Monday, 30 July 2012

Sat. July 28th 2012

Just an ordinary office workday for us.  However, we were supposed to go to a baptism, but missed it because we had to wait for a delivery!  Another hot day!   I can't believe that they are not worried here that there has been no rain - I asked  one of the sisters about it and she said that it is always like that over the summer - that there is no rain - just hot sunny days!   Even that get's a bit boring!!  I notice that any one who has lawn seem to have a sprinkler system.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Fri. July 27th 2012

Brent went yet again to the Driver's License place to try and get his Greek DL!  This time he was successful in that he has a piece of paper saying that he has it, but he has to wait until they call him to pick up the real thing.  He feels REALLY bad that they kept his Alberta license which will be returned to him when he leaves Greece.

Pres. Freestone is getting into the routine of things a bit more now as today, he got the first of his monthly trips to Cyprus and Thessaloniki planned and some other things have been resolved that were holding him up too.  It's been a rough month for him.  The couples were invited to the Mission Home tonight.  We had a lovely dinner that we each contributed to, followed by some training and then some games.  The games were hilarious and a fun way to learn about each other.  I sounds like it is going to be a monthly event where ever possible.

This is the last of the Delphi pictures.  Remember, it was 45C. that day and even the young elders had trouble with that kind of heat!!  -

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Thurs. July 26th 2012

Brent took the van in to be assessed this morning  -  it's going to cost around 4,000 euros!!! - AND - they can't start on it until Aug. 8th!   We started on our "end of month" tasks today so we have another kind of busyness happening.  The assistants had one of their "Assts. Meetings" with Pres. Freestone at the Mission Home.  They were gone for longer than usual for that kind of a meeting, so when they got back we asked them how it went?  They said "Great!"   and we learned that it was Elder Steven's birthday and they treated them to a birthday lunch - no wonder they said "Great!"

Another museum item from Delphi  --

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Wed. July 25th 2012

There is a fair bit of work that goes with arriving missionaries - we have to make pictures for the missionary board.  If the missionary didn't bring photos, then Brent has to take photos of each of them (none of them brought photos?) Then I have to mount them onto a little "frame" of cardboard and produce a label with their name and release date on it and put that altogether and laminate it.  Then you attach a magnet to the back of it and it's ready for the board.   Also you have to add their names to the email contact list and the the "Missionary Home address" list.  You have to add the parents to the "parent's email contact list" etc. etc & etc.   The missionaries themselves had another full day of training with Pres. Freestone - both new and old missionaries.  There was another car accident today - the same elder (one of the assistants, and a really super elder) was sitting at a red light waiting for it to change when this guy rear-ended him!!!   The guy was most apologetic etc. but here again - the stress it puts on these young elders is not nice.  He's beginning to get a complex - that he's a target for Greek drivers!!!  Like the other accident - nobody was hurt, but it is a real inconvenience.

Some flowers growing a Delphi -

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Tues. July 24th 2012

With the van out of action, both Pres. F. and Brent had to drive separate cars to the airport to pick up the four new missionaries and their luggage.  There was quite a group of us here at the mission office waiting to welcome the new elders.  They finally arrived with that look we have grown to expect - totally stunned and glazed eyed after being on the go for the last 24 hours!!  They followed the usual plan of filling out forms and each having an individual interview with the President.  Then the news elders were given hour's nap after which we all went for lunch at the "three pigs."   When we got back from that the elders that were the trainers, took their new elder and they all went to Mar's Hill, followed by some "contacting" in Syntagma Square (another tradition for new missionaries on their first day).

