We spend at least 4 hours in the car each day traveling back and forth to the Mission office in Scarsdale from New Paltz and often much more as we hunt for apartments. The weather has been cold and icy on the roads. Elder Howes has learned to slow down (at least during the storms).
One morning as we traveled into the office, we were traveling at the speed limit in the right lane of the Thruway when a Semi came up quickly behind us and swerved left and around us. The Semi was followed by a small white car who tried to do the same. As he approached he too swerved left to go around us but just kept going left into the guardrail and then back across to the other guardrail like a pinball. Sister Howes, who was reading her Kindle, raised her head and asked why our rear windshield wiper was making so much noise? The next morning we made our way to the office on a smaller road so that we could stop and inspect an apartment where the property owner was complaining about the cleanliness (for good reasons). As we came around a corner we came upon a bad accident in Garrison New York.
One of the vehicles had crossed over the center and three cars met head-on. Several of the people were thrown from their vehicles but it was a miracle that no one was killed. We have watched the news to discover that all survived. We however were stuck on this small road for several hours. We finally got turned around and found a dirt road that led us around the accident. The silver lining was that we got to see Garrison New York.
We enjoyed our travels with the find of Garrison despite the tragic accident. We arrived at the missionary apartment to discover that they have a rustic apartment overlooking the Hudson River with a Nuclear Power Plant in the distance. The Apartment was a Nuclear disaster area all on it’s own. Sister Howes loaded 7 bags of garbage in a half and hour.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
All of the Staff in the Mission Office spent the days proceeding Christmas managing the packages being sent to Missionaries. On Christmas Eve, Elder & Sister Howes filled the SUV with packages for 4 of our Zones and set out to Connecticut to deliver. We then went to two Zones closest to our apartment and delivered the remainder. We and our New Paltz Missionaries were invited to a members house to celebrate. We arrived late after our deliveries but the food was great.
Our Hosts. The Quillen’s ………. Our Elder Quorum President & Wife. The Guiglotto’s
Our Sister Missionaries… Sister Lopez and Sister Holdaway. Our Elders Kohli and Johnson are pictured top left above eating, of course.
We had a great Christmas Day. We got up from 12:30am to 2:30am to FaceTime with our Luxembourg crew to watch Oliver open his presents. He got a Mini-Grand Piano (like Schoder’s) after that it was difficult to get him away from it long enough to open anything else. We think that it was the first time we have seen him excited to open gifts.
We made breakfast for our Missionaries and they arrived at 9am to eat and to begin to call family on Skype or FaceTime. A few tears were shed as they talked to their families. But Elder & Sister Howes finally got control of their emotions and we went on to have a great day playing games and enjoying stories.
On the day after Christmas we went into the City to look for an apartment and found ourselves going down both 5th and 8th Avenue.
Pictures from New York City’s Christmas decorations. Taken by Sister Howes while Elder Howes is trying to get “away”…..as fast as he could. We hope and pray that your Christmas celebration had the Spirit of Christ.