This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Friday, June 7, 2013

What Will Change The Most in 23 Months?

Today we finished our training.  While Kristi was learning about emails, letter writing, Excel and newsletters, I was learning about housing, cars and finance.  It was at the finance part that I started to glaze over.  Several accountants in the room asked questions and were very impressed by the system to account for all the funds.  I just hope that it is a well oiled machine when I arrive and I don't mess it up too badly.  I hope in 23 months there is a change in my efficiency and productivity.

Each time I have lived out of the country for a while - England, Thailand, Germany - I was shocked at the change in politics, social standards and levels of technology that I hadn't kept up with over a pretty short period of time.  Change can be very subtle and barely noticeable.  I always think of the story of the two frogs.  If the water is boiling and you toss one in, he will jump out immediately.  The second frog swims in cool water while the heat is applied to the bottom of the pan.  It is not long until boiled frog legs are available.  It is only major change that gets noticed.  I suppose it takes a prophet to make us aware of the eventual outcome.

One big change right now is the increased number of young missionaries being called to serve.

This necessitates increased number of housing units and increase in cars and the oversee of funds.  As most of you know, each missionary pays their own expenses, but to equalize the costs over the world they each pay $450 a month.  This means that those in cheaper areas like Equador and Peru and many rural areas help with the expenses in more expensive areas, such as London, New York and Tokyo.
These young missionaries live cheaply and members are asked to feed them as much as possible.

Senior couples also support themselves but the costs around the world are not equalized.  Some areas definitely are cheaper that others.  Fortunately, the Church has offered to pay the excess housing cost for couples over $1400 a month.  This has made it possible for many more seniors to serve in the more expensive areas.

Here are our four youngest grandchildren.
As much as we will miss all of our grandchildren,
I think these four will probably change the most.

Lucy, 18 months

Zach, 3 years

Dane, 2 years  

Gideon, 19 months

They are the face of innocence.

I wish they wouldn't change, but they will.  I hope they know me when I get back.

Below is one of my favorite photos.  The four youngest were not around yet.  Charlie is being held by Oma.  This was taken when our family was at Island Park, Idaho just outside Yellowstone National Park in 2009.