Sunday, October 20, 2013

Landed in SLC and Jeff Christensen has picked me up from the airport. This is the Thursday prior to April General Conference  2013 (for my memory as much as anyone else's!)

Went home, had some lunch, then Christine (Jeff's wife) drove me in to the Temple and I did the 5pm session. Fantastic, apart from the big fat guy beside me cracking his knuckles, talking to himself, eating lollies and then telling me that one of the actors was his father. I felt like saying 'Pity he didn't teach you to be reverent''. l took the first opportunity when we changed rooms to change seats and sit beside someone else.

After the Session I spent sometime across the street in Deseret Book and left there quite happy with myself for not buying anything. Got home, had dinner, chatted, did a workout went to bed.

Day Two -  Friday
Had a lousy nights sleep so didn't get till up about 8.30am. Jeff had already been up and worked out. He aIso did a couple of hours work through the night. He and I seem to have the same problem - not sleeping very well! Jeff and I did an endowment session at SLC temple in the afternoon. Missionary reunion that night. Prior to the reunion some of us (Julie Acor Clegg and family, Mike and  Anne Brian, Jeff and I, maybe some others - apologies for not remembering) met for dinner at a cheap Mexican restaurant. Great company, average food!

 Front: Diamond, Bruce Oliphant, me, Tricia Wilkes (Rigby), Allen Dunford. Back row l to r, Karyn Hartkopf Facemyer, Kim Heaton Nutall, Phillip Tuia, Atkinson,Julie Clegg (Acor), David Fluit, Kerry BairdJeff ChristensenDon Rappleye, Greg Kilpack. 

Day Three Saturday
3 Sessions of Conference today. Morning session with my old companion David Fluit. Sat in front of an Australian missionary, Elder Simon, from Melbourne.
Second Session Sat by myself. After that session I met up with Allen Dunford and friends, went to dinner and had a really nice night. Allen is one of my old missionary friends. Thanks for reminding me Allen that I was your first District Leader and that you were trained by Scott Cummock, a great missionary from the US. I had forgotten those details!

Priesthood session sat with Phillip Baker from Perth and his cousin Greg from Adelaide and a big black guy from Haiti called Richardson. He had a magnificent singing voice. Also saw Adam Carthew there.

Day Four Sunday.
Morning session of conference at home with the Christensens. In between sessions we watched a little more TV which was interesting to see what was on. Mainly information about the MTC and advertisements for various "Moromon" things

We then went for a walk up Mill Creek canyon, driving back in time for the afternoon session of conference.  We actually heard the opening prayer by a sister on the car radio. Getting back home we watched the session on KSL. Maybe one could think it strange that I was there in Salt Lake City with tickets to conference and l didn't go, but I wanted to experience Conference as most of the locals do.
Sunday night was not unlike a typical Sunday night in the Ceff home - sitting around talking, reading and a game of scrabble.

Day Five - Monday
l desperately needed to go for a swim as l had not been sleeping well and my neck was 'out', since my little adventure at Skyventure in Arizona. Anyway,  Jeff being as always the perfect host, very kindly took me to the nearest pool so that I could do some laps. Fortunately,  as a result, my neck us much better
today,  but still not in perfect condition.
He also took me shopping.  bought shoes for Margot and a present for the Christensens,  a small Christus statue purchased from Deseret Book.

That afternoon we spent time preparing the house for the visitors coming in the evening.

Around 7.00pm Ruth and David Fluit arrived, followed about 15 minutes later by their kids, Jelaire and Peter. I had not seen the kids for 8 years and they are now about 20 and 15 respectively.
Jelaire is studying architecture at the University of Utah and Peter is at high school so there was a huge difference in them from 8 years ago.

The Wilkes family then arrived and we all just sat around chatting waiting for Lisa Fraser to arrive.
Lisa is an extremely good singer/songwriter whose music I have been listening to for years and she was nice enough to come and play some songs for us. Unfortunately she had a bit if trouble finding the Christensens home and I didn't check my Facebook book messages for an hour or more.
Anyway,  after several phone calls between her and Jeff we finally had the chance to hear her songs. Thanks Lisa! It was a great night.

My last night at the Christensen's and it snows. I go to the family room when I get up to be greeted by this scene. For someone from Australia, this is mind blowing - for you guys in SLC it's just more shovelling to do I guess! I think that's Mt Olympus in the background.

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