Thursday, August 4, 2016

A fairly "normal" day for these two senior missionaries

Our days here are far from what we imagined "normal" would be--but once in a while we do have a day that seems more normal than is usually the case. So here is a snapshot of a fairly normal day:

We usually arrive at work around 8:15-8:30 (sometimes as early as 7:30 a.m. and occasionally as late as 9:00 a.m.). Doug and I share an office at the bureau:
Doug is working really hard as the mission comptable (accountant) and doing great at learning Excel to accomplish his duties. He's becoming a wiz on the computer (if he could just find that darn carriage throw he keeps asking me about)
Karen is the mission secretaire and, in addition to the more common secretarial duties, is responsible for the legality for our 200 missionaries plus their arrivals and departures
Our days in the office are very busy and very long, usually 10 hours on a good day and up to 15 hours at times. We love working with the other couples--we don't know what we would do without them. We have a devotional each morning where we take turns choosing a hymn, sung in French of course (I never could have imagined that I'd be part of a French-singing quartet!), giving a spiritual thought and a prayer to begin the day. The brightest spots of our days are interacting with the young missionaries (mostly the assistants and the Versailles elders, although other missionaries often drop by) and President and Soeur Babin. 
A few elders who stopped by for help with their second year legality.

The eight of us by height. (Yes, he's 7'5")

With the assistants (Elder Pieksma and Elder Stephenson). We love these two!

Transfer week (every six weeks) is always exciting--new missionaries come in on Tuesday (29 missionaries arrived this week!), transfers are on Wednesday, and departures are on Thursday each transfer week. It's crazy busy but there is so much joy in that process! New missionaries in our mission are called "Bleus" (instead of "Greenies") and we are always uplifted by the Bleu Fire when they arrive. Transfers are exciting as the Bleus get to meet their trainers and head off to their new areas. Departures are bittersweet, for sure. We get attached to these young missionaries quickly and it's hard to see them go. But witnessing their growth and the joy in their countenances as they finish their mission is worth everything.

If we are able to leave work by 7:00 or 8:00, we often go to the store, which is always an experience.
I think I'll pass on this one.

Pudding, on the other hand--YUM! How can we choose?

And choices on both sides of the long aisle!
The ham here is delicious...

We often have ham sandwiches for lunch--such delicious ham and cheese here and add that to a fresh baguette (and sometimes a sliced, hard-boiled egg) and it is our favorite lunch. But, for a change, how about some flunch?
Some days when we are just too tired to make dinner, we walk up to our local cowboy restaurant:
Mmmm. Good old home cooking, sort of.
The waiters even wear cowboy hats.

When we work really late and drive home blurry eyed, we're always glad the French let us know where we aren't.