Friday, 30 December 2011

Fri. December 30, 2011

We went down to the bank once again to try and open our a/c so that we have the required amount of euros in it in order to apply for residency.  You only get to stay three months on your "retiree" visa, so time is running out for us to get that started. Basically they want to see something with your name and address on it like a utility bill or a lease agreement etc.  This time we thought we had it made because Pres. Charles went with us and since he has the power of attorney for the Church in Greece and he had the lease agreement showing that the apartment connected to the Mission Office was for the sole purpose of housing two missionaries that he could vouch for us.  No, they wouldn't budge - whatever we produced for them HAD to have our name on it and a Greek address.  Anyway, the man who handles cases like ours was on holidays so we couldn't have done it today even if we had the right papers - but I'm glad Pres. Charles could see what we have been up against.  He has an idea of something we could try, so that's going to be the next thing!!

The most exciting thing to happen finally surfaced today.  One of our favorite couples has just learned that they are released immediately to go home  -  until  -  the end of June, when they return as the new Mission President and wife.  They are just so nice and we are so glad that he will be our next President.  We have occasionally mused over who might be the next President.  Not all Presidents are as nice as Pres. Freestone, so we are VERY fortunate that we are going to have them.  We are excited.  It's a three-year term.

Thurs. Dec. 29 2011

Supposed to be preparation day.  We did a bit of shopping and came back to the mission office and went straight to work.  President Charles finalized the transfers and then the calls began to go out.  The Assts. were scrambling once again to get all "their ducks in a row" so to speak.  They are very good at making all the arrangements and fitting everything together - I don't know how they keep it all straight!  I had to put in the Supplies Order so I gathered together the requests sent in to be filled for January and then you check the shelves to see how much you have left and place your order accordingly. While doing that, I enlisted Brent's help and we did an inventory of the Book of Mormon stock.  We have stock of them in 33 languages.  It took me all afternoon (counting interruptions) to get all the information ready to do the order  and you have to put the language code on every item that you order.  It was a long day.

Wed. December 28, 2011

A hectic day with all the meetings and the buzz about transfers coming up i.e. who goes where and who are the new Assts. to the President  it's a lot of fun!  The current Assts. have been spending a lot of time here working out all the moves and correlating them with transportation - it's big job.  The next few days are going to be extra busy because it is both "month end" and "year end" for reports etc.  It's also the time for supply orders etc. to be submitted.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Tues. December 27, 2011

Elder and Sis. Collier left early and picked up the young sisters and headed back to Thessaloniki.  I was sad to see them go - they are so nice and we had so much fun!

What a slow day, after all the planned activities of the past few days we feel a let-down for sure - and so tired feeling.  I can't believe it - we really didn't do much of anything so why do we feel this tired!!!


Mon. December 26,2011

An activity day for all missionaries and we all met at Halandri building which is a small meeting house with a gym.  The first thing on the agenda was the "Nerf" guns wars!!  It took ages to get started as there were diagrams to study of the layout of where the action was to take place.  Then teams were formed (and the inevitable "practicing" with the guns had to happen).  Then instructions and rules were explained.  Actually the elders had done a pretty good job - it seem to copy some video games that I've seen in the past - you have a target or goal to achieve and you have an opposing side "inside the building.")  So a series of these games took place and then we had a late lunch and that was followed by three DVDs - "Kung Fu Panda" - "Car's II"  and "Tangled."   It was really fun and I don't care if I see another DVD for a while!!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Sun. December 25, 2011

