Monday morning, Pam and I had to be at the Lagae home by 8:00 am so Samantha could take Eleanor to an appointment. We arrived and got ourselves comfortable with Clive and then Samantha and Eleanor left, and we entertained Clive. Fiona was up shortly thereafter, and she was humorous as she flitted around telling us this and that and hardly understanding anything she was saying. They both were very good for us and the time went by quickly. We fed them, and Pam and I cleaned up some and Samantha was appreciative of that. I left for the USO at 9:30 am and Pam stayed until Samantha returned. At the USO I noticed the floors were quite sticky and wondered what happened. Joyce Schellhorn (Director) and Cheryl Vandiver were there along with one other volunteer. Joyce said over the weekend they hosted a baby shower and apparently spilled something on the floor that didn’t get cleaned up very well, so immediately the other volunteer and I mopped the entire facility. For the rest of the morning I assisted in setting up for the “No Dough” dinner—brought out the “Sneeze Guards” for the salad and dessert tables, placed the utensils and napkin dispensers on the pool table and got out plates and bowls necessary for the night. Also set up the drink table with dispensers, cups and the ice bowl. About 10:30 am Pam was ready to be picked up, so I drove to the Lagae home and we both returned to the USO. Pam worked in the kitchen for the rest of the morning. At 1:30 pm Joyce went home to take care of her dog and asked me to man the office for her which I did. Later Pam and I went to a nearby Arby’s and had some lunch and then returned. American Legion Post #129 sponsored the dinner and volunteers began arriving at 4:00 pm. Pam and I stayed to ensure they had enough, and I manned a table giving away school supplies to families and Pam the Dessert table. We stayed until 7:00 pm and then took two boxes of food and two cases of drinks to the gate guards at the USO and they were appreciative of the gesture.
Tuesday morning, we left at 8:30 am for the Naval Station where we picked up Alexis Connelly and took her to a doctor’s appointment at the Naval Air Station. She had participated in a sleep study and they gave her an evaluation and some recommendations. On the way back, we took Alexis to lunch at Freddy’s and enjoyed spending some time with her. After dropping her off at her housing building we stopped by the USO to check on an item and did a little work for Joyce regarding Halloween decorations and then made a stop at the ITT (Information, Tickets & Travel) office by the Navy Exchange to check on tickets for Universal Studies in Orlando. We then drove to the Naval Station where Pam watched Samantha Lagae’s children (Clive and Eleanor) while Sam took Fiona to an appointment at the Naval Station to evaluate her hearing and speech problems.
Wednesday morning, we left for the USO at 10:30 am and made a short visit to check on the Marathon items that were delivered yesterday. I moved them in the storage room and did a couple of other things and then we left. Dave Ostrum was working and Joyce Schellhorn (Director) arrived just before we left. Pam was to sit for Samantha’s children but got a text telling her that she had cancelled the appointment for Fiona, so Pam didn’t need to come. We had lunch and then drove Costco where we did some shopping. Afterwards we stopped at a Wal-Mart and bought some fresh vegetables and then returned to our apartment. Pam spent the afternoon baking a cake and getting ready for tomorrow evenings Baby Shower for Shay Tuttle.
Thursday morning, Pam and I opened the USO and were surprised at the number of cars in the parking lot waiting for us. Today at 9:00 am tickets to the Jacksonville Icemen Hockey team were supposed to be available. We didn’t have them, but shortly Charlie Tramazzo arrived, and he had them and we began to give them out for free with very few restrictions. I checked the bread and pastries and tabulated them and got them ready for patrons by 9:30 am. So, the morning was filled with a lot of people coming and going. We also had a community service worker with us and he worked on the lighting system in the entryway. Joyce Schellhorn (Director) was having him do a lot of maintenance items because he was very skilled. We had 3 mothers come with their children to spend time in the children’s room and that was nice. Joyce arrived about 11:30 am from an eye doctor appointment. I took Pam to Samantha Lagae’s home at 12:30 pm and she watched her children while Samantha went to an appointment for herself today. Back at the USO I did a number of small projects until Pam called. I picked her up and then we returned to our apartment. At 5:45 pm we loaded up food and other items for the baby shower for Shay Tuttle at Dwight & Kathy Thomas’ house in Atlantic Beach. Kathy was the Relief Society President in the Jacksonville Beach Ward and offered her home for the occasion hosted by Pam, Sister Tiara Christianson and Stephanie Jarvis. We drove back to the base and picked up Alexis Connelly and then proceeded to the Thomas home. They lived in a very nice area on Atlantic Beach and had a lovely home. After unpacking things, I left, and Pam and Alexis stayed for the shower. I drove to an Ace Hardware store to pick up a replacement toilet handle and then drove along Mayport Road and found a road to a Reserve walkway out into the marshland by the intercoastal canal. After dark I returned to the Thomas home and waited for the shower to conclude. There were a lot of cars parked by the Thomas home and when it was over Pam said they had about 30 women present, and it turned out to be a huge success. Not many people in the ward knew Shay at all because she was very shy and teaches in the Primary, so kind of gets lost even though she is there regularly. Her mother came for the event and met everyone, and they had a good time with a lot of food, games and other activities. Shay was overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and Pam said it was perfect.
