Elder and Sister Blattman’s Missionary Weekly Journal
January 23-29, 2011
January 23-29, 2011
We made it. The GPS only had to say, “Turn around as soon as possible,” a few times. Once, just outside the Mortenson’s house in Louisville, KY, an exit ramp was parallel to the roadway we were to turn on and Elder Blattman started up the freeway the wrong way but God protects missionaries and blesses their mistakes so we don’t have to sing “…and should we die before our journey’s through,” nor do Elder and Sister Blattman’s children have to suffer the humiliation if their parents had made national news for causing a massive traffic pileup as confused aged drivers going the wrong way on the freeway.
Our apartment is lovely. The Elders proudly brought us a desk without legs, a dining table without chairs, and a dresser without handles. Sister Blattman is enduring it with all the cheeriness of a newly minted-fresh-from-the-MTC missionary. The second night when we slept in the bedroom we awoke to a noise and Sister Blattman said it was just the heater fan. Elder Blattman checked and found the heater fan control door was painted shut so it couldn’t be that. In fact, there was little and no heat from the radiator. The wind from outside was blowing the blinds. The windows are old and loose with gaps for the wind to howl through. Last evening the maintenance man came again, banged on the radiator pipes, twisted a few valves, put his tools back in his bag, threw up his hands and said, “I dunno, it just laughs at me,” and left. Meantime, the plastic on the windows and the space heater is keeping us warm. And between Home Depot and Wal-Mart, we have everything we need to be happy.
Elder Blattman is a little embarrassed at the comfort he felt when walking into Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is universal; the same funny looking people, the same cheap stuff, and for us old folks, our prescriptions can be filled at any Wal-Mart in the USA. Ahhh! There’s a little of Homer S. in all of us.
There was a bit of culture shock for us at the inner-city ward meeting Sunday. A nicely dressed black man with a headband greeted us at the door saying he was president of the ward and to be seated, the other leaders would be here soon. Someone whispered to us, “Don’t mind him, he’s harmless. He thinks he runs the place.” We sat across the aisle from an evidently homeless man who could not quite make words to speak but waved his hands about in a friendly, welcoming way. We were expecting racial diversity but surprised at the mental problems. The Church’s Addiction Recovery Program was mentioned several times in the talks and lessons. The Bishop told stories of in the past having to post men in the hallways to protect the building during sacrament meeting. As we prepared for our class there this morning I shoveled snow on the sidewalk out front and cleaned off a brass plaque in the cement commemorating a policeman killed in the line of duty, presumably on that spot. Sister Blattman is comforted by the gated parking lot surrounded by a tall iron fence. There is a Burger King adjacent to the church so after class next week she will find solace in a Coca-Cola and I’ll find mine in a double Whopper.
We are on the internet now. We got a stick for the computer that connects us on 4G. We have no idea what 4G is, but it sounds impressive to tell people. We’ve Skyped to Matt and Heather so far. Sister Blattman is the tech wizard on that one. Feel free to email us or try Skype. Keep in mind we go to bed about 6:30 PM PST.
Home Sweet Home:
Elder and Sister Blattman
100 Old York Road APT E204
Jenkintown, PA 19046