Saturday, 2 March 2013

Fri. Mar. 1st 2013

We were up and out early this morning.  Left at 6:45 to go to the airport to see the Maxwell off on their way home.  We met at the airport at 7:15 and everything went smoothly and soon they were ready to go through security.  After a little short visit and some picture taking, they went off through the maze and pretty soon were out of sight.  It was sad – they are such sweet people and who knows if we will ever see them again – it was a privilege to know them.  The Elks came back to the office and Sis. Elks and I did the Book of Mormon order – that is one of the more challenging monthly tasks.  After that, we booked some flights for elders that will be coming back here from Cyprus – they will be travelling home on March 11th  -  that is another job that can be a pain.  Sis. E. doesn’t hear well and wears a hearing aid and when she had to call in to get the booking finished, she couldn’t hear what the girl was saying.  I’m wondering how she will manage with that problem.  Meanwhile, Brent & Elder E. went to the Post Office to see how our picking up the mail works and followed that up with telling him about some of the financial stuff.  Manalos, (Maria’s supervisor/gardener) came by to drop some bills off for us to pay – dealing with him is fun at the best of times – it’s good that he brings an interpreter!  The Assts. worked in the office for most of the day and had lunch and supper with us.  They do not have the use of a car yet – President told them that they’ll have to use the bus and metro until they get their license plates back (10 days)!!!  I wonder if he’ll make them wait that long?  We receive more tags today – the rest of the Jan. 2nd order.  We went out to the airport at 9:50 to pick up Pres. & Sis. Freestone returning from Germany.  It’s fun driving with them – you catch up on everything.  With the Maxwells going home  today,  Athens now has only three couples, not counting President & Sis. F.    Couples are really important to the young missionaries - they go all the time with them on teaching appointments - especially where there is only a single lady, and couples are essential to helping transport the young missionaries (especially when there is luggage involved) - also when they are sick and need to go to the doctor. So we have three couples!  The CES couple don't have a car, so that makes two couples left - Brent & I do not go with the young missionaries very much because of the nature of our calling and the fact that we are far away from any of the proselyting areas.  So that leaves the Elks, and they are going to be taking over here - so do the math!  Pres. and Sis. F. just came back from a Mission President's Conference in Frankfurt and sad to say, as they visited with other Mission Pres. and their wives, the story seems to be the same everywhere - they can't get couples.  In Madrid, they do not have an office couple, but have had to pull young missionaries in to man the office!! so it would seem that could be the way of the future.  Trying to get couples now is like hen's teeth - especially since 58 NEW missions have just been announced and they are looking for couples  etc. for those missions.  It's going to be interesting - we know it will all work out - but probably not in the way it has been functioning before.

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