|An unexpected snow storm|
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After more than 50 years of my life spent living in the Salt River Valley of Arizona, it is a novel experience to have weather that changes daily and includes snow, rain, sleet, hail and sometimes sunshine. Provo, Utah, where we lived for three and half years prior to our mission has very predictable weather. Annapolis is not so predictable.
As Senior Missionaries, we left a comfortable home in Provo to live in a smallish apartment. I have been thinking about apartment living and I believe the last apartment we lived in was in Panama City, Panama back in 1970. However, we have adapted rather rapidly to our apartment. It is interesting how few of the things you own you actually "need." We finally got our mail delivery sorted out with the U.S. Post Office. That turned out to be the biggest problem we have encountered so far. We have had a few problems with a clothes dryer, water leaks from an adjacent apartment and other small problems, but the apartment management is on top of repairs and those things and others have been quickly addressed. I don't think I would have fixed some of the things as fast myself.
We do note that renting an apartment in the Washington, D.C. area is extremely expensive. We have seen rent as high as over $4000 a month! We are thankful for what we have.
We are now settling into a routine if that is at all possible. My wife, Ann, has all the coupons and specials at the local grocery stores spotted and we follow our lifelong routine of shopping at different stores to find the bargains from each. Some of the prices here are higher than in Utah but there seem to be sales with good prices. I guess that depends more on what and how you eat than anything else, however.
In reflecting back on my expectations of what it would be like to be a full-time Senior Missionary, I can truthfully say that the reality is much better than what I expected. We love helping in the Maryland State Archives and working with the other missionaries. We have a little bit of contact with the Sister missionaries assigned to our Spanish-speaking Branch but have hardly seen any other young missionaries. Because we decided to attend and help in the Branch, we have much less contact with the Midshipmen from the Academy because they attend one of the Wards.
I think one of the major traits needed in being a Senior Missionary is the ability to adapt to changes of all kinds. Another is the ability to look for opportunities to serve and help those around you. We have been welcomed into the Branch and asked to help and participate. It is nice to feel that you are needed and wanted. We have around 74 High Priests in our Ward in Provo. Last Sunday, we had a total of four Melchizedek Priesthood holders including me at our meeting.
Of course, I have the advantage of having spoken Spanish most of my life. My wife has found her place in the Branch Primary where almost all the children speak English. As my wife Ann says, we don't seem to have much trouble sleeping at night. Our days are long and full.