A Season of…Change!

We learned a few days after out last post that we would be transferred. Our Mission President, President Morgan, called as we were walking out the door with our young missionaries for an appointment. He ask us to move to the Mission Office to take over managing Mission apartments. He then asked us to report to the office on the following Monday morning for Staff meeting.  On our first day we learned that we would travel 84 miles one way to the Mission Office with the traffic.  After saying this a few times it feels like telling you that we walked to school everyday – uphill both ways and that’s the way it feels.  We spend even more time in the car than ever before most of this traveling back and forth from the office.  We have traded.

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Our Old Office                                                Our New Office

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Housing that looks like this.                                       To housing that now looks like this.

We’re grateful for the time that we had to enjoy the country side of New York and now look forward to a faster pace in the City.  We’ll now move to the City and commute to New Paltz only on weekends to fulfill our callings until a new couple arrives to replace us.

A visit Home….

Both Elder & Sister Howes’ moms have had health issues and we wanted to make a visit to surprise them.  Mission accomplished.  We caught a flight home out of Albany that took us through Washington DC.  As we prepared to change planes Elder Howes spotted two familiar faces and as unlikely as it may be we were all on the same flight into Salt Lake.

IMG_0899Elder & Sister Winters were on their way home from Bosnia and Herzegovina after serving as Humanitarian Missionaries for 18 months.  What a treat for us to fly home with one another and be able to “catch-up”.  Because we were on the same flight “we” had a welcoming committee at the Airport.  Awesome.

The next morning we called Sister Howes’ Mom and learned that they were at Home Depot but were headed to Walmart.  As they made there way, we caught up with them and pulled into Walmart behind them.  Somehow Sister Howes’ sister recognized us through the rear view mirror and pulled over for a reunion.  It was great.

This was followed by a similar call to Elder Howes’ Mom and Dad, as we talked about the weather we pulled into their driveway, walked up to the back door with their little Yorkie yapping away at us through the door.  As Dad Howes went to calm his yapping dog we popped in and surprised them.  They too were grateful to see us.

We also got the opportunity to attend our home ward for Fast and Testimony meeting.  It was really great to see so many of the people that we love but we both felt that we were in the wrong place.  Our calling and assignment is New York and as hard is it may be to understand we were grateful to return.

Christmas Devotional

During our visit home Elder Howes worked to coordinate the transportation of all of our missionaries to Ossining New York.  Our missionaries are split between those that don’t drive (because they live in the City) and those that do (because they live in the countryside).  Elder Howes’ assignment was to effectively match them up at a Metro train station 40 miles out of the City so that they could meet together at the Ossining Chapel for a Christmas Devotional.  Mission accomplished.

We have so many talented young men and women.  Concert performers.  Pianists, Violinists, Singers and many other instruments were played to a choreographed musical program that was as professional as any you could pay to see.

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But then came the work of feeding 270 missionaries.  The Senior couples all came together to prepare and then to serve this mass.  It was a great and successful Devotional.

Army vs Navy

The couple serving as the Military Relations Missionaries completed their mission just before the Army Navy football game in Philadelphia and asked if we would chaperon the Cadets for this outing with the Midshipmen.

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Pictured above are most of the LDS Cadets and Midshipmen in a Chapel in Philadelphia after Army got hammered by Navy (they took it well).  Perhaps you can tell by their Uniforms that it was VERY cold and wet for this game.  We drove both ways in a tremendous snow and ice storm but all went safely for the commute.

A change of Seasons with Snow and Ice Storms

It turned very cold very quickly in New York.  This began when we left for Utah at the end of November.  We had enjoyed an “Indian Summer” Fall up to that point but when we retuned it was bitterly cold.

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We hear that the weather at home is also cold and snowy but that last few pictures show the Ice storm that came through.  The ice was 1/2 inch thick on all of the cars.  It was interesting cleaning them off.  All we did is scrap around the edges and then push the ice off in sheets.  A new experience for us.

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