Service Mission to Salt Lake City Church Office Building
On August 25th, Gerald and I spoke in Sacrament Meeting in our Happy Valley Ward. Geraldís talk was on The Joy of Service and mine was on Going Forward in Faith. We were able to say goodbye to many of our dear family and friends, and they sent us off with many good wishes and lots of love.
We packed our old truck to the brim with everything we thought we might need in the coming months. We stopped on the way to Utah and stayed with Audra and her family in Vancouver and were able to say our goodbyes to them. David even prepared for us a marvelous going-away dinner:
We got up early and traveled all the way to Salt Lake City in one day. We were able to meet the nice missionary couple who had been renting our apartment and get a tour of our new place. It is a small apartment two blocks from Temple Square. We spent the best part of a week getting settled in and are quite comfortable.
We have started our first week of work at the Church Office Building, commonly known as the COB. Gerald is working with the computer people. I am working in Human Resources doing a variety of things. It is wonderful to walk to work and see hundreds of people walking to the COB, all dressed in Sunday best. SLC must be the white shirt capitol of the world. All the people we have met so far are very kind and pleasant to work with. We are looking forward to learning our duties more and getting to know even more people, as time goes by.
One of the benefits of living here, is that two of my cousins live close. My cousin Ann lives next door in a condo and my cousin Linda lives in a nearby city. Itís fun to get to see them and get to know their part of our neat family. Living in SLC is great because you never know who will come visiting. My brother Sterling and some of his family called and said they were at Temple Square. We got to visit with them for a short time. We hope to see others of our family that we donít get to see very often because of the distances. Another bonus of living here.
We were surprised when we received a phone call from Lorna's brother Sterling who said that they were in town and wanted to stop by to say hello. When they arrived we were even more surprised that their daughter Audra and some of her family were with them. We have no idea, but it was wonderful to see them.
We have completed our first week of work at the COB (Church Office Building). We are learning our duties and getting to know a number of very nice people. I work for Human Resources Department with a very nice supervisor named Joan. Gerald is starting to feel that he will be able to help the people in the computer reporting department, but is still in a learning curve as he gets to know all the new programming stuff. All in all, this week has been interesting, to say the least.
At work, we have a devotional every Monday morning. Itís great to work with such nice people who have the same values. We are on the 17th floor. There are several missionary couples, but most of the people are full time employees of the Church. We are in the Finance and Records department.
The weather has gone from sunny and hot, to showers. It has cooled it off and today, the beginning of our second week, it is warm but not hot. On Friday, we went to a Greek Festival with my cousins Ann and Linda. Then on Sunday, we went to Lindaís for dinner. She is a great cook and the company wasnít bad either. Itís fun to be close to be able to see some of the family who live in this area, more often.
We went out to South Jordan to see Earl and family. We knocked on the door and this tall lady with long gray hair and medieval dress, answered the door. It was Cathy in costume. Apparently, there was a huge convention/festival downtown where people dress up and just have fun. The whole family was all dressed up in these costumes and soon headed off for a great day. It was fun seeing them, if only for a little while. We will be able to visit with them more later.
I went with my cousin Ann to the Relief Society Social activity the other Saturday. We attend the 14th Ward here. It isnít the SLC 14th Ward, it is the 14th Ward of the Church. It is one of the very early wards established here in the early days. We walk to Church, just a few blocks from where we live. It is the Stake Center and a big building with a beautiful stained glass window in the chapel that depicts the First Vision. How nice to sit there during the sacrament and look at that beautiful piece of stained glass art that fills the whole end of the chapel behind the choir seats.
We attended both a Tabernacle Choir rehearsal on a Thursday night and a Sunday broadcast of the Choir. We were there early on both occasions and were able to get good seats. What a joy to hear that Heavenly music in real time. Gerald was able to meet two of his Malmrose cousins who are a brother and sister who sing in the choir. They met us before the practice and we had such a nice time getting acquainted. It seems weird to see the Malmrose name tag on someone we hadnít met before. Apparently, there are quite a few Malmroses, other than Earl and Danielís families, in Utah. We hope to meet more before we come home.
We did go to the SLC temple, the other morning. It was overwhelming to sit in that gorgeous building and think of the sacrifice the early Saints made to build it. While we were there, I met a young woman who was there alone and I felt that I should stay with her. She was very friendly, and as we got acquainted, she told me that this was only her third time in the temple. She had gone for the first time with her father, just three days before he passed away, and she was feeling lonely. We talked quite a bit and exchanged emails and intend to get together before too long. She seemed to appreciate having my companionship and I sure enjoyed being with her. Isnít the Gospel wonderful!
My cousin Ann and I attended the broadcast of the Relief Society General Conference, held at our ward building. We are next door to the Conference Center, but it fills up so fast, we didnít try to go there. It is great to be able to go to these activities with my cousin. She and her hubby are going back to St. George soon, but will be back in a couple of months. I will miss having her close next door.
We continue to work at the COB (Church Office Building), every week. Hopefully, we are beginning to make some difference in helping these good people keep the Church moving forward. We do enjoy working with them. There is a sweet spirit at work among the people who are employed by the Church as well as the missionaries who serve there. One of the highlights of our week is to have lunch in the COB cafeteria downstairs. They serve a nice variety of food from a salad or soup bar, to main dishes at reasonable prices. The best part is that a Brother Herbert Klopfer plays the piano during lunch, and he does a wonderful job playing all the old show tunes. He is the one who wrote Church hymn #298 Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth It makes for a great lunch break!
We walk to and from work during the week and walk to our church building a few blocks away. At first, our legs hurt us but as we do it consistently, we are getting stronger and thatís a good thing. We hope we can walk even during the winter months. Time will tell. The weather has been hot, but has cooled off this week, so we guess that the end of the nice weather is at hand. Oh wellÖ..
We had a fun evening with my cousin Linda and her hubby Larry. We went to a live theater production at the University Of Utah. They have a beautiful theater and we enjoy being with our wonderful extended family. Another blessing of living here.
We continue to have interesting experiences of meeting different people. We have met a brother from Ghana(Daniel Kabasan) and another brother (Samuel Cooper) from Liberia in Africa. The last one is going to school at the LDS Business college and is a returned missionary, from guess where? He served in the Arcadia Mission, where Gerald grew up. In our work at the COB, I met a man from South Africa. I asked him if he knew the Chris and Debbie King from Sequim, and he said, of course. I told him to say Hi to them when he gets back home after conference. Small world in the Church, thatís for sure. We also were walking around Temple Square, which we do regularly, and were taking a picture when a sister came up and asked if we would like her to take our picture together. We said sure, and after asked her where she was from. She is visiting with her husband and is from Portugal, but lives in Germany. We told her that our daughter Audra had served in Portugal some years ago. She and her husband have been members for a number of years. I think her hubby works for the church. It was fun to talk with her. We also have met someone who knows the Brandenburgs in Thousand Oaks and someone who used to live near Fairwood and knows Penny Jensen and Carolyn Stevens. And it goes on and on. Who knows who we will meet next?
Because Lorna knows that she was born in Salt Lake City, we went to the Church Historical Library and found a Salt Lake City Directory from 1942. We opened the book to the right page and found that her father Ray Emfield (Auditor) and his wife Audra lived at 580 12th Avenue in Salt Lake. So we drove to the address in the northern hills of Salt Lake and found the home where Lorna was born.
We do miss our Washington family, but it is General Conference weekend and Audra and Amber are coming up to visit. We hope to have all our kids here and some of our grandkids for a little family reunion. We are looking forward to it. We'll update you next month.