We attended a one hour sacrament meeting at Halandri Branch.  It was a musical sacrament meeting with only a short comment from the 1st Counsellor and singing the hymns and carols was really sweet and enjoyable.  It was good that all the missionaries (some of those posted in the Athens area and all that came down from Thessaloniki) attended because there were only about 7 of the Branch members that came - our dear members have such a hard time with their families because of their choice to join the church, so they feel obligated to spend time with their families on occasions such as this.  The Orthodox church is so imbedded in their lives that it makes missionary work very difficult.  We see a softening though - probably because of the troubles they have been experiencing they are being humbled.  Anyway, after that meeting - we dashed back here to cook up 15 kilos of green beans to take down to the Acropoli Branch by 1:00 p.m. where we expected to feed anywhere between 70 - 125 people.  Acropoli is the CES Young Adult Branch and there are a lot of needy people there, so they were invited to come for Christmas dinner and bring their friends.  In the end we fed about 75, plus the missionaries.  That was done and cleaned up by around 3:30 and by then most of the "guests" gone - then  about 15-20 missionaries and senior couples went out the front of the church facility, (the facility is in the middle of a row of establishments, all one building - and looks quite ordinary from the small entrance, but the church has done it's magic inside and it is a very nice "meeting house, on four floors) and into the cold, and sang carols to passers-by for about 45 mins. (not me though - I was freezing and stood just inside the door and watched (wimpy me!).   Then we all went "home" - but, because we were hosting a sr. couple from Thessaloniki, the fun continued.  The Assts. came by to make their Christmas Skype/phone calls and Elder & Sis. Collier got our their Nerf guns (yes, that's what I said!) and practiced using them because tomorrow we (missionaries) are all to go to Halandri branch and watch some appropriate moves (Tangled,I think is one of them 😜)  and then. all who have Nerf guns (and there are quite a few missionaries that do have them!!) will participate in a Nerf gun "war."  Should be crazy!

So you see, we are not wanting for things to do - not to mention the fun and love that is very evident among us all. However, our Christmas would have been very sad if it wasn't for Skype.

Sat. December 24, 2011

It's so nice having Elder and Sis. Collier stay here with us - being this time of year, it would be pretty dull and lonely without them as everything has been winding down and even the e-mails (from which a lot of my work is derived) have stopped coming.

It's still bitterly cold.  The rain has let up, but the wind is from the NE and is very strong.  As well as not having insulation in the office complex, it is very drafty. Brrrr!

All the missionaries gathered at Acropoli Branch in the afternoon where we had a training meeting, presented by Pres. & Sis. Charles.  It was very uplifting - it was meant to encourage and enthuse and it worked.  They are wonderful.  Then the "junior" missionaries set to and provided sandwiches etc. for everyone.  Some had bought "Nerf" guns and things got a little wild for a bit.  They said they were practicing for Monday!!  On Monday we have a fun day at Halandri building and part of it is slated to be a"Nerf" gun war!   After that, we had games and "mission" presents were handed out. One was the DVD ("Greece: A Zion's Land") that was made here in the mission and was sent to the parents earlier, and another was a temple recommend holder which has a photo of the Acropolis on it and text saying "Greece Athens Mission  -  In the Footsteps of Paul" - it is really nice.

Everyone is allowed phone calls to family and that is starting to happen now so excitement is high!

Fri. December 23, 2011

The weather is still nasty.  Although we couldn't see it because of the clouds, it was snowing up on the mountains behind us.  We are REALLY cold.

Our missionaries from Thessaloniki were supposed to arrive about 3:00 pm.  We were still waiting for them at 5:00 pm.  They finally arrived at 5:30 pm.   The traffic in Athens was soooo bad and they had a couple of wrong turns, it took that long.

The President took us all out to supper at the "Three Pigs"  (that's not really it's name, but the real name is so hard to say and because of the picture of a pig that they have on their sign outside, that's what they call it).  There was eight of us and we had a really good time.  I had chicken souvlaki which they served with fries and they were sooo good (big and soft and well cooked - not this and dry and crispy).  I think Brent had something like a shwarma , but he said it was nowhere near as good as "Jimmies" in Calgary.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Thurs. December 22, 2011

Wow!  It's Sunday now and I'm playing catch-up as we've so busy with Christmas stuff, I've had to let this go.