This is a photo Elder Mower took of a Goggle map which shows the little village and the ruins and he had marked  "the stadium" - the photo that I put on Sunday's post is the close-up of "the stadium"  -

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Mon. July 23rd 2012

We were up at 4:30 am and shortly on the road with six of the returning missionaries (the other two left early afternoon).  It was so hard saying goodbye.  When we got back to the office we learned that "our troubled young man from Acropoli Branch was in the hospital and receiving treatment.  That is a good thing as he is really nice when he's on his meds.  Pres. & Sis Freestone are still staying to get their belongings unpacked and resorted to going to Ikea and purchasing shelves!
Transfers were in full swing all day several couples and the assts. were commandeered to transport missionaries to planes and trains and arriving ones to their new apartments.  On one of these trips when the assts. were leaving the parking area at the airport - before they even got out of the parking lot, a car coming towards them from a side road that had a stop sign - looked like it was going to stop but it didn't and it t-boned the passenger side of the van.  The man was very apologetic and owned that it was his fault, but the inconvenience is a nuisance, plus the stress felt by the missionary who was driving.

This is Delphi, the village.  The ruins etc. are located on the other side of it -

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Monday, 23 July 2012

Sun. July 22nd 2012

Meetings were good.  We had eight visitors from Switzerland which nicely doubled our attendance!!

The "returning missionaries" were supposed to go to Mars Hill for a testimony meeting - a tradition of the mission when missionaries go home.  That didn't happen as "our young man with problems" was creating a disturbance at the chapel and no doubt would have tried to come to Mars Hill with the group and continue to act up there.  A quick change in plans was made and they had their meeting at the Mission Home instead.

Delphi -  This is part of an entertainment area - maybe they ran races here??

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Sat. July 21st 2012

It was a very full day for the "returning missionaries"  -  each had their "final interview" with Pres. Freestone which was followed by a special luncheon at the Mission Home and then the sharing of testimonies.  That took until about 4:30 pm.  Just after that we learned that a young man down at Acropoli Branch (who should have been on his meds) was our of control and the police had to be brought in.  We were astounded as he had given no indication of having any problems.  In the evening, Brent taught a watered-down version of the Employment Workshop to some of the returning missionaries.  There are a lot of good tips in that Workshop which should help them.

Delphi  -  Some strange rocks -

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Sunday, 22 July 2012

Fri. July 20th 2012

Elder Yates' parents and siblings were coming to the mission office at 10:00 am to meet up with him after two years and he was so nervous, he was up here in the office waiting for them by 9:40!!!  They arrived and it was a great reunion, but I could see the Elder Y was stunned at the change in his siblings - especially his youngest brother who was only three when he left to come on his mission  -  now he's five and there was no comparing him to the little three-year-old that he had left.  He had permission to go (with his companion as they had not yet been released) with his family for sightseeing and shopping   Pres. Freestone and an Area S&I brother were meeting in the president's office when all this was going on, so we had to keep things reasonably quiet  -  it wasn't just the Yates family that were here - the other six missionaries were also up here checking out so they could go and enjoy  their designated "final shopping" day.

Pres. Freestone got a big shock when the moving company brought all their personal effects to the MH - he was livid - the boxes arrived torn with stuff falling out of them, including their clothing which was supposed to be hanging in wardrobe boxes.  He took lots of photos which the moving company will be receiving!

I had a new experience trying to pre-book luggage for an elder who was over the limit and no matter what I tried I couldn't get it to work.  The reason was that the airline that his ticket was purchased from was not the carrier.  We booked on Aegean, but Lufthansa is the carrier!  So that means he'll have to pay double the cost of what it would be if you could do it on-line!

The museum at Delphi

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Thurs. July 19th 2012

"Let the games begin!"  our eight returning elders began to arrive in bribe and drabs and the excitement level was high.  But first - Brent went down to the driver's license place with the lawyer girl and they were quickly turned down because the doctor had not filled in one line of the medical form.  Brent was furious - how come they hadn't spotted that when they were there the last time - but what can you do?  When helot back here, he tried reaching that doctor and was told that he doesn't come in until 6:00 pm -so he went all day wondering what other "road block" was going to stop him from getting his Greek driver's license!!  However, for once, everything went alright - he came of there with the form duly signed and stamped - completed.  Brent sent it to the lawyer within the hour and she will rebook to go to the DL people on Monday.

