Sunday, April 3, 2016

088 Tuesday to Tuesday (Dec. 23-29, 2015)

Here we are ready for Christmas. On the 23rd, we were down at the Wisconsin Center checking hats and coats for those who were coming to work in the kitchen and in decorating for the dinner. It is expected that 8,000 people will be fed on Christmas Day. Can we even imagine that many people to be fed? When you look in the dining room, there are 1,600 seats so there are volunteers for everything. We got to give out t-shirts and check coats and hats to, give everyone a number for their coat or hat and then tag a hanger with their number and hang them up. No one can get into the room where the coats are kept, so we have to guard the door. It was fun, and we were by ourselves so I could read my ipad and Craig played on his phone for the time when it got quiet.

That night we took Victor a couple of presents. I had bought him a nice sweater, a nice plaid shirt, a white shirt, some candy, and cookies and brownies I had made. We stayed and talked with him some. He still wears his earring, but we have hear that he did take it off for Church one day. He has changed so much, so he is taking little steps. We had talked about buying Victor a coat like we had bought for Craig. Craig wore his coat to Victor’s place so that Victor could try it on. After trying it on, it was a perfect fit and Craig gave it to him. I was surprised but proud of Craig.

On Thursday, we got up early and went off to get an MRI for my shoulder. The xray that I had did not show anything because it only looks for bones. My appointment was at 6:45. When we got there (the Smart Choice MRI Center) was located in a small store building. The lights were off, there was no movement, and the door had a red light showing. We thought a red light indicated the door was unlocked. After waiting for 10 minutes, I called the main office and asked if the office was closed. They said it should be open. The woman I was talking with said she was checking on what was happening. Just as I hung up, the two people working (a man and a woman) came through from the back and turned on the light. They were messing around, she sat down to her computer (the office is a big store front of windows), and then he turns off the light behind her. I get out of the car and go in the door. I was not being ugly when I said, “Starting a little slow this morning, aren’t we?” The man turned to me and said, “I don’t need you giving me any grief today.” “I’m not giving you grief.” “The door was open, you could have come in.” “The lights were off, who would believe the office was open when there were no lights on.” Craig came in at that time, and I tried to tell him what happened. I was given a set of papers to fill out, and when I walked back to my seat, the man said something about he didn’t need to be called a slut. Craig’s eyes were about to jump out of his head. Needless to say, I was not amused by this man. Makes me wonder what they were doing before they came out front. I think the main office called them and made them come out or no telling how long we would have waited to get in.

On the 24th we went off to the Fleet Store to buy Craig a coat like the one he gave to Victor. It didn’t take long to find one, we couldn’t find the color we had before, but we got a black one.  Then, we were on to the Wisconsin Center to check coats and hats again. After our time at the Salvation Army, we went home to make cookies for the Elders and then later that evening to take a Christmas present to the Armstrongs. We had framed copies of the Family Proclamation and the Living Christ for them. While there they gave us winter caps with the Packer’s logo on them, and Craig got a cheesehead and I got a cutting board in the shape of Wisconsin.

On Christmas Day, we were there by 8:00 that morning to get a good parking place for one thing, and to be ready when the people started coming in. The dinner wouldn’t start until 11:00, but people started lining up by 9:00. We ended up helping with several different things. One group was assigned to fill all of the water pitchers and place them on the tables in the dining room. This group was late in registering to help and got upset because the job of the pitchers had always been theirs. So they gave them what they wanted, and then they didn’t show up when they were supposed to in order to get it done before the dinner started. So, Craig and I and one other man who was helping had to fill the pitchers with the ice and water by taking each one off these big carts to fill and then placing them back on in a way that was easiest. The carts had four shelves and it was hard getting one off and putting one back without having to move others in the process. We had 160 to do. When we were finally down to the last couple of shelves, the group showed up to do their job.

They had 10 tables across, 10 people to a table, 17 rows front to back. They fed 8,000 people in 3 hours.

Outside hallway before they allowed people to enter the building.
Choir (we did it last year) in hallway when people started to arrive. Girl (3rd from left) did it with us last year, and she went to our gym).