Thursday - early in the morning, things bean with a thunder and lightning storm and then rain, rain, rain!  I've never seen so much rain that has lasted so heavy and so long.  Brent actually took me and bought some boots for me - an early Christmas present :)

We did quite a bit of shopping actually and trying to get to the stores was a challenge - although, it's always a challenge trying to get anywhere here, but it was even a little bit worse.  You play Russian roulette with the rest of them or you don't make it!  As were have missionaries coming down from Thessaloniki to stay here with us, we needed to stock up on food.  We were kept running in the office too - the President had a bunch of things that needed to be done -  some missionaries phoned in to see how much money they had left on their debit cards - most of the church stuff was required earlier in the week, so that was good to have that done.

We had a really neat Skype visit with Kay today - it was her birthday yesterday.  It is so marvelous that we can connect across the miles so easily.   That was a special little chat.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Wed. December 21, 2011

Our usual busy Wednesday.  Meetings began at 10 am. and we didn't finish until 7:30 p.m.  We didn't have to attend every one of those meetings, but we were still "on deck" for whatever needs there were - so I never plan to get much of my work done on Wednesdays.

Before our meetings started we had a visit with the man who caretaker for the absent owners and he is totally Greek.  I have never heard anyone spit out worlds as quickly as that man and he has no English so he bring a nice young Russian guy with him who speaks Russian, Greek and English (sort of) to interpret!  It's hoot - this little guy goes on and on (I don't know how he breaths) and, like most Greeks, he sounded like he was angry when they get excited, but he wasn't - he was just trying to explain that some money that he should have received hasn't come to his bank.It got all cleared up in the end and he went away happy.

Tues. December 20, 2011

Just another office day, but I got my stitches out later in the day.  It feels much better, but still tender.

Went out to the airport to pick Pres. & Charles.  Their plane landed five minutes late, but they didn't appear until 35 minutes after that.  We think it must have been the extra holiday traffic and maybe they were being more thorough in customs.  However, it's always very interesting crowd watching and the time passed quickly.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Mon. December 19, 2011

It's pouring like crazy today - the first rain we had since we've been here.  I had another dental appointment and when we came out the roads coming down the hills were awash.  I only had little flat shoes on and the water seemed to be running about two inches deep and fast.  Brent was parked across the little road and I was walking up and down, looking for a spot that was free enough of water to get across.  With little cars speeding up this “lane,” splashing all over the place it was a challenge.  I finally back-tracked a bit and found one spot – not clear of water, but good enough to get across!!  With all that going on it was still 15C!!  The joys of Athens.

It was pretty quiet in the office today.  I guess the rain kept normal activities low key, but the little postal delivery trucks - Greece Post, DHL & FedEx all came with parcels - among which were mine!!!  I was so grateful to get a present from Rick & Renee and the boys and from Brenda (with a warm sweater and skirt that I had left behind, some hockey pucks for Brent's "hockey Game" which he has made and other important stuff).  It was great!


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sun. December 18, 2011

It was interesting at church.  Brent and I arrived a bit stress regarding our speaking assignment, but ready for it nevertheless.  As the announcements were made (in Greek) we didn't think we heard our names called to be speakers - so we just sat there and waited to see what would happen.  Sure enough when the time came a sister went up and gave a super talk, while we settled back and de-stressed and enjoyed her talk.  I thought we had avoided the "bullet" but they discovered their mistake after and now Brent is re-signed to speak in January!!

It only got up to 15C. today!

