We got our first snow on Friday, 11-11-11! It was magic! It started just after we got to work, little tiny flakes. As the morning progressed, so did the snow--great big, fluffy flakes. Then it stopped at lunch time, then started again when we got back to work. Essentially, it snowed all day long, but by the time we left work at 5:00, it had stopped and was all gone--none on the grass, none on the streets or sidewalks. It was windy and cold and we thought winter was here for good. But by Sunday morning, it was quite balmy and by Monday we thought spring had come. Everyone here says, "Fat chance!" but we are enjoying each day.
Last week was transfer week. Even though I don't help with the meal preparation, I am still exhausted by the end of the week. We welcomed 5 new missionaries into the mission--4 elders (Andrews, King, Portela, and Simmonds) and one sister (Blackburn). We got to meet them Wednesday morning when they came to the church for training and to meet their Trainers. Bill and I give short presentations during the training--I talk about mail (make sure all your mail gets sent to the Mission address) and making sure they notify us if their folks move or they get a new bishop, etc. Bill talks about taking care of cars, driving carefully, sending in all their gas receipts and what they can be reimbursed for. Then we all pour into the cultural hall where there are boxes and boxes of hot pizza, bowls of green salad and water. Some of the missionaries who are transferring are there, as well as the missionaries who have finished their missions and are going home on Thursday. The new missionaries are introduced by their new trainers, then the leaving (sometimes referred to as the "dying missionaries") have the opportunity of bearing their testimonies. We said good-bye to 4 elders. Elder Daniels-Brown is a very tall, very thin young man with a big smile and very friendly personality. We got to know him because he has been a Zone Leader since before we got here and we see the Zone Leaders at least once per transfer. Elder Owens is a curly, red-headed young man with a smile that never stops. We got to know him very well because he was assigned to the Oneida Branch. We didn't know Elder Van Roosendaal well at all, only having met him once before during the previous transfer. Elder West was also a Zone Leader, but he isn't nearly as outgoing as Elder Daniels-Brown, so we didn't get to know him very well, either. After lunch, Bill and I go back to the office and get to work, getting mail that had accumulated for two days ready to be forwarded to the new addresses, writing letters to the parents of the new missionaries which includes a group picture of them. I had written the letters to the new leaders (Zone leaders, District leaders and Trainers) on Monday, but now they needed to be mailed, along with copies of the letters sent to their parents, bishops, and stake presidents. All in all, it was a huge batch of mail that Bill took down to the post office that afternoon. The rest of the week was spent finishing up paper work that always piles up during transfer week. And the weekend was spent resting, cleaning, and grocery shopping.
Our Branch President asked to meet with us after Church on Sunday. He asked if I would accept the assignment of being Primary President and I said I would. Then he asked Bill if he would accept the assignment of teaching the youth Sunday School class. Like the Primary, there is only one class. There is only one 13 year-old girl (Victoria Shorer) who attends regularly, and two boys (the Blakes) who attend about half the time. Bill said he would be happy to teach. I guess he won't be able to teach the Gospel Doctrine class anymore like he had that day, but the regular teacher (Sister Huddleston) should be back by next Sunday and if she's not, I guess President Colbert will teach the class.
Also after Church, I practiced with Sister Ransom who will be singing "How Great Thou Art" next week in church. She is a funny little Puerto Rican lady who has some serious health problems and is married to a local man. She speaks with a funny accent and has been teaching the Primary class since Sister Roll left. She informed me that she would be singing "O, Come Ye Faithful" for the Christmas Program and the Primary children would be singing "Jesus of Humble Birth," and the Lullaby and she guessed I would be playing for them. Apparently anyone who wants to be in the program volunteers and sings/reads/recites whatever they want to. This will be fun!