a transition month. The weather was still cold and snowy even as the month began but as we neared the end of the month, the brutal cold temperatures began to abate. It is interesting to note that we began to celebrate temperatures in the 40 degree range, which is a major miracle for a couple of “desert rats” like us. By the end of the month, much of the snow had melted but we were still having an occasional snow flurry. In fact, that has continued on even into early April.
We are probably no longer considered to be “greenies” but it still feels like we are learning how to be missionaries all of the time. In fact, we generally have a weekly meeting with the young Elders and Sisters in our District on Thursday mornings just to focus on our learning and our roles as missionaries.
Our schedule has now settled into a bit of a routine. On Sundays we had been going to our regular Church meetings in Ogdensburg and then traveling to Gouverneur for the meetings there later on in the day. However, that ended on March 8 because the little group in Gouverneur simply didn’t have enough “horse power” to keep it moving. As it has worked out, it is a much better situation for all concerned. On Mondays we have our P-Day, which typically involves the Elders coming to our home to do their laundry and to spend time communicating with their families via email using our computers. It is a delight to have them in our home and we feel blessed to be of some service to them. On Tuesdays we volunteer at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen and then in the evening Jim attends the Branch Presidency meeting. Wednesdays we go to Gouverneur where we work with the members in that area and usually spend time with the Sister Missionaries who are based there. On Thursdays we have our District meeting and on Fridays we volunteer with the Salvation Army’s food giveaway. In between these basic activities, we visit members and assist the Elders with some of their appointments. We also help several families in the Branch get to doctor appointments, work, and other events. With all of that going on, we still found a little time to go to the Boston Temple during the early part of March, which was a real treat. We are staying very busy!
On a couple of Monday’s we had all eight of the District missionaries come to our home for an activity. We taught them all how to play “French Bridge” and “3 -13” (card games that are quick and fun). One new tradition that has been established is that the loser of the game has to go pick up our mail at the mailbox, which is at the end of our long driveway.
|Elder Geminert getting the mail after losing a game. The temperature was -8 degrees... hence the reason he is running!|
|Sister Stephenson, Sister Hale, Elder Smith, Elder Geminert, Elder Moore & Elder Hayes|
(all of which have transferred or gone home except for Elder Geminert)
|Sunset over the Saint Lawrence - in our back yard! So beautiful!|
|Just can't keep the food away from that squirrel!|
|This is how the dogs do "fetch" up here!|
|Traveling to Lake Placid through the Adirondacks|