Sat. December 17, 2011

A full day!  Out to do grocery shopping at 8:00 am.  Drove the President and family to the airport in the early afternoon.  Did a spot of shopping and then we cooked 10 kilos of frozen corn and took it down to  Acropoli building for the combined Christmas party for Halandri and Acropoli Branches.  It was very well attended - about 80 members/friends. The food was a joint effort between Branches and missionaries, but missionaries served the members which was fun.  Couldn't converse very much with them, but hand-signing works OK too.  We didn't stay as late as the others because we had talks to get ready for tomorrow.  We took a cab home and the driver only drove cabs in the winter because he was a tour bus guide in the summer and claimed he knew everything about Athens and proceeded to demonstrate that on the way home - I believe him.  He was very good and interesting and it was a fun ride.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Friday December 16, 2011

It's raining!  The President is going to Cyprus tomorrow and he came over here this morning with two huge suitcases to load up all the Christmas packages and mail that has accumulated here for those missionaries.  There will be some happy missionaries!!

Freestones came over again and gave us more help in getting the "Christmas" mail out.  I'm sure glad that's finished.  Later the Zone Leaders came up - the President had given them permission to use the computer and copier to work on the Dec. 26th fun project that all the missionaries will be taking part in.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Thurs. December 15, 2011

Brent had some wood delivered today with which to make that hockey game - he was moaning about the cost of the wood (he wanted fir plywood and the guy just looked at him and pointed to what they had - Brent didn't recognize it - thought it might be a maple!) and I told him that it would be his gift to the missionaries!!  So now has this little project to keep him occupied "in his spare time"!!

We received our first Christmas card today - it was a thrill.  I am beginning to feel a little sad about being so far away from dear familiar faces and family.  I can handle it though.

Another missionary called in today to say he had lost his bank card.  The missionaries each had a bank card and fund are deposited into their accounts each month, so losing your bank card is not good!  He'll be waiting about two weeks before he gets a replacement card!

Wed.December 14, 2011

I spent half the day stuffing envelopes with the special DVD "In Paul's Footstep" (produced by the mission here) to send to former missionaries (Oct. 2009 up to the current batch).  Usually, I have help on Wednesdays because all the couple come in to attend meetings.  Some of the meetings only involve the husbands and that leaves their wives free to help me  -  but we didn't have any meetings scheduled today as the President was away.

I learned how the position of Asst. to the President works here in our mission today.  When I served, back in 1961/62, in that mission (and I assumed all other missions) the Assts. were chosen about halfway through the time that they served, and finished their mission as an Asst.  Here, the Assts. are chosen this way  -  usually, one is released and one is kept in, so that continuity is maintained  -  but they only serve for two transfers.  I guess that gives more elders a chance to have that experience.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tues. December 13, 2011

President Charles had given me a list of flights that he wanted booked for the coming year.  I've done one or two since I got here, but  this involved 14 bookings and you do it online - and that's the part that makes me nervous.  However, Aegean Airlines had a special on for bookings in 2012 at 20% off, so that was a really good thing.  I got it done without any errors, I think.

I now have a sore mouth.  Had a gun realignment which resulted in 9 stitches. Hopefully, we are coming close to the end of this dental work!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Mon. December 12, 2011

Yea!  The man came to fix the copier this morning.  Why did we have to wait so long?  Well, we first report  to the "physical facilities" people in Germany (where most everything is run from for us in Europe) and they then have to instigate the call to the copier company in Athens to do the job - but it's fixed now so we're happy.

Slowly, but surely, I'm getting a handle on the computer programs - but - not without help from some very special people (to whom I am so profusely grateful).  I've found that having my laptop along side is very helpful too because I already had a lot of stuff on it that I use - especially graphics!

Pres. & Sis. Charles' daughters and families are here visiting at the moment from England and we had a nice chat with them when they came to see the office.  They were off to the Plaka - the tourist area near the Acropolis - with all kinds of advice and warning and stories about pickpocketers etc.  I notice that whenever that kind of a conversation comes up, Greek folk are quick to point out that it's not the Greeks, but the foreigners and aliens that are the culprits - they're probably right too.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sun. December 11, 2011

