Well we have officially arrived at Summer according to the calendar. We, from Utah, believe that we have ever changing weather. I think the saying is that if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes and it will change. But we have seen that weather in New York changes just as fast and in it’s own way is just as unpredictable. When we arrived in February we were able to take a walk nearly everyday. It was cold but we could dress for it. Since coming to New Paltz, only 50 miles away from our first assigned apartment, the weather has been far more extreme and changes nearly everyday. We go from very cold to very hot and humid, from drizzles to outright down pours. We’re sure that humidity adds to our feeling the extremes. We go from 90 degrees and 90% humidity to 50 degrees and driving rain within several days, over and over.
Have we mentioned the bugs! Pictured below is two that we caught pictures of outside of the apartment. We don’t know what is on the left but the one on the right is a cicada.
Wild estimates were tossed around to describe how many cicadas were expected to crawl out of the ground leading up to this year’s debut of the Cicadas. Some said there would be up to 30 billion. Some said 1 trillion. Still others said cicadas would out number people 600 to 1. The emergence is nearly over and many residents in much of New York are feeling cheated (or relieved). When we lived in Texas we came to enjoy the “white noise” made during the infestation period which was much longer than here in New York. We went out to record the noise made by these to include in our blog but instead only found the sound made by the thousands of frogs in the many waterways, ponds and lakes that surround us and even that we could not include because we needed to “Upgrade” to upload that type of file. Below is one of the thousands of frogs found everywhere around us. This guy (or maybe girl, I don’t know how to check) was on our doorstep when we came home from the Temple waiting for an invitation to come in (didn’t get one). There was also no more bugs on the front porch when we got home? He does look very content!
Zone & District Meeting changes….
Our Mission President has been inspired to make some significant changes to rules about boundaries within Zone & Districts. We have so many talented and specially trained young missionaries and they are usually assigned to one area where those talents are used, but sometimes sparingly because of where they are assigned. Several examples of this would be; having English speaking missionaries in an area where there is also Spanish speakers but the Spanish speaking Missionaries are in a different area or Sister Missionaries, who we know can be so effective in situations that, at times, young men cannot. We are now permitted to coordinate work more closely within the Zone to move missionaries for those special circumstances as needed. We have, as mentioned many times, such great young men and women serving in this area and we are looking forward to helping this work move along better and at a greater pace by matching the needs of the investigators with the gifts of the missionaries. Below is a pictured our new Zone. We have five Spanish speakers, one Russian speaker, one Portuguese speaker and two Sister Missionaries, also part of the group of Spanish speakers. Also Elder & Sister Howes who speak broken Texan/English/Utahnese.
To add experience and variety to our week we decided that we would try the Train/subway route to the Temple this week. The Rasmussen’s have commented that we should try this and we did some research and planning only to find that it requires a little more time and expense in travel and requires that we leave our shift before it is over to catch connections home but we’re thinking that the 90 mile trip each way this winter might be less painful in poor weather if we were to let someone else do the “driving”. We purchased tickets, filled our Metro card and headed to the train station in Poughkeepsie to catch our train. We arrived 30 minutes early. Elder Howes dropped Sister Howes at the Train Station and went to find a parking space. After parking in the closest parking area a parking attendant counseled me to move. He said that despite (non)signs in the area, I would be towed before we returned home that evening because of rules (unexplained). I was given directions to the legal parking two blocks away and departed and finally met up with Sister Howes in the Train Station 10 minutes after the train had left. We’re undeterred and will try again next week and drove on to our shift, on-time.
On Saturday we returned to Manhattan with 11 of our members to provide them with an opportunity to serve. Below is pictured many of those that participated.
We have grown to love these people. Our Young Men’s President, pictured in the vest (picture on the lower right) with the Elder’s Quorum President made everyone lunch and we ate in the lobby outside the entry of the Temple.
Participate in the Work of Salvation
We spent the last two hours this evening watching, we hope along with you, the training given by our leaders regarding exciting changes to Missionary work. We look forward to our opportunity to participate in these changes and watching as the work move forward. Once again, we are few in number but we’re not afraid of the work in front of us. We caught this picture of our little sons at the conclusion of the broadcast that we watched on the computer at our apartment so that we didn’t have to drive 50 miles to the Stake center.