Getting last minute instructions before letting people in to eat.

Because we were so willing to help do other things, they asked Craig and I if we would help seat the disabled who came to eat. They had removed the chairs from the tables we would use so we could get wheelchairs up close. We were supposed to seat the tables in an order, but we found out that wasn’t always possible.  
Santa and Mrs. Clause

After the people ate, they came out a door and came down a set of tables to get bus passes for that day if they needed them, then they got a bag of baked goods (leftovers from bakeries – and we had to check for mold on the bread); then they could get two pair of socks (but they would tell you they had none) -  the tables had hundreds and hundreds of socks and the line was long for them - and as they went down to my area they saw that we had different kinds of socks so they would ask for them. I would ask if they had gotten socks yet and they would say no, but I would look at their bags and they would have 6-10 pair already. I would tell them
Waiting for the fun to begin.

Elders Smith and Potz beginning their work with a new friend.
Sisters Lamprecht and Butler found a friend to work with also.

Elders Pound and Palaccio getting ready to hand out socks.
no, we needed socks for others and some got a little miffed. Then, we weren’t supposed to give toys to anyone who wasn’t there, and parents and grandparents wanted stuff for their children/grandchildren. We asked if the children were there, but no they didn’t bring them to eat. While we weren't supposed to give them toys, someone decided we should.  

The tables were roped off so there was an aisle for the people to walk down from one end to another. Someone decided the line wasn’t moving fast enough, so they decided to move some things and make a line on the other side of the ropes. So people who had been in the line for a while were then beaten out by those who just walked up. People who had already been through the line then went on the other side and got volunteers on that side to ask for stuff again as if they hadn’t already been through the line. They were asking us to throw socks over the heads of those people in front of us to those on the other side of the ropes. I think I’ll write a note to the woman in charge and let her know that those who were in the back really got little because those in the front were taking advantage of the giveaway. It is the way of the poor. Get what you can and get as much as possible because you don’t know when you might have another chance at it.

After we got home around 4:00, we got a visitor. Angelina Ruiz was in the Spanish Branch, and she was in our Pathway class last year. She keeps us supplied with tamales and verda sauce. She brought us some really sweet presents, I got pajamas and Craig got ties. She brought us some Le punche. It was delicious. We have tried to make it ourselves, but we weren’t successful, but we will try again. When Angelina left, I walked her to her car, and together we saw the Christmas full moon. Supposedly, there hasn’t been a full moon on Christmas since 1977, and it will be many years before it happens again. It didn’t look anything but ordinary.

On Saturday, we were taking it easy. We were worn out and our feet hurt; however, that night we had a baptism, Sabrina Wynne, who has been a foster mom for several hundred kids over her lifetime. Twenty-five years ago she first met missionaries, and over the years she has gone in and out meeting with them. She called the missionaries and told them she was ready to be baptized. She is a wonderful black woman with a heart full of love for others. She is spreading the Gospel to all her acquaintances, family, and foster kids.
Good woman with a wonderful heart of love for others.

Sunday, I had to talk on giving. I starting out feeling like it was a pretty good talk, but now that I think about it, I believe I was kind of out of it.

Monday brought us a blizzard. That morning we had to do an inspection, and we knew the snow was predicted to hit us around 9:00 a.m.  So we got up and got to Pewaukee around 8:00. I inspected the Sisters apartment, and we were on the road back to Milwaukee. Sure enough, as we were taking the inspection papers to the mission office, the snow began. It snowed forever. We stayed in for the rest of the day and worked on family history.

On Tuesday, we had our District Meeting. No one had plowed the City Branch bldg.. parking lot, so we had to park on the side of the road. We would never have gotten in and out without ripping the bottom of our car off like we did last year.  We spent the time setting our goals for this year. We felt like we really didn’t have much to say because we won’t be here as the goals are met.

So here we are at the end of the month and the year. I feel like I’ve just gotten used to writing 2015, and now we will be writing 2016. It’s a good thing I don’t write many checks.

Our Scripture for December:  Alma 32:41

But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, 
by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the 
fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up 
unto everlasting life

Elder and Sister Lenhard

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