Brent taught the lesson on Exultation in Priesthood/RS today and it was excellent.  He has such a knack for teaching.  Julianna was there today, but not Ioannis - I hope everything is OK. Julianna had a Temple Recommend interview which went well.  She is so excited.  It was pot-luck after meetings today.  Not many were there.  Karampoulas' were away - also Dolly and Heidi - also the Spanish sister and husband - in fact only about 15 adults + children were at potluck.  The Maxwells were there - first Sunday in Athens as they came over on the 8th.  They spent a couple of days with the Christensens and got here in time to spend a day with the "D's" (who flew out Sat. morning).  Things are always changing.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Sat. December 10, 2011

It's been two months since we entered the MTC.  One of our couples went home today, but a new couple came out to Cyprus on Tuesday - so it balances out.  We are really going to miss the Dracocardos' - they were so nice and full of fun.

Taled to both Jani and Rick today on Skype.  It is lovely to have that ability.  We are doing great here, but we sure miss everyone at home.

Fri. December 9, 2011

Well, we finally got the first 36 DVDs in the mail.  It took us about an hour at the post office to first, line up - about 10 minutes to get the stamps - the lady had to count out  from a long ribbon of stamps two different denominations - then we had to go to the table to "dip" the stamps on the sponge and affix two stamps to each package.  Then you line up again to give them to the lady.  Every country does things differently and it's fascinating to see.  We were going to try and do a bit of shopping in two stores nearby, but the traffic was so bad and there were no parking spots - so we didn't!   As I've said before the place is full of little cars - Smart cars are very popular here - you see them everywhere.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Thurs. December 8, 2011

It was supposed to be Prep Day, but we are so far behind because of the computer problems, we are continuing to try and get the Mission DVD gift sent to the parents of our missionaries.  The DVD is the easy part - it took some time to get the card made, but we had to"adjust" the envelopes into which the DVD's are being sent.  We had taken a DVD down to the store and matched it up perfectly with the DVD  -  too perfectly it turned out, as the bubble pack inside the envelope took up more room than appeared on the outside (at the stores the envelopes were sealed in packs of five, so you couldn't "try them out" so to speak).  One of the missionaries had kindly addresses the envelopes, so we had to use them.  So, Brent did the "adjusting" by slitting open the one side and easing a little bit more room on the other side by easing it apart a tiny bit and that worked - it was very snug though - so then we taped up the open side and hopefully they'll get to the parents OK!

I had to got in too the dentist today (not the specialist) to have what I thought was a bit of cleaning up of the bridge.  It turned out that the tooth that got the root canal had a fracture in it and in order to strengthen it enough she put a post in it.  She did lots of digging around the gum and the mouth is really sore.  Now I have to go to a periodontist to have work done on the gum there so that they can put an extended crown on what's left of that tooth.  Fun! fun!  All this dental work was not part of the plan for my activity in Greece!

On a bright note!   The weather is amazing when compared to what we've been hearing about in Calgary!

Wed. December 7, 2011

We had a huge thunder and lightning storm here today with tons of rain, but it didn't last very long.  It's the first real rain we've seen since we got here!

We had our usual busy Wednesday, with lots of meetings and lots of people here.  It's fun, but it's hard to get one's work done!

The "bump" for today was that I decided to delete a name from our mail distribution list and it deleted the whole list!!!  Went to the help button to see what could be done about it and learned from Microsoft that they were aware of that problem and that they were working on it!!  Then came the problem of restoring that list.  It was nowhere to be found and so I had to make a new list.   The secret for doing that eluded us completely.  We went to bed hoping that the morning would bring light to the problem!  It seems like that computer program "has it in" for us.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tues. December 6,2011

One of our young missionaries sisters is nearing the end of her mission and when that time arrives, the sisters meet with Sis. Charles (Pres. Charles' wife) and they go over plans for their life after their mission here is completed.  Usually, it focuses on going to university and what scholarships are available etc.  Meanwhile, I am the recipient of her companion's help.  That was super.  She helped by preparing envelopes in which to send a DVD made by our mission - and about our mission - to the parents of our current missionaries.  It is nice to have a one-on-one visit with these sisters as you learn a lot more about them and their families - they are such sweet girls.

