Salt Lake City Mission Report - October, 2013
Audra and her friend Lisa, did arrive as did Amber and her kids. We loved being with them, if only for a short visit. They stayed over at my cousin Ann’s apartment next door, where there is more room. One of the fun things about her apartment is the balcony 5 stories up. Elias can stand on it and yell down to all the people walking by that they are late for conference. They look up and smile and hurry along a little faster. Ann and her hubby are in St. George at their other place, so they were nice to let our family stay there for a short time during conference. We were blessed with tickets to Saturday afternoon conference at the Conference Center, thanks to our home ward and stake; so we were all able to attend one of the wonderful sessions in that beautiful building. We can’t believe how many people attend, but it was worth it to be so close to our great leaders. One fun thing we did with Amber and kids is take them to the Church Office Building cafeteria. It has good food and a wonderful piano player who plays during lunch. What a great combination.
After the session, we hurried over to a restaurant near Earl’s house and met up with our sons Earl and Daniel and their families, for a little pre-50th wedding reunion. It was a time when we could get most of the family together, and we had a great time visiting. Our little grandkids are really growing up, and I mean up. The youngest is Elias, and he will be 9 his next birthday, and the oldest is Nathaniel, who is over 6ft 2 inches tall. They just keep growing up, and we keep growing older. The time in this life and in our mission really does fly fast.
Church History Museum: While Amber and the kids were here, we went to the CHM, which is across the street from Temple Square. They have a number of displays such as actual handcarts that the pioneers used, clothing and tools from the era and precious original manuscripts with writings from the early prophets and other church leaders. There are even some pages from the Book of Mormon original translation. When we first arrived, they had several demonstrations on early pioneer skills, such as pottery making and furniture making. They showed us how they made beautiful furniture with nothing but hand tools. The kids enjoyed the special section that was interactive where they got to do a number of different things, as you can see from the pictures we took. It was a fun day for all of us.
We went to what was called an LDS Tech Convention at the University of Utah. Some of Gerald’s supervisors were presenters. It was fun to be in their LDS Institute building for the meetings. It is the biggest institute building we have seen. It must serve the singles wards too. We got to ride the TRAX train, which is the electric train that runs all over the city. It seems to be quite efficient, and lots of people use it. This is a big city, but one of the nicer ones. There still are a lot of street beggars, but most of the city is quite clean and seems safe, as we see many people, even single women, walking at night. There are some cities where that wouldn’t be safe. The Church Office Building is the 2nd tallest structure in downtown. We also went up the hill behind the Capitol and took pictures from part way up the historical Ensign Peak. We plan on going up to the top, and take more pictures later. The weather has been pleasant, but there is a haze over the valley, and we want to wait until a clear day, hopefully before the snow falls.
COB Top and City View: We walked to the Church Office Building, where we work and introduced the family to some of the people I work with, Sister Rond & Brother Day. We took a tour of the building with a highlight of going to the 28th floor, the top of the building, to view the city. It gives a whole new perspective on how well the city was laid out by Brigham Young and the early planners. We also walked around the beautiful gardens and fountains that connect the COB with Temple Square and other historic buildings like the Tabernacle, the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the building where the General Authorities have their offices.
We attended the rehearsal for the Tab. Choir. It is always nice to see and hear them in action. The next night we attended the Orchestra at Temple Square concert with my supervisor Joan and her husband. It featured a famous Austrian Cello player. He was outstanding, as was the whole orchestra. Pres. Uchtdorf and his wife were in attendance and that’s always fun to see them in person. We are trying to get tickets to the Tab. Choir Christmas concert and “Savior Of The World” musical at the Conference Center. The tickets are difficult to get and they use a lottery system to distribute them. We should know if we are one of the lucky ones pretty soon.
We were invited to attend a fireside for all service missionaries held in the tabernacle. While seated and looking around at all the missionaries, I noticed someone we knew walking in. We went over and said Hi to Cathlin and Dan Fife, old friends from Fairwood. They live in Utah and do service in the Conference Center every week. We met up with them for lunch and had a great time getting caught up after a number of years.
We had Stake Conference Sunday, which was held in the historic Assembly Hall on Temple Square. They said it was the 147th Semi-Annual Stake Conference of the SLC Stake. The hall was built from the leftover granite from the building of the Salt Lake City Temple. It is beautiful, as is all of temple square. We often take an evening walk through the gardens. That will stop once the snow flies, but until then we really enjoy it.
Our young friend Erica, whom we met in the Salt Lake Temple the other day, came and went to lunch with us in the COB cafeteria. We had a very nice visit. We gave her the “Malmrose Proclamation on a Happy Family” talk and had a lot of fun just visiting with this sweet young woman. She wants to come to Washington to visit after we return home. Her brother will be stationed at Ft. Lewis, so she and her mom will come to visit him and then come out and see us. What nice friends we are making here.
The stake that we attend here is doing a special project on indexing death records and they held a day of consecration where we went and learned how to do it. It was held in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. What a beautiful building it is. After we did the indexing, we went to lunch in one of the restaurants in the building and that was fun. There is a fancy restaurant at the top of the building, but it is very expensive, so we may not be able to go there, but it was fun being in the Nauvoo Café downstairs. When Amber and her kids were here, they went to the Lion House Café, and she said it was really good. They brought back some homemade rolls, yummy. The Lion House is next door to the Beehive House. Both buildings are historical because they were built for Brigham Young. His family stayed in the Lion House and the Church offices were in the Beehive House. We are going to check on the dates of these buildings to see if my great-grandmother Henrietta, who was raised by Brigham Young’s family after being orphaned in the handcart trip, lived there until she married. What history is in this city.
They had a Halloween potluck lunch at work the other day. It was fun, especially the carved pumpkins they brought. What a great group of people to work with. They are dedicated to their work, but they still know how to have fun.
Early one morning, Gerald and I decided to go back up to Ensign Peak Park. It was a nice day and the sun was just coming up. We didn’t know if we could make it all the way up the trail to the top where the monument is, but we gave it a try. We took our time and did make it all the way up to the top. It was quite a climb. This is the site where Brigham Young and many other early church leaders came to survey the valley and decide how to lay out the city. It was nice to stand there and look over the valley and know that they had stood there so many years ago.