Another great thing! Brent also went to the foot doctor and she was very pleased with the healing progress and he has to continue with the anti-fungal meds for a while yet because, she said, the infection had gone very deep and it's going to take a while to heal completely.

Sis. Freestone sent cookies over for us today - she is such a sweetie!  As if she has time and energy to do that!  Later in the day the missionaries had gathered in the office, just visiting and enjoying the break and Pres. F. called and found out they had "nothing to do" so he quickly got them to get their prep cloths on and come over to the mission home with hammer and saw and drill etc.  -  I'm not sure what he had them do but he certainly took care of their "idle" time!

Another Delphi photo  -

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Wed. July 18th 2012

The Elks came here and Elder Elks and Brent took their cars into the dealership to have work done on them.  Elder Elks' car is the one that wouldn't start unless you used jumper cables to start it!  and Brents just needed brakes and an oil change done.  Found out that the battery in Elder E's car was broken and so he got a new battery and all's well now.  Sis. Elks stayed here with me while all the repairs were going on and we got lots of work done.  She is the best organizer.

Pres. F. came up here to meet with some folk from one of the branches including one older lady.  This lady has been won't to "run the show" in her branch - priesthood included!  to the point that they cannot have meetings without her coming  in and taking over.  (They're all scared of her!)  She was one of the very first members in Greece and over the years the branch has been lacking in experienced leadership and numbers of members so the correct model for branch operations has been lacking somewhat they are trying to run things correctly now, but she makes it tough.  I guess she was told nicely that she cannot come to those meetings anymore, but she is welcome at RS and other meetings the sisters have.

This, being the final week before the eight missionaries return home has brought a flurry of enquiries from parents - two of them resulting in a complete resistance of plane tickets and another family who are already touring here in Greece needing permission to visit with their son and then figuring out time and place and where to park (that's a laugh) and so forth - all of which takes lots of time!

Another photo from Delphi -

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Saturday, 21 July 2012

Tues. July 17th 2012

A remarkable day!  President Freestone and Brent went to the airport to pick up Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and family and baggage!  We have been so excited for days and days and sworn to secrecy because this was their private vacation time and only in the last few days had we learned that he would meet the missionaries and shake their hands only  (no talks or other meetings) - but what a wonderful event!  So the missionaries were told to be at the Acropoli Chapel at 10:00 am this morning for a "special meeting!"  -  the missionaries had not been told what it was lest the word get out and they get caught up in visiting with lots of people instead of seeing the Acropolis and Mars Hill - they only had until 3:30 pm to do that.. It was a super experience for our young elders - Elder Holland was so kind and warm toward them. After that, Elder H. and family did their sightseeing and then came back to the Acropoli Chapel for a light lunch which the couples prepared for them.  They were ushered into their lunch and we (the couples) just sat in the kitchen to be on hand when needed.  We thought we had everything on the table that they needed, but for some reason Elder Holland came to the kitchen for something and was taken aback when he saw us all sitting there.  He told us to bring our chairs in with them and tell them a little about ourselves!!!!   That was not the plan, but you don't say "no" to him!  So we had the rare privilege of spending time with him and his family and sharing about ourselves.  After, he pronounced a blessing on the land of Greece and the Mission here.  It was an incredible thing.  Pres. F. is really being tried - he has so much to try and deal with in so short a time it must be very wearing on him - including that Sis. F. is not at all well - she even missed today's events and that must have really been a big disappointment.