Had the usual bumps in our day.  I needed to do "cards" to put in with the DVDs basically wishing all a Merry Christmas.  Since I had some cards in label form which were just a nice size, I decided to use that method - BUT - the big copier is still out of order and the small printer that we have wouldn't handle the card type "paper."  I then reasoned that I could just produce the text with a little graphic (Christmas Tree) using "Word" columns and just print it on the ordinary labels and then stick them onto a card.  "Word" wouldn't cooperated - some kind of incompatibility with text and graphic  -  sooo - I grabbed my laptop and used Adobe Indesign which does turn out such a product and got that part done.  It was about 10pm by this time.  We plugged the laptop into the printer and - you guessed it - it needed me to download the where-with-all to make it work from my laptop.  Enter, my lifeline - Davey on Skype!  I am so grateful for all the times he's freed me from difficulties.  Even here, there's no one like Davey to help.  So, with his help we finished up - about 11:30pm!!!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Mon. December 5, 2011

I received photos of Rick's kids playing in the snow!  They had a big storm there and left everything sparkling white.  I feel a bit guilty as we have lovely blue skies and a high of about 17C.  -  not too guilty though!!

Another day of "stretching and growing" - learning new things and learning to cope with problems.  That's what it's all about though, isn't it?  I keep thinking that we'll "get it" one day and be able to just relax and fly through everything - maybe that's just a dream. However, we know we are being helped in so many ways - it's very humbling.  There are fun times too - with Christmas nearing, we are preparing to send out little gifts to the parents of the missionaries and are making plans for our missionaries to have a wonderful time at Christmas.  Brent is doing his best to make that "hockey game" that Garnet came up with too!!  (in his spare time!!!)

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Sun. December 4, 2011

Meetings were great today.  President & Sister Charles were present (which is a rarity as they always seem to be traveling) and a new 2nd Counsellor in the Mission Presidency was sustained - President Marvin Smith - because of the "D.s" going home.  Also, Halandri Branch received a new counsellor - Bro. Hicks from the U.S. Embassy.  There were wonderful testimonies - some happy and some sad because of the "D's" going home.  Julianna, who is really close to them share her testimony and her thanks for the Andros' and the "D's" who have done so much for her.  Ioannis also shared his testimony along with little Pablos.  "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas🎧  " - parties being announced and the Christmas schedule for the missionaries' fun time being set out - maybe it's time to start getting excited!  The AP's returned here tonight after an extended trip to Thessaloniki and Cyprus attending Conferences and doing training.  It was great to see them again as we had a lot of questions pile up to ask them!!  Poor elders, but they are so helpful to us.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Sat. Dec. 3, 2011

In the afternoon, we drove over to the Mission Home and collected Pres. & Sis Charles and drove downtown (the President drove!! - wild horses wouldn't get Brent driving down there yet) where we had a celebration for the Dracocardos' this afternoon/evening at 4pm (which included the senior couples in this area) as the "D's" are on their last week here.  It was actually hosted by the CES couple who head up  things at the Acropoli Branch which is located right downtown opposite "Hadrian's Gate."  It was a lovely meal - Honey-Orange Chicken over rice, green bean with cream of mushroom and toasted almonds (the beans, courtesy of Brent),  homemade rolls - then for dessert, Sis. Freestone made a cake.  She said it was a cake mix which she doctored - can't remember all the details except, while it was still warm, she make small holes in the cake with a fork and poured Eagle Brand Condensed milk all over it!!!  and topped it with whipped cream, long shredded coconut and walnuts.  The texture was soft and fluffy, not unlike and angel food cake, but moister.  It was soooo good.  The meal part included short congratulatory comments from the other five couple at the gathering. Then a bit of a recess until 7pm, during which time Brent & I went to the "Plaka" - which is the name given to two little lanes close to the Acroploi Branch building (right in the center of the tourist area) that are chock-full of tiny little tourist shops. There we bought a bunch of little things to send home to the g-kids.  We got back to the branch in time for the Young Adult meeting where the "D"'s gave their farewell talks to them.  They were very good and that was followed by an activity - decorating for Christmas.  They put up the tree and strung lights on the tree and around the room - some of us painted little decorations for the tree and some cut out designs with which to made snowflake decorations and poinsettia decorations (I did that).  There were about 7/8 caucasian kids and about the same number of blacks mostly Nigerians.  It was a fun evening for us, except Pres. Charles was tied up with interviews most of the time.  He was really tired after all of that.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Fri. Dec. 2, 2011

