Sunday, August 11, 2013

Big Goings On in the 'Bowl"

One morning in July we were surprised to see this equipment in the 'bowl' north of the Visitors' Center cutting and removing the sod.  In just two days it was a large brown wasteland.

The next step was to dig trenches for a new sprinkler system.

The trenches were dug deep into the ground to allow the soil to be tilled above the sprinkler lines.

Machines moved the pipes around the field, placing them in the trenches to be manually connected to each other.  It took about a week.

Once the new sprinkler lines were buried, large dump trucks began to arrive.  They carried new soil that will be mixed with the existing ground to enrich the soil and provide a better foundation for the grass in this area.  The traffic in the bowl during Easter Pageant and Christmas Lights is very hard on the grass.

 New soil was dumped onto the existing dirt, providing a better, more stable foundation for the grass.

It took truckload after truckload to get the quantity of dirt required for the job.

Then the task of leveling the dirt began.  This tractor worked for several days moving the soil around to evenly distribute it and level it out.

The next procedure was to rotor-till the new soil into the existing ground.  This industrial-sized tiller blended the soils and then smoothed it back out.  We are told that an army of young men will be here later this week to lay sod over the finished area.  That will be fun to watch!  Stay tuned to this blog for the exciting finish and our NEW LOOK!  In the mean time, I think we should hold the national dirt bike championships here in the bowl.  That would bring a LOT of people to our visitors' center!

Meanwhile, back in missionary land, the senior couples met at the new mission home on July 22nd for our first Family Home Evening together.  Good food and lively conversation made the evening very enjoyable.

President and Sister Jenkins hosted the event and paused just long enough to let me get this picture of them standing in their lovely kitchen.  The home is large, with six bedrooms and a large office for the President.  They will be able to house quite a few missionaries coming and going from the field.

P-days often inspire shopping sprees.  We all got a kick out of Sister Duffin and Sister Longshore with their new look-alike blouses.  They really look like a coordinated companionship!

Speaking of coordinated - there were six of us who came dressed in pink and black on Sunday, July 28th.  This was too coincidental to pass unrecorded!  We obviously function on the same wavelength!
 Sister Brownell was very disappointed to be left out of the group.  I guess she didn't get the memo.....

Birthdays are always celebrated with a fun cubby sign and birthday cake.  Sister Castillo celebrated her 22nd birthday on July 30th, which was just one of the 4 birthdays we celebrated in July.

We said goodbye to the Jenkins on July 11th so the missionary department sent us a wonderful new couple, the Ballards, on July 12th.  They are from North Ogden, Utah, and are going to be a great addition to the Visitors' Center.  Sister Ballard if 5 foot 10 inches tall, which would make her husband easily 6 foot 4 inches.  When I stand next to the other couples in the VC I feel like a midget!  Their spirits are as large as their frames.  Welcome to the Visitors' Center - Arizona's 'jewel in the desert'.  You're going to LOVE it here!

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