Friday, December 12, 2014

People and Places

We have decided that life on a mission sometimes feels like every
day is Sunday---but all the days seem to blend in together after a while.  We are seeing so many new sights and meeting so many different and interesting people along the way that it is sometimes hard to keep track of everything. We feel that this blog will really be valuable to us one day when we try to recall people and places.

One of the biggest landmarks in Pittsburgh is called the Cathedral of Learning.  It is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh and is the second tallest educational building in the world, with the tallest being in Moscow.
The inside of the building truly looks like it just came out of Harry Potter.  In fact we've heard many people call it "Hogwarts"!  The bottom floor is basically a very cool study hall that is very solemn and quiet.  On the upper floors are many of the classrooms that are called "nationality rooms". They are designed by different ethnic communities in the city as a gift to the university.  It just has to be the most interesting college building that we have ever seen.

We are getting a first hand look at all the
hills, steps, and bridges here.  The pictures we try to take though just don't seem to do it justice.  We drove up a hill the other day to visit a family and Jim said that he's not sure he could have made it up in a jeep!

We have combined district meetings with the Northside and Morningside districts and we had an extra nice one this last week where we had our meeting, cleaned the kitchen at the Institute of Religion (church educational center for college age kids), exchanged $5 gifts, and went to lunch at Boston Market. We took pictures of the group that will undoubtedly be split up soon:{  Pat loved her sister missionary nutcracker that Sister Toupin made--complete with name tage and scripture case!

One of our best Christmas memories will be an activity we had at a senior center in an area called Swissvale. We visited, helped serve and clean up lunch, sang Christmas carols, and visited some more.  The people there were just delightful and they seemed to enjoy so many cute young people coming to visit.  It is sad, but the churches in downtown Pittsburgh are just beautiful with gorgeous architecture and stunning stained glass windows, but many of them are mostly empty or closed down.
Some of the people at the senior center mentioned that it is wonderful to see a church with lots of activity going on. We are also excited to have our "Christmas Tree" up!!  We got a 12 days of Christmas package from Jared and his family and we will open our first gift soon.  We are also starting to receive other packages and cards.  Thank you to everyone!!

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