Thursday, July 14, 2011

Elder Richard G Hinckley

Quotes from Elder Hinckley at the 2011 Seminar for new mission presidents, published in Church News 9 July 2011.

"Senior couples are 'under-utilized assets'"

"...the total requests by mission presidents for couples has been as high as 3,200 couples or 6,400 individuals... Currently about 1,900 couples are serving.  That means approximately 40 percent of the needs of missions are left unmet... Rarely a week goes by that I do not receive a desperate phone call from a mission president begging for more senior missionaries."

Recent changes for senior or couple missionaries:
1. Couples may now serve for 6, 12,18, or 23 months.  They may serve outside their country of residence for less than 18 months if they pay for their own transportation to and from the mission.
2. Couples may at their own expense take a short leave of absence from their mission (normally no longer than 7 - 10 days) to return home for a critical family event.
3. Effective 1 September 2011 a cap of $1,400 per month will be established for housing costs, that is rent, utilities and furnishings.

Expanding on #3, from Missions, temples, or area administration offices now will locate and secure appropriate housing and pay all housing costs (including rent, utilities, and furnishings). Missionary couples will then reimburse some or all of those housing costs up to the cap.

Missionaries from the United States, Canada, western Europe, Japan, and Australia will be expected to reimburse the cost of housing up to the cap, while those from all other countries will be expected to reimburse the costs up to their individual ability to pay (but not to exceed $1,400 a month). Couples will continue to pay for food and other personal expenses.

Vaccines, skin tests

We found a great place to get our vaccines and skin test, and costs a lot less than the county public health department too.  Passport Health (I think they are nationwide).  They use individual vials, have ingredient information, and they're only 10 minutes away.  Their ingredient list says no thimerosal, no aluminum, no mercury (for the vaccines we need, at least).  But, just in case, we are doing an aggressive oral chelation during this time period.  MCP (modified citrus pectin), alginates, vitamin C, and malic acid (apples) should address heavy metal and aluminum issues. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New shoes!

This event is worthy of a blog entry!  We went to the SAS store to get Cameron some shoes.  I had already checked their web site and they still didn't show any closed toe dress shoes for women.  But, as we walked in, right in the window was the perfect shoe for me!  Kind of a Mary Jane style, low heel and a thin strap, beautiful soft leather... simple and elegant and being a SAS shoe it feels like you've slipped into Heaven when you put it on!  So, I have my dress shoes and now I have some great nice looking walking shoes that could also be a dress shoe.   And we did get Cameron's shoes too.

This may not sound like a big deal but it's always hard to find a shoe with a narrow heel and a larger toe box.  But this is it!  It wasn't shown on the SAS web site because it's not in full production yet.  I get thrilled with little things!

On other fronts... we are slogging our way thru eye exams, skin tests, vaccinations...  everything's going well so far.  I was a little concerned about the possibility of glaucoma for me because if you are near-sighted (I am) you are 90% more likely to have glaucoma.  No sign of it, no sign of macular degeneration (both of my parents had it and my grandmother), and cataracts are minimal, better than expected for this age.  We're good so far!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Applications completed

It only took us a few hours to fill out our applications online.  It'll take a bit more than that to get the medical exams done... but it is the summer here which means there are fewer people here so appointments aren't as far out as in the winter.  We are anxious to be on our way, but we are also prepared to wait for the right time.  We are anxious to live the missionary life!  Wherever it is!

We've pretty much worked out all the details for closing up, leaving, and keeping the minimum things going here... in theory at least.  For the vehicles we are going to file a de-insured certificate, stop the insurance, and leave them in the garage.  Then, if they run when we get back, we can start the insurance and renew the registration with no penalty.

We've made a list of all the things that need to be done or thought about.  Then we assigned a "when" category to each.  I was afraid we may leave too many things to the last minute, but it seems to be working out okay.  At first  we thought we would need 1 month between call and report date.  Now we're thinking we could do it in a week if we had to!  But who knows, maybe we'll need to wait months.  We'll be ready.