Last week our institute director was away all week with responsibilities with a family death. Consequently, we picked up all his classes--which was a bit of a stretch for us. It takes all week for us to be prepared to teach our classes, conduct the BYU devotional/discussion, do the meal for Friday forum class, and have a presence in the institute building. Age has definitely put limits on how much we can handle. Yes, there is a big difference even, comparing ourselves as we were in the last mission, 5 1/2 years ago. I taught his Book of Mormon class on Wednesday and Friday, and we ordered pizza for the Friday lunch. John taught Church History on both Mondays that Brother Draut was out of town.
The Wednesday class required traveling south about 1 1/2 hours to Hillsdale, Michigan--almost to the Indiana border. Hillsdale is a college established in the 1850's. It has never accepted any government funding. The campus is beautiful and well maintained. Newer buildings have been built in the same flavor as the older ones. Everything was well maintained and extremely attractive--even the students were neatly dressed, friendly, and impressive in every way. There are only four LDS students on this campus and once a week they attend a class with Brother Draut. The drive to and from was beautiful--much of the trip was on secondary roads through wooded countryside.
Wednesday was a full day with Missionary District meeting before we left for Hillsdale. We arrived back in East Lansing to find our CES supervisor from Virginia waiting to visit with us, after which John had his class to teach. Whew!
Actually, the entire week was busy with a Welcome Back BBQ for the Living Center residents on Friday evening, a huge University Ward luau on Saturday night, and Ward Conference on Sunday. We feasted both physically and spiritually all week long.
We've enjoyed our patio garden and are reaping the rewards of our tomato plants. We have raised green beans, cucumbers, peppers, chard, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes. It isn't as successful as in-ground gardening, but it certainly is nice to step out and pick a ripe tomato.