An portion of an e-mail sent to me (LeAndrea) on October 23. I had asked mom several questions. These are her answers.
We have been very busy right now just cleaning this apartment and we are not finished yet. There has been no one here for about a year so it has been very dusty. Plus you know how missionaries clean! Everything in the kitchen had several layers of grease on it. You know Elder Garrett is the fix-it man. The vacuum cleaner was filthy and the filter had never been changed, so he spent hours taking that apart and we went and bought a new filter. The fan in the bathroom in the ceiling was barely running and was filthy so he took that apart and fixed it. The leg on the couch was broken so went to the store to get glue and a clamp to fix it. There is a big storage room here and we went thru all of that and organized it. There was just about everything in the kitchen that you needed. Of course I brought my stuff, so used some of the stuff that was here and part of my things. I have about 3 boxes of my things I am not using. I kept my dishes packed up. But on Sunday the Relief Society President invited us to dinner but she has dogs so we invited them to come here. She made lasagne and I made a salad. There were five of them so we brought the table from the Relief Society Room in here and I got my dishes out because there are only four plates in the apartment that I am using. We had a good time visiting and they stayed til almost 8:00. I think they enjoyed it!!! The husband is in the bishopric but has been a little less active. I think it was good for him. He told Elder Garrett when they were leaving that he has not been very active. Elder Garrett said "that's o.k. we'll just go forward from here." You know how he can be very kind and gentle.
We are thousand miles from the stake. The church will fly us to Edmonton twice a year for stake conference. The branch is very small here and we are the only missionaries. I think the mission president has in mind sending a couple of Elders in a little while. The branch president was out of town when we got here and only got back last weekend and the 1st Counselor was in and out of town so to this point we haven't even gotten a ward list! We got a list from the R.S. president but it didn't even have addresses on it. So Elder Garrett has been getting a little restless about being able to start contacting in-actives. We did make up a letter we wanted to drop off to in-actives but there was no toner in the copy machine and no paper! There has been no v.t. or h.t. here for quite a while. I know in R.S. it has been a year or more. The R.S. president is a fairly new member and just doesn't know how to get started. Elder Garrett is actually meeting with the branch president right now to get a branch list and go over it. So hopefully we will be able to move on from here. There seems to be some problems here and I guess we will find out. One good thing is a new family of five just moved in from the SLC area so that will help some. This Sunday for Sacrament meeting we will be able to see the new Calgary Temple dedication so we're looking forward to that.
When you see the temperature here that is celsius so it has actually been above freezing. I love to go somewhere in the car each day so I can see what the temperature is in fahrenheit!!! But don't let that fool you, this is only the beginning. We have had flurries all week and the temperature has dropped some. We are on the middle floor in this apartment and have not had the heat on since we got here. In fact I have on sandals and light clothes and we still get hot sometimes when we are really busy - even Dad!! So I don't think we will have to worry about getting cold in the apartment.
They say you can see the northern lights on clear days quite often. Think you have to go to certain places though. We'll find out. Of course that won't be for quite a while yet. The grocery actually has a huge produce section. Groceries are quite expensive but they seem to have something on sale all the time. Clementines were on sale for $ 3.98 the first week for a big box. They were not as flavorful as the ones we get at home. We are still eating on them! We got prune plums on sale and they were good. Roma tomatoes were not too expensive and you know I love my tomatoes! Lettuce and cabbage were not too high. But overall the milk products are way expensive, almost $ 5.00 for a gallon of milk and a block of cream cheese is $ 3.28. A roasted chicken was $ 10.00 so probably will make tortilla soup with canned chicken. I brought a stack of that with me!!