Friday morning, we spent the morning cleaning the apartment and doing laundry. I vacuumed the house and Pam cleaned the bathrooms and kitchen. We repositioned the beds in the guest room and cleaned out a little space for Johanna and Haley when they arrive. We drove to the Beach and went to the ITT office again by the Navy Exchange and purchased tickets to Universal Studies in Orlando for us and Johanna & Haley. We then drove to the St. John’s area and did some shopping for a shower gift for another mother in the Jacksonville Beach Ward and then we had some lunch. We shopped at Costco for a few things and returned to our apartment. Tonight, I did some phone calls to families with little success.
Saturday morning, Pam and I got ready and drove to the airport about 10:45 am. I called Nikki Head and talked with her about a blessing she had requested and made arrangements when that could take place. The Head family had all been sick this past week and wasn’t getting any better. We arrived at the airport a half an hour before Johanna’s arrival time and waited in the luggage area and soon they came down the escalator following their landing. It was great to see them. We loaded up and returned to our area and stopped for lunch before coming to the apartment. At our apartment we got Johanna & Haley set up in the guest bedroom, then we checked on BYUtv because the morning session had already commenced. I restarted the morning session and Pam, Johanna and Haley watched it and I drove to the Naval Station and with Tony’s help blessed his family. I gave him my bottle of oil and hoped he had the confidence to use it.
Back home I changed clothes and joined the ladies watching the rest of the morning session. President Russell M. Nelson opened the session and welcomed members and explained the direction being taken to make the church more of “a home centered” church rather than a “Sunday church.” Following his testimony, Elder Elder Quentin L. Cook explained adjustments mentioned by President Nelson. The major change was the Sunday meeting schedule which was shortened to 2 hours consisting of a 60-minute sacrament meeting followed by a 10-minute break for movement and then a 50-minute period for Sunday School on the 1st & 3rd Sunday’s, and Priesthood and Relief Society and Young Women’s on the 2nd & 4th Sunday’s. A 5th Sunday would be at the direction of the Bishop. Primary would be held every Sunday. He gave much more information on the reasons for the change and bore his testimony that it was the will of the Lord. Next, we heard from 5 more general authorities. Shortly thereafter the afternoon session began which was live and we heard 6 talks and they were also wonderful. During the interlude between Saturday afternoon and Saturday evening sessions Pam fixed dinner. At 8:00 pm we watched the first General Women’s session of conference held on the Saturday evening of Conference weekend. We heard from 3 general officers from the relief society, young women’s and primary and then from the first presidency. A great meeting.
Sunday morning, everyone slept in, but we got up to watch the morning session which began at noon. As the session began we got a text from Samantha Lagae asking for help. Clive had his hand shut in a door and she thought his fingers were broken. She needed someone to sit with her girls while she went to NAS Jax emergency room. Pam got dressed and drove to the Naval Station. Sam had called 911 and they checked Clive and said the blood supply wasn’t hurt, but felt she needed an x-ray. Pam ended up going with Samantha and her children and felt she needed Pam’s moral support. Pam watched the girls in the lobby.
In the meanwhile, the session began and Johanna, Haley and I went into our room and watched conference. President Eyring conducted and we heard 5 wonderful talks on a variety of subjects. I warmed up a dish of stroganoff and Johanna, Haley and I had that for lunch. At 4:00 pm we began watching the afternoon session we heard 7 talks and a final message from President Nelson in which he announced 12 new Temples to be built throughout the world. It had been a good week.