We heard Ken and Carolyn Pierson (Brent's "best man" and called to Russia CES) will probably be at a CES conference in Turkey soon.  So near and yet so far - it would be great to see them.

It was a really busy day in the office.  I had airline tickets to book - one of the jobs I'm not too comfortable with yet and there was lots of typing to do.  One of the jobs that take a lot of time is answering questions from missionaries which usually turn in a series of other actions before they are solved, but it all works out.  Brent had a particularly tough day - it seemed like everything he touched came to a dead-end because it required an answer from someone before he could continue, and the answers weren't coming!  That tries his patience "big time" - plus, the copier "died" and we REALLY need it to be functional.  Fortunately we have a little one, but it's no good for big jobs.  Just another day at the office!!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Thurs. December 1, 2011

Wow!  Time is flying.

There were demonstration and strikes downtown today, involving four or five different organizations.  Among other things, transportation and schools were shut down.  Crazy!

Pres. & Sis Charles were here around 7:00am to take the elder who was leaving and Elder Stevens to the airport.  It was our Prep Day, however, we had Elder Stevens with us as he would not be going back to his area until this evening.  We had to go to the office supplies store - Plaisio, and it was a great thing to have Elder S. along.  Although most of the employees speak some English, it is still difficult to make oneself understood at times - so he was able to effectively help the process of our shopping and we got through much quicker.  Later, we dropped him off at the Mission Home as I had a hair appointment - had a perm done.  It was a different process than I am used to in a lot of little ways.  They give you a robe to wear and the usual cape was just a big piece of soft plastic.  The usual protector towel around the neck was just paper towel, but they treat you like a princess in that I didn't have to hand him the papers.  He said that getting your hair done should be a pleasant, relaxing experience!!!  When he got all the curlers on and had put the solution on, usually a plastic bonnet put over the curls firmly to help make the curls set - here, it was get out a roll of saran wrap and wrap the head!  When it came time for the neutralizer - I am used to having it poured onto the curls from a bottle, but his method was to pat it on the curls with a sponge - I think it was foamy.  In the end, it was a good perm - maybe not a tight as I usually get it, but I am grateful to have it done.  While I was getting that done, they gave Brent a haircut - good thing too, because he hasn't been able to hear me of late!

On the way back to the office, we were to pick up Elder Stevens from the Mission Home.  We went in and found Sister Charles struggling with a newsletter in which she had imported three pictures and the newsletter just WOULDN'T send.  After a long hassle, we discovered that she had retrieved the pictures from two different files and her PC didn't like that.  Of course, being the Mac lover, that I am, I took the opportunity how much easier it would have been on a Mac!!!  Eeeek!  I'd better watch my P's & Q's!

Back at the Office, we had another call from Demosthenes.  We have been trying to hook him up with Elder Loynes (who is a really good elder and speaks good Greek, but "D's" phone must not be a good one because he said he had called Elder L. but it didn't work!!)  Elder Loynes came up here to take Elder Stevens back to his area and thankfully, was able to speak to "D" on the land-line, who wanted to receive a copy of the Pearl of Great Price.  So hopefully, tonight , that will get done.