Monday, March 31, 2008

Good Friend

It's Darwin writing this time.
We have missed a lot of our friends in Great Falls, so yesterday we were glad to see Lola Tracy for a little while. She has been traveling in Idaho, Oregon and Utah. She was in Boise for a day and we had a wonderful visit late last night. She updated us on a lot of the folks in Great Falls. It's good to know that most of the people we care about are doing well.

Craig Michelsen, another of our dear friends is now the bishop in the Great Falls Fifth Ward. I'm sure he hit the ground running. The Fifth Ward is in good hands.

Vicki's aunt Alma is having a birthday party on May 3rd. She'll be 90. We'll go to the party if there's any way we can. It's the day after Ben's graduation, so the scheduling will be tight. Ben, Kirsten and Kate are in Phoenix. Alma is in Orovill, CA (near Sacramento). We should be able to make both events if we're not already in the mission.

We're continuing to have fun with the Spanish Group here in Kuna. Every Sunday I learn something new. I realize that right now it's a lot of work for me to speak Spanish. Some of the gringos in the group don't seem to have to work at all to speak the language. I'm hoping that after a few weeks in the mission it'll be more natural for me, too. Vicki and I really love the Hispanic members of the group. Vicki has an amazing ability to communicate with them, even though she doesn't really understand the language. She seems to be able to communicate on a spiritual and emotional level. The members love her.

We expect to get our call this week, but we don't know for sure. We are speculating that Vicki's interview last week was the last step before the paperwork went to the missionary committee where the final decision is made. We'll be checking the mail on Thursday. That's usually the day when the calls arrive...

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hi I am back. This is Vicki. I have added a youtube channel at www.youtube.com/darwinandvicki and I worked on the web site at www.darvic.net/joomla. All kinds of exciting things are happening. We don't have a clue where our papers are right now. We were getting really excited about Bogota. Check the video out about the bike ways in Bogota on the above youtube site in the favorites area. There are between 400 and 500 kilometers of integrated protected bike ways in Bogota (the most of any city in the World). The former Mayor is in the vanguard as far as city planning and public space goes. He has completely turned the city around. He is now helping with city redesign in New York. 400,000 people a day use bikes for transprotation in Bogota. Just as I was getting used to idea of going there (it is 8800 feet above sea level and has a consistent temperature around 68 F) The Church called again and my records had been tagged because I am a Mental Health Professional. They read through the credentials that people have and pull out all the Doctors, Nurses, and Mental Health Professionals. The Church Social Services Department called and asked if I would accept an assignment to serve a Mental Health Specialist for the area presidency in an area, not an assignment just a query. My job would be to help Mission presidents spot missionaries that were having mental health issues, work with them individually, and help the mission president decide if their needs could be handled in the field so they could finish their mission or decide if they needed to go home to get more intense treatment. Many of the problems are transitory due to the stress of being in a new culture, often speaking a language that they have not yet mastered and feeling inadequite to the task. I told them I would serve anywhere they wanted me but that I prefered to be in a Spanish Speaking country. This was the same kind of a call that we got from the auditing department. They can request us but ultimately it is up to the brethern on the missionary committee although they usually listen to the recommendations of specific departments of the Church. The guy I talked to was going to look at what they wanted Darwin for and see how both could be accomodated. But we don't know yet and we won't until our actual call papers arrive.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Interview

Written by Darwin
Thursday, 06 March 2008
We finally had our interview with the stake president almost two weeks ago. Then the stake clerk called to let us know that some of the paperwork from the doctor didn't arrive, so the application couldn't be sent. We got that turned in on Tuesday (March 4) of this week, so I think everything is in the church offices by now. Now we have to sit and wait. We could hear in two weeks, or it might be 5 weeks, just depending of how things hit the various cycles. We've finished all the shots required for all missionaries, so we're good to go. We may have to get more shots for certain areas.
Still waiting...