Monday, September 30, 2013

Paul's Retirement Social

Paul retired from his chosen career working for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on September 27 after 30 years and 11 months and one week of service--but we can't officially say that he worked 31 years. For the last ten years he worked as Budget Manager for Welfare Services.  His retirement social was very memorable and many fellow workers came to thank Paul and to bid him farewell.

Paul received some notable gifts for his retirement.  A representatives from the Employee Association of Welfare Services presented Paul with the book Face to Face: Seeking a Personal Relationship with God by S. Michael Wilcox.  Paul's boss presented him a beautiful print of The Good Shepherd painted by Simon Dewey also from Welfare Services.   Because Paul had completed 30 years of Church service, the First Presidency personally signed a letter that was framed and presented to him.  Only those who have worked at least 30 years in Church service receive such a unique personal letter.  This letter reads:
 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Office of the First Presidency
47 East South Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150-1200

September 27, 2013

Paul D. Crockett
Controllership Services
Welfare Services Division

Dear Brother Crockett:

            We express our appreciation and extend our congratulations at this time of your retirement.  Your 30 years of employment represents a significant amount of time and effort in the service to others.

            Through your years in Welfare Services, the Church Auditing Department, and the Presiding Bishopric International Office, you have given of your time and talents.  You have served well and have truly made a difference by sharing your talents.  Your application of sound judgment, knowledge, skilled attention to detail, and the use of your experience in behalf of employees, missionaries, and volunteers have been commendable.  Thank you for the spirit in which you have approached these assignments.  You have gained the respsect and admiration of those who have worked with you, and have been an example of one who goes about the Lord’s work with commitment and professionalism.

            May the Lord continue to bless you as you enter this new season of your life.

Sincerely yours,
<personally signed>
Thomas S. Monson
Henry B. Eyring
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The First Presidencey


Our children joined forces to gave Paul a special gift of a laptop computer which he will thoroughly enjoy and use for years to come.  Traci presented this gift to their Dad along with some tender words of appreciate to him for his example and diligence in caring for the family for so many years.  Many of our family who live in Utah came to honor their Dad and Grandpa and we thank them for joining us on this significant occasion.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Details of Our Little Home-To-Be in Tampico

We wrote to the couple who now live in the little house where we will live once we get to Tampico and they sent us a lot of information about the house which includes the following:
"The house is not large but it is also not a tiny house. The overall dimensions of the house are 28 feet long and 26 feet wide.  The living room area is about 15 x 11, the dining room is about  11 x 10 ½.  They are joined so they make a nice sized room. The bedrooms are 8½ x 11 and each has an 8 foot closet.  One bathroom is 7½  x 4½.  The other one is 5  x 7½.  The kitchen is 13 x 6½."  

Want to know the color scheme?  Here it is:

"...we painted the entry, living and dining room a light lime green.  One bedroom and bathroom are light tan and the other bedroom and bathroom are a brighter blue than we really wanted, but compared to what it was it is a 100% improvement.  The kitchen is also tan.  The outside of the house is a faded orange color.... All of the floors are foot square tiles, a pinkish color."

Want to see a diagram of the house?  Here it is: 


Paul knows Spanish and is very fluent in speaking but I am not and was happy to learn that the SMTC (Senior Missionary Training Center) would give Spanish lessons via Skype to those preparing to serve a Spanish speaking mission.  

While taking these Skype tutoring lessons, I was asked to write a paragraph using verbs in their preterit form of past tense.  For some reason I decided to write about when we lived on the ranch in Idaho.  This was many years ago and we only had four children at the time and the youngest was about a year old..  We lived in a home at the foot of a hill and there were open fields that stretched out from the house past the trout stream and onto another hill.  It was a wonderful place.  However we knew that those fields would fill with cattle in the fall when Grandpa would bring them home from the mountains.  We built a sturdy fence around our home to protect our children and our home from the cattle that each weighed 600 or 800 pounds.  I wondered if the children would be afraid of the cattle.  That question was answered for me when one day when I looked out the window and saw the cattle running across the fields in fear.  I saw the reason for their fright and it was because three very small children were running after the cattle shouting and waving their arms.  I found it interesting that the children were not afraid of the big cattle but that the big cattle were afraid of the little children. 

After I had written up this paragraph and had translated the story into Spanish, I decided to stick the entire story into Google Translate to see how I had done with my Spanish.  One Spanish word for cattle is “ganado” and I just about spelled it correctly.  I only added an extra  “r” after the “g” and the word became “granado.”  This wasn’t a huge mistake but it did make a definite difference.  Instead of my telling about cattle in the fields and cattle being chased by the children, I said that the children were chasing pomegranates! 

Learning a second language is a definite challenge for me and I am sure that I will have many “pomegranate” days ahead of me! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A word to potential visitors....

We have been asked repeatedly about the safety in Tampico so we wrote to ask the president of the Tampico Mexico Temple this specific question along with many more.  We received this response on 12 September 2013 and want to share it with everyone

From Barry and Risa Udall,  President of the Tampico Mexico Temple:

“We have had no family or friends visit us here.  The first 1 1/2 years there was quite a bit of violence in the area and we were told to keep a low profile and to advise family not to visit.  For over a year now the violence seems to have mostly gone away, but, to be frank, there are no tourist attractions in Tampico with the exception perhaps of the beach.  But your family could go to the beach in California a lot more easily than coming to Tampico.  It is mostly an industrial city (oil platforms in the Gulf) and just doesn't have sites that would be of interest to tourists.  When we became aware of the reality of the situation here, we discouraged our family from the expense and effort of making a trip when we would be in the temple all day anyway and would hardly have any time to spend with them.  There are the two weeks of maintenance closing, as you mentioned, and you could perhaps take a trip to someplace appealing like Guanajuato, Patzcuaro, Oaxaca, Cuernavaca, or many other places, none of which are close to Tampico."

Of course we reserve the right to change this recommendation once we arrive in Tampico!!

Our Mission Call

For the last several years, Paul has had a specific retirement date in his mind which would be in October of 2015.  Much to our surprise, he along with many others, was offered an early retirement from his employer and we decided to take it.  Our retirement date jumped up two years to October of 2013.  We had always planned on going on a mission together after he retired, so our mission plans jumped up two years as well.  It is amazing how easy it is to submit papers that will have a life changing affect on us but we did just that.  We submitted our mission papers, not requesting any specific mission or type of mission on Sunday, May 26, 2013.  Our mission call arrived in a large white envelope on Friday, July 5, 2013 but we waited to open it when our family would be at our home on Sunday, July 7.  

Because our oldest granddaughter was getting married in July, our family that could make it to the wedding was visiting and was also at our home when we opened our mission call.  Our plan was to open our mission call about 7 p.m. so about 6:30 p.m. the computer techs in our family began to make connections with our family members who could not be here with us.  We love modern technology that allows our family to share special events even when we are located in different states.  When we were all ready, we opened the call and read that we have been called to serve in the

Tampico Mexico Temple Mission!!!   

We couldn’t be more pleased.