Well, here's another Delphi photo -

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Mon. July 16th 2012

We're on our way to Delphi!  We left the Mission Office about 7:15 am and went to Acropoli Branch where we met all the others.  We left there about 8:30 am and it was already very hot!  The journey went well until we took a wrong turn (courtesy of our wonderful GPS).  That added an extra half hour on to our journey, but sent us through the quaintest little town that was definitely not suited to vehicular traffic at all. The road was so narrow and everything was so close you felt like you were invading their privacy.  We arrived at the Delphi site about 11:15 and all the young ones and a couple of the oldies went tearing off to see the ruins and museums etc. which was quite a distance from the town site and had little shade -  later we heard it was 45C.!! No wonder we felt awful.  We stayed in the town by a little restaurant that had tables outside under big trees.  (We would have gone inside if there had not been people smoking in there!!)  This restaurant was situated on a steep incline (the whole town was perched on the side of a mountain - everyone had a view!!) and to get to the tables from the restaurant you had to cross and small road/lane and the tables were atop a steep walled terrace, which wall dropped down to an adjoining road!!  It was fortunate that it was "mesi meria" time (Greek for siesta) as there was not much traffic and therefore not too noisy (however, there were crickets making a lot of noise) and there was a bit of a breeze, but the breeze was hot - still, it helped a little.  So we waited there until the others finished their trekking around the sites.  When they got back, we moved over to where the cars were and unloaded the food and water (we froze bottles before we came)  and had "lunch"  -  some of us were sitting on a wall by the sidewalk and some were standing -  all under trees though!  It was really too hot to be enjoyable - only the company made it worthwhile.  After that, we headed back to Athens and we were able to get on the right road so it was much quicker -  these GPS's are hopeless as they take you off track and get you lost. It's quicker and simpler to obey the road signs  The phone didn't stop ringing when we walked in the door at the Mission Office so we had that to deal with and I also had to make squares for that special meeting tomorrow!!!

Since we stayed back at the town, I borrowed photos from Elder M. - the only problem - I don't know what they are of - just Delphi!

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Sun. July 15th 2012

Received a lovely surprise first thing this morning when I checked my email and found two super photos - one of Lauryn and Katie and the other of Brenda and Alyson and Sophie and Eric and Anne and Trevor.  This family are US citizens but they live in Halandri Branch.  Lauryn and Katie have been emailing back and forth for some time now and when Katie found out that Lauryn was going to be in SL and they were also, they made arrangements to meet up.  They are a copycat family to Brenda's  family -  Alyson is about the same age as Brenda and they have two boys and two girls.  We went and picked the Elks up for church as their car would not start again!!  We had to give talks today!  When we got home we received another "help" call from a member whose relative was dying and although she had the cash for the ticket (which was for her Dad to go to his brother's bedside) she needed a credit card to make the booking for tomorrow morning.  That generated a bunch of phone calls which was very time consuming - but we got it done!  Then I tried to get everything ready to leave early on our outing to Delphi tomorrow.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Sat.July 14th 2012

Brenda's birthday!  We caught up with her for a quick Hi and Happy Birthday as they were on their way to meet Katie Frost and her mom, so that was nice. It was a bit of a run-around day as we received help call after help call!!  First, we were almost on our way out the door when the missionaries called from Halandri chapel.  They were trying to put warm water in the baptismal font, but it wasn't working for them, so we were headed out to go and help them and when the next call came - Elder Mower was stuck in the elevator down at Acropoli Chapel!!  this elevator has a limit of 3 people and he was in there by himself - he is a pretty large man and I can just imagine how freaked out he probably was.  Here, his wife was upstairs and he was yelling and phoning and nobody could hear him - not even the emergency phone for the elevator people was being answered!!!  So when he got us, we sprang into action, trying to see if any missionaries were in the area, but the ones closest were the sisters and they were 15 minutes away!!  So then the decision was made to call the fire department.  By the time they got there and actually got him out, he had been in that box for an hour.  That would be very unpleasant for me.  So then we went to Halandri and checked out their problem, and found no solution.  Brent thinks that when the temperatures get so high, there is an automatic cutoff to the hot water heater!!  Maybe!!  Then we dashed off to get sandals for Brent - because of the infection he has been told to wear sandals if he can't go barefoot.  We accomplished that and was driving out of the parkade, when our next help call came.  The Elks' car wouldn't start and they were stuck at the grocery store trying to leave with their groceries frying in the back of their car!!!  It was 38C.and Sis. Elks was not feeling well.  So we dashed over there and got their car started with jumper cables and we made sure they got home before we went (late) to the baptismal service.  That was enough excitement for one day.

