On Tuesday, August 4th I signed a commitment for a new apartment lease in the Missouri River ward of the Lake St Louis Stake. It has been difficult to find, and even now, we will need to wait almost six weeks before we can take occupancy. Low cost housing is tight. I also took a vacuum and a smoke alarm to the Webster Grove North sisters. I’m replacing more of these alarms than I would have expected. They say they have a 10 year life, but on closer inspection, they also say the lifespan is decreased by heat and humidity. Well, that explains it.
Sister Hatfield was asked by a missionary to repair his pants at an MLC meeting a couple of weeks ago. Like most missionary meetings, her attention is in high demand at missionary meetings. She took the pants, but did not carefully think about who gave them to her. After the sewing, she made some sheepish phone calls around the mission to figure out who’s pants they were. It wasn’t easy. I thought the cause was lost, but finally, Elder Reid, from the South zone claimed them. Mystery solved. Sis Hatfield has been trying to help Sis Bell with referrals. The software leads us to believe that we have as many as 70 people that have not been contacted by the missionaries. Pres Bell has, naturally, chastised the missionaries for not following up and picking the low hanging fruit that a referral represents. After lots of frustration, it turns out our missionaries aren’t lazy—the software refuses to change the referral status after the missionaries have made attempts to contact the person referred. Sis Hatfield and Sis Bell were on a long conference call with Salt Lake to first identify the problem, and then to try to find solutions. So far, the only thing that works is for an administer to manually change the referral status. The missionaries can’t do it. Well, that won’t work very long. There is simply too much to do.
Wednesday August 5th started out like most Wednesdays, with me joining the video workout led by President Bell. Is a 60 year old too old to be doing this with men 1/3 his age? Maybe. I do it anyway. We headed for Belleville, Illinois to deliver some recently arrived desks and a simple set of metal and fabric drawers substituting as a dresser for the sisters tucked into the small front bedroom. They have been good sports, basically living out of their suitcases and studying on their beds and kitchen tables. They were so appreciative of what we brought to them—a little payback for the housing coordinator. Later that evening Sis Hatfield discovered that her emails to the incoming missionaries were largely lost in the ethersphere. The missionary software system allows you to create groups for email communications. She had done that for missionaries coming later in August to communicate important information related to their arrival and service. Almost by mistake, she learned that one person had not received the email, then another, and another! Yikes, she spent hours recreating the message and sending it one by one to the 35 missionaries scheduled to come on August 26. Technology!
On Saturday, August 8th Sis Hatfield and I spent some time cleaning our apartment. It was preparation day, and I am the housing coordinator, so what’s sauce for the goslings is sauce for the goose. For some reason, we decided to dust above our stacked dryer, and a light brush of the rag displaced the dryer exhaust tube. It was attached only by a very insufficient piece of duct tape. And on further investigation, the upper end of the coiled tube wasn’t attached to anything at all, just partially stuck into a sheetrocked chase. We spent the afternoon chasing down connectors and other parts to make this darn thing work so it wasn’t blowing dryer dust into our bathroom all the time.
After the home projects were under control, we cleaned up and went with
the Bells to a drive by wedding reception along the front walk of the Mahaffeys,
the first counselor in the mission presidency.
It was a unique experience, greeting people without even getting out of
the car. But something tells me that
this can’t be part of the new normal!
Afterwards, we went to dinner with the Bells and while we were at it,
accompanied them to the dance studio to pick up their son from practice. He has been back in Utah for a good chunk of
the summer. The Bells are especially
glad to have him home because his older brother has decided to spend his whole
senior year back in Utah. That was
certainly a difficult decision for the Bells, especially if he decides to go on
a mission soon after graduation.