Well, the Gang is not actually all here anymore. This past week we said good-bye to our Mission President and companion President and Sister Spallino. As we did so, we were able to celebrate their 2 years here and the many historic milestones that were accomplished. They served through the 2020 Covid shutdown, they also were on the ground floor for the inceptions of the virtual tours we now do through the world. Truly Pioneers in so many senses of the word. Just to give you a little view of the way things have changed for us here at the historical sites:
Virtual tours 3,708
# who received a VT 328,770 (3 times as many as 2020)
# who received in-person tour 108,837 (June 1st through Dec 31st only)
Total # who received a tour 437,607
2020 and 2021 combined
Virtual tours 8,393
#who received a VT 432,100 (only 103,330 in 2020)
#who received in-person tour 112,840 (only 4003 in 2020 before shutdown in April)
Total # who received a tour 544.940 (only 107,333 in 2020)
Needless to say, we did stay very busy this past year in helping to share the power and blessing of these sites and the events of the restoration that happened here with many of our friends. In total we have shared Virtual Tours with 105 countries around the world so far. We are awaiting the arrival of or new President which should be in the next few days. Excited to see what 2022 brings for all of us.
With winter in full swing (based on the calendar) we are still awaiting a good dump of snow. So far we have only had a few inches here and there. But we do know it is winter based on the temperatures. We have had several days we have gone out to do tours and the temperature is in the single digits. Add on the winds we have had on a few of those days, and we are pressing -20 degrees. This Desert Rat was not built for this but thank heavens for warm winter ware. One of my favorite pictures is included of Amy (whose fingernails turn purple at 80 degrees)
We have cycled our 1-year mark for our mission and have just 6 more to go. Time has flown by very quickly as we have been involved in the pioneering efforts of the Church as they take the message of the restoration to the world via ZOOM. We are excited as things begin to settle into a routine on the administrative side of our efforts to be able to focus on sharing the message. We so look forward to the Young Sister missionaries coming in March. They bring the spring with them (even if the temperatures don’t reflect it)
The other Sunday as we attend Testimony meeting, many of the congregation mentioned the challenges and trials they had had in the past, and how they were able to endure through their faith in Christ. One sister mentioned that “our trials can turn to testimony”. What a profound insight. This life is designed so that we will have trials, and it is up to us to decide which way we will “TURN” as they come. They are truly defining moments in our eternal progression and as we endure it is much easier to endure through Christ who has already walked that path for us.
Nothing to report this time in the way of visiting locations around the area since it has been poor weather and may of the sites are closed for the winter. But I know we are itching to get out, and hopefully we will do so before the next post and have some wonderful adventures to share with you in the near future (weather permitting). In the meantime, I will leave you with one of our leisure activities of Puzzling in the comfort of our apartment.
Know you are loved
Elder and Sister Isom