Fri. July 13th 2012

Brent went back to the doctor this morning for a check-up.  His foot is improving and what he has is called "contact dermatitis"  -  we assume it caused by heat and rubbing of shoe and sox???  Pres. and Sister Freestone had on-line training on two of the programs they will be using today.  It did not get off to a good start - they were issued names and passwords to use (which they had tried before this and they didn't work) and told to enter them.  They did  -  and once again they didn't work!  The trainers said "that"s impossible, we activated them"  -  Pres. Freestone said "You go ahead and try them  -  they did  -   and they didn't work for them either!!!  Hilarious!  I don't know what they did after that, but it all got worked out in the end.  President F. and the Assts.  met this afternoon at the office and finally got all the transfers worked out for July 23 and that resulted in us having to book 8 plane flights and two train tickets.  Apart from that - 8 missionaries are returning home that day and four new missionaries will be arriving the next day.  A good thing happened - after a four month wait the replacement battery was installed in the USB unit (it saves the computers if we use power).  That means that I won't have to listen to it's intermittent chirping all day! 😃

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Thurs. July 12th 2012

Brent's foot infection is a bit better today 😃     The Greek lawyers for the Church came to have an introductory meeting with Pres. F. this morning,  bringing him up-to-date on Church business/policies in Greece.  One of the lawyers brought some honey for us that  comes from her family's property.  The bees get it from pine trees!!! she said.  It is a very different taste than we are used to and hard to enjoy that taste, but it is sweet and it is honey.  Later when Brent and I went for haircuts, the temperature was 42C.  -  that is soooooo hot - you can hardly breath!  We tried to work when we got home, but our brains were mush and it was hopeless - just as well is was about the end of our day.  Sorry folks, but the weather seems to be all we can talk about lately.

Wed. July 11th 2012

When we went down into the office this morning the temperature in there was 80F!!!  (The AC is turned off overnight).  We don't know what is going wrong with our internet systems .  Brent got a call from the Acropoli building - they had no power and when Pres. Freestone got back to the Mission Home, he had no internet.  Here in the office, the internet had dropped a couple of times today!!!  Pres. F. told us that we are going on an outing on Monday  (preparation day was changed to Monday recently) to Delphi.  It's about 2 1/2 hours travel to the west of us.  It should be fun, but I'm afraid it's going to be a scorcher!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Tues. July 10th 2012

Brent got his meds and it was meeting day, but prior to that, Pres. Freestone and I met with the rep. from the phone company who supplies our mobile phones.  We went over the contract and he is going to put together a proposal that will include our land-lines as well.  Sounds like it could save us a fair bit of money.  For the couples' meeting we had a nice lunch for a hot summer's day - wraps, fruit salad & ice-cream + banana bread and watermelon.  After lucch we got a help call from one of the young missionary sisters - they took her to Emergency and learned that she was suffering from heat exhaustion.  Pres. and the Assts worked on transfers until 8:30 pm - poor guys!

Mon. July 9th 2012

I talked to Jani - she Skyped me and we both started singing Happy Birthday at the same time!!  Also "talked" to Davey - they are in Bigfork, Montana on their way to a family reunion.  He said that because they had 1,200 at church, they had to cancel the rest of the meetings!!  That's what happens at resort towns I guess. Brent's foot infection is getting worse.  He went back to the pharmacist and he took one look and immediately said - Go to the doctor!  He got an appointment for 7:00 pm tonight.  We went out to airport to pick up Pres. and Sis. Freestone  -  we were on time, but their flight was 20 mins. late, but it was nice and cool inside the airport!  So, Brent went to the doctor at 7:00 pm and was told that it was a microbiological infection with eczema and he has one oral and three topical meds.  However, no drug stores were open that late -  it have to be our first job for tomorrow!

