Elder & Sister Howes are repenting of their constant complaining about their constant traveling. From now on we’re putting a positive twist on whatever we’re given.
I’ve been everywhere!
Do you remember that great song by Johnny Cash?
I’ve been everywhere, man.
I’ve been everywhere, man.
Crossed the desert’s bare, man.
I’ve breathed the mountain air, man.
Of travel I’ve had my share, man.
I’ve been everywhere.
Well he’s got nothing on us. We’ve been to: Amsterdam Athens Belfast Berlin Bethlehem Bombay Boston Cairo Charlotte Chili Columbia Cuba Delhi Florida Frankfort Geneva Greece Lebanon Lima Lisbon Madrid Mexico Milan Montezuma Naples Norway Ogden Ohio Paris Perth Peru Philadelphia Sweden Pompey Preston Rotterdam Russia Sidney Stockholm Sweden Wales Warsaw Washington Waterloo and that’s just in New York wait till we add the places in New Jersey and Connecticut not to mention travel to New York and what we may yet see for the next 5 month’s.
Our newest best friend is a man from Mexico that fills our car every two days in Mahwah, New Jersey. When he sees us pull into the station he guides us into the first available space (much to the chagrin of those waiting in line). It probably doesn’t hurt that Sister Howes gives him a tip every time we fill up (I think she’s trying to make his house payment).
We still get much needed opportunities to be involved with the “missionary” training and guidance that comes during Zone Conferences. Zone Conferences are held in three locations. We have three couples in the office, giving each of us the opportunity to participate in one. We were pleased to attend with our Zones from the north of the Mission (were we continue to live) and hear the young missionaries speak about Consecration. We had lunch with our northern Zones were we sing, Called to Serve, to those who prepared and fed us lunch and then sang Happy Birthday to those that have birthdays within the the three month period between conferences.
We got to visit with current and former Missionaries who served in New Paltz.
But the highlight for the Zone Conference was a reunion with our own Elder Miller. Sorry Mom and Dad we’re claiming him as our own, for now.
I was surprised to see how much this young man is looking like his Dad. I had never noticed this before. No worries Dad, he’s a good looking guy.
Our new challenge….finding and closing apartments.
Our mission has (for the most part) hit it’s peak on the number of Missionaries. We are now at about 260 young Missionaries with about 100 apartments. Our challenge is finding better apartments and improving the living circumstances of the companionships by insuring cleaner and apartments that are located within the areas the Missionaries serve in. Finding apartments within the City of New York is a real challenge. We look at about 10 apartments for every one that is acceptable and then we have to fight the battle of them renting to us because we are a Corporation (landlords find it harder to sue a Corporation). After that we fight a battle on naming occupants (who constantly change) under what is termed Section 8 rules of rent control.
We are closing apartments because we are losing our Senior Missionaries at an alarming rate. We once had 17 couples and by the end of May we will have only 10 with one leaving every couple of month’s after that with no signs of relief. We lost two Sister Missionaries who were doing record retention recently and vacated their apartment at the end of their service.
In case this looks familiar, this is the apartment that we lived in when we first came out over a year ago. We were sad to let this apartment go. First because it was our first home in New York and second because it was such a nice apartment and they are so hard to find.