Tuesday, January 24, 2012

This past week has been a new "Winterpeg" experience. We have had about four days of real cold temperatures more typical of a regular Canadian winter eh. At 3 PM Tuesday afternoon it was -14 F but the sun was shining and it was beautiful. Actually it has been that cold all week with nighttime lows near -20 F. Our old car does not like it. It sputters and shutters a bit when starting then runs OK after a few minutes. Every morning I check the temperature so I can tell Mom how many layers to consider. It takes time to put all that stuff on. And just like when you were a little kid, once you are all bundled up that's when you have to go wee. Most amusing. Rex loaned us his Columbia coat he had in Russia and I wear it when it's 15 F or below. Mom has a long down filled coat she acquired from the mission office coat collection which seems to work pretty well for her. The other challenge is getting in the car and belted wearing all that stuff. Coats are bad enough to deal with because they are so bulky but then what to do with hats and gloves. Do you wear them and if you don't where do you put them so you can put them on again before you get out of the car. I told Mom we need "idiot mittens" with a  string that goes up each sleeve and attaches to each glove so you can't lose them. Rex's coat is so thick the hood is always against my head and when I see it in my peripheral vision and I think someone is following me. Just think we get to this again next winter!

Most of our work so far has been finding members of the Ward and confirming addresses. As mentioned before we have found many people who are not at the address the Church has in the Ward directory. Some have been gone for months or years. People who are apartment dwellers move frequently for better housing, jobs or for family reasons. They change cell phones as often as they move so it's rare that anyone will answer a phone call. So when we had a chance to go with Elder Orrego to several teaching appointments we jumped at the chance. It was good to do. It has been our only opportunity to be involved in teaching thus far. The first two appointments were on Tuesday evening. We met with an older man who attends church with his wife every Sunday, but struggles with the Book of Mormon because he is trying to figure it out archeologically. He knows a lot about the Church and hopefully will let the Spirit work on him. Nice older couple. The second appointment was with a Hispanic couple from El Salvador/Guatemala, they are at the beginning of their learning. It's funny to hear a Spanish accent punctuated with eh! At the end of the lesson, the father, Mauricio, wanted us to give his son a blessing. Elder Orrego wanted Mauricio to give the blessing but he resisted a lot. I suggested that Mauricio anoint his son and he agreed to that when I told him I would help him. Elder Oreggo gave the blessing and it turned out really well.

Wednesday evening we went with Elder Orrego again since his new companion won't be with him until Thursday. We visited a couple in their 30's where the wife is the member. We helped teach a lesson on the Restoration. The husband likes the missionaries in their home because he feels the spirit but doesn't recognize it as such. Hopefully in time he will let the spirit work on him too. We challenged him to read from the Book of Mormon every day.

It has snowed here maybe 5 or 6 times since our arrival but only a few inches each time, so there hasn't been a much of an accumulation. However business's with parking lots have their lots cleared occasionally. Safeway has their snow piled and after a snow or two contractors clear the store parking lot at night. Monday night they came in with 3 front end loaders and piled all the snow then Tuesday night they came back with one loader and a truck or two and hauled it off. It's cheap entertainment and we have a grand view of it from our balcony.

Just a couple more things we have discovered. When it's -14 F the baby wipes we keep in the car freeze solid, you cannot even begin to peel the corner up to get one out of the package. The second thing is that your nose hairs freeze. It feels weird to wrinkle your nose, things get stuck in there.  One more thing of interest. Two different families with dogs told us that their dogs don't like to get their feet cold. So while outside doing their doggy things these particular dogs just flop over on their sides when they have had enough. The owners then have to go outside and pick them up and bring them inside. Fortunately they were both small dogs .We have been told we are over the hump for winter, now we coast into spring. Today was Sunday and the temperature rose to 23 F and felt reasonable. It was a about a 40 degree temperature swing in just a day. Mom and I love you all. Dad.

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