Sun. July 8th 2012

We made sweet & sour meatballs, rice and Mars bar squares to take to Halandri for pot-luck lunch  -  it makes you wonder what kind of a mission we are filling with all the food that we provide!!  But we love the cooking part - it's fun - and for us, it's easy to do.  We only had about 20 people there.  Ralph, who recently had a hip replacement was back for the first time since that surgery.  He looked a bit pale and a bit thinner, but still the same old smily Ralph and much freer of pain.  It was really hot today - 36C.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Sat. July 7th 2012

When we went grocery shopping at 8:00 am it was already sweltering - I think it was around 29C. then!!!  Just a busy day at the office today and trying to keep cool!

Fri. July 6th 2012

Brent had to take a suitcase and a large parcel to a courier company today - TNT.  Before he went, he carefully looked the place up on Google maps and sorted out which streets were one-way and in what direction, so he could could get to the place, but when he arrived at "the street" (which was nothing wider than a narrow lane) he found that it was totally blocked by a large tall truck which was unloading. Brent was stuck there with vehicles behind him, so he couldn't back out and, very quickly, these vehicles all started to toot.  I'm sure they were annoyed with the truck blocking their way, but Brent was also in their way and so he took it a bit personally! Somehow he got around the mess, but he was so mad, he gave up in disgust and came home and called the company to come up to our office and pick up the items.  He also needed to go to the bank and since TNT said they would come between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, he thought he would have time to do that.   No!!  TNT came at 2:30 and although Brent had left their money out for them (just in case they came early) he did not tell me that one of the items was to be "overnight express"!!! and the guy needed to know which one it was.  So I tried to call him on his cell phone, but don't think he had it turned on!!  Anyway, the guy got it sorted out in the end, so all was well.  Brent's foot infection is getting worse.  He went back to the pharmacy and they gave him another kind of ointment to try.  He read on the internet that Listerine is supposed to be good for foot infections - so he tried it - but only succeeded in taking the first layer of skin off!!!!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Fri. July 6th 2012

It's getting hotter again!!  It makes you feel as though you are not getting any air in your lungs!!  Oh well!  We are VERY thankful for the air conditioning.

Lots of catch-up work to do in the office today for me.  Brent had to send two items via the courier company called TNT.  He carefully looked up the address and checked on Google maps where it was and how to approach it (most everywhere off the main roads the roads are one way, so you really have to check how you are going to get to your destination) - anyway, that didn't help Brent at all because as he got to "the" street, there was a tall delivery truck blocking the way and he couldn't go forward and there were cars behind - all tooting their horns!!!  That totally freaked him out - what was he supposed to do - go over the top of the truck - it was only a narrow lane type of road!!  He gave up in disgust and came home when he could get around the blockade.  We ended up having TNT coming here and picking the stuff up!  We are really enjoying the fruit that is available right now - peaches and nectarines are right in the forefront - strawberries are done and cherries are just about over - I guess the next thing will be grapes!   Yum!

The ones on our tree aren't ripe yet, but these are the store ones -

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Thurs. July 5th 2012

The Elks came by with two young elders who had been having trouble with their washing machine.  Somehow, over time, a number of old washing machines have  been stored at the Mission Home basement - so they were on their way over there to get one of them to replace the broken one at the elder's apartment.  They were back again in the afternoon and Brent and Elder Elks both went to this "home" for mentally disabled folk to assemble three sofas that had been deliver to them.  The  Elks have been in charge of a humanitarian project for that group and they needed sofas badly.  Apparently they have very little - nowhere to sit comfortably, nowhere to store things etc. etc. and the food is a challenge as well.  They are receiving help from other places too, so hopefully they'll be a bit better off with all our combined help.  Sis. Elks stayed with me in the office and we tackled the filing system - going through all the files and tossing obsolete materials and having a lot of fun in the effort - and learning a few things too about past happenings!

