Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Little Background

I'm taking a breath from our whirlwind schedule at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah to update our blog.

Brent thought it would be nice to include some history of how our mission came about.  This is a talk I gave at a stake conference on September 18, 2016 that describes our experiences.


(Let me know if you can't open this.  I'm VERY new at blogging!)

After we received our mission call on May 24 we decided we should try to learn Greek.  Eeek!  Fortunately our church has great support for senior couples in a program called Technology Assisted Language Learning or TALL.  We signed on for the online materials and Skype tutoring and for the optional week of "language immersion" in Provo, which we did in mid-July.  

On the left is the location of our classes.  We spent about 8 hours/day in the Amanda Knight Hall, an historic building (with no central A/C).  We are pictured here with one of our volunteer tutors, Clayton Cook.

On the right you can see what kind of a toll learning the Greek alphabet took on Brent!

Brent retired in July and we spent August in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming so he could get a little taste of what retirement is like.  When we returned in September we were treated to some terrific send-offs.  His partners, Iris Yang and Rich Brown, hosted a wonderful farewell party for him September 10.  Thank you everyone who participated!  Some long-time clients travelled all the way from Santa Cruz to honour him with a Mayor's Proclamation declaring September 10, 2016 "Brent Hawkins Day" in the City of Santa Cruz.

Amongst all the proclamation jargon are expressions of appreciation for his 30+ years of service, including helping the City rebuild after the Loma Prieta earthquake.

Similarly, though in not quite as dignified a fashion, Susan's Jazzercise class gave her a festive send-off in their very best approximation of something Greek-themed….including dressing her in a "toga" for her last class on September 24.

The best news came a few days before when she learned that Jazzercise Inc. was going to extend her franchise to Greece and not require her to resign during her absence.  She even got permission to offer "charitable" Jazzercise classes (free) for humanitarian purposes.  We will be fascinated to see how that plays out…..

Some of my very best Jazzercise buddies.  Note the Greek colors!
Davis Jazzercise instructors.  Who's the goofy girl in the costume??