Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010 - Ranelle

We are well into the the semester. We are kept adequately busy with lesson preparation, lunch preparation for the Friday noon class, attending classes, attending mission district and zone conferences, preparing food to share with the missionaries and students, attending Family Home Evening and ward meetings and activities--the list goes on. This semester I am teaching the New Testament: Acts to Revelations; and John is teaching Doctrine and Covenants. Now and then we are called on to substitute for other teachers as well.

We have the privilege of seeing some romances develop into weddings. We will attend the wedding of our Chinese neighbor, WeiWei Lu, and Richard Adams who is a composition professor at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. WeiWei's parents are here from China. She has indicated that at the "party" after the wedding, we will be sitting at the table with her parents (with some Chinese speaking guests to help us with our communication). We have had the privilege of spending some time with these wonderful people from China. If we could speak the same language, I'm sure we would be great friends. Weddings for three other couples who are part of our ward will be taking place in the Chicago and Washington DC Temples in March and May. John, who feels it his duty to see that everyone single finds that "special someone," has kept you current with some of these romances. There are other romances emerging and we watch them with interest.

We are also actively involved with some of our students who are preparing or have left on missions. This is as exciting and rewarding as the romances. These young people have prepared well and are now serving in Brazil, two in California, and one in Salt Lake. There are four or five more making preparations to serve full-time missions.

Our "position" has now been posted on the mission assignment's list. We are praying there will be a couple prepared and eager to accept this opportunity. It has been a wonderful experience for us. We are anticipating leaving early the morning of May 1. Before turning West, we plan to go East where we will visit Kirtland, Ohio, and Palmyra, New York, and renew our memories of these Church-history sites. Something I have never done is what takes us east--Niagara Falls! We will work a visit to Muncie, Indiana, somewhere in the mix before we leave the area. We have not yet decided whether we will travel I-70, I-80, or I-90 as we head west.

This has not been as severe of a winter as last--still I will happily welcome spring. I am ready for sunshine and warmer temperatures. How about you?

Monday, February 1, 2010


If your grandfather is old enough, he'll tell you what a dashing. handsome young man Sargent Preston was. Your grandpa might also tell you the name of the sargent's lead dog, I can't.

I cite that great Canadian Mounted policeman because based on how we visitors to the north country feel, it is miraculous that those two dog-sledders could even get out of bed! I say that because I'm learning the best way to behold this cold northland is behind closed eyelids. (At least while still warm and comfortable in bed, if one is resourceful enough he can conjure up some landscape that is not snow covered, and bare of leaves for the trees. And cloudy. And drab.)

Now you can compare that dreary paragraph with one we wrote three months ago and you'll see a marked contrast. Back then, I/we were enthralled with Michigan. And in love with it, and reluctant to go home. Things have now changed. Plus, there is the added feature of our being released three months hence, and you can sense our feelings just now.

But did I recently read a phrase that said, "There must needs be an opposition in all things." (II Nephi 2:11)? That being so, you'll probably hear me say in a few more weeks that this Michigan country is truly all that I have imagined it to be in the past, and I shall forever cherish the privilege I/we have had of living here.

If only we can get past the wintertime.