Our Jani sent us this picture so we thought we'd share it with you  -  title is:

"No distracted driving law in Greece!"

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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Wed. July 4th 2012

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To all our American friends!

 

"4th July" holiday!!  Once again, we didn't notice any special celebrations going on.  President Freestone had to fly to Cyprus today and Sis. F. mustered up enough energy to go with him.  She's still not great, but she is coming along now - anyway, the painters are back again at the Mission Home so it's good for her to be away from the smell.  We are still trying to catch up with our work and there still continues to be lots of interruptions  -  oh well  -  It'll all work out!

Tues. July 3rd 2012

We began our day cutting up veges and fruit to make platters for the training meeting later today.  Pres. F. drove us down to the meeting - Sis. Freestone is still not good and had to stay home.  As it was Pres. F's first meeting with the missionaries, everyone was interested to see how it would go. We weren't disappointed - he was wonderful!  Lunch went over well - one of the sisters made chicken salad croissants and they were yummy!  After the meeting back at the office we spent a good deal of time with Pres. F. - helping him to get his new passwords set up for the different functions that he needed.  One big plus for me was that he decided to operate on only one calendar from now on - suits me fine - we've always had problems with the calendars anyway.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Mon. July 2nd 2012

We spent Just about the whole morning working with President F. trying to get him up to speed on the mission business.  Sister F. is still not much better - Brent suggested that I make her some conji which I did and later Pres. told us that it was the only thing that she's been able to keep down.  I had trouble with one of my orders - got everything in place and hit the submit button and I got two errors that I couldn't understand and they just didn't sam to apply to anything I had on the page.  I called the Global Help desk and the guy there actually took over my screen and in the end he couldn't figure it out either - so he took a screen shot and said he would pass it on to an "expert" in that particular program!!!  So I sit and wait for an answer!  We had very high winds again today, with the result that plum started falling off the plum tree.  They are soooo sweet and juicy - I've never tasted plums so sweet.

Here are some of the plums -

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Monday, 2 July 2012

Sun. July 1st 2012

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CANADA DAY!!!  There was no recognition here in Greece of our national day that we were aware of.  Church consisted of two young elders, 3 male members,Brent & I and another Sr. Couple, a Counsellor in the Branch Presidency and the Branch Clerk.  A grand total of 11.  It felt pretty strange.  Later in the day we learned that Sis. Freestone was ill - poor thing - it's no wonder - I think because of all the delays in their travel etc. they were without sleep for 50 hours!!

Here is the Halandri Chapel - it's not very big, but is really nice and clean and modern inside -

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Sat. June 30th 2012

Needless to say, we slept in a bit this morning!  Freestones and Charles met all morning, discussing details and then it was time to take the Charles to the airport and see them off as they returned home.  All the Athens' senior couples were there and it was pretty hard saying goodbye.  They are such great people and they have touched each of our lives for good in so many ways - it was such an empty feeling watching them disappear down the hallway.  However, they have served valiantly for three years and certainly deserve to be with their family again. So we came back home and tackled a few jobs and it wasn't long before Pres. Freestone was over here looking for things and asking questions.  So the epic continues with a different skipper (one that we already knew, which made it a lot easier.)  It actually made us feel better because there was hardly a pause in the pace of things here!

Fri. June 29th 2012

A couple of us made some casseroles to take over to the Mission Home to put in the freezer for the Freestones.  We did a meatball casserole - it look pretty good actually - kind of like a Shepherd's pie, but with meatballs -perhaps we'll try it one day.  There were two baptisms at Halandri this afternoon - two ladies.  It was very nice.  We were supposed to have gone straight to the airport from there to meet the Freestones, but were informed that because of huge thunderstorms in the eastern U.S., their flight had been delayed and they missed their connection - so, instead of arriving at 5:20 pm we now were given the arrival time of 2:30 am!  THEN - another 75 minutes was added on to that!  -  so we finally met them at 3:45 am   Poor dears - they looked so tired.