Day 120 (Sept 18th) Food, Church and being Homesick

When trying to find good places to eat in an unfamiliar place we have learned that you can not trust the Concierge!  Mr. Yelp has led us to some hidden, and not so hidden places to eat.  If the place isn’t crawling, it’s a good sign to keep looking.  Such was our experience with Fergburger.  This is a small restaurant right on the street.  It has minimal seating everyday we walked past it it was swarming.  The menu had a variety of adaptations for the American hamburger.  The key here is that lamb and elk are the favored red meat so if you want the real deal…you have to look for it on the menu.  Bob got “cow” meat and it ended up being steak on a bun.  I got the Sweet Bambi.  It was a great way to shake up the traditional hamburger.  People were acting like vultures hovering over tables, waiting for the diners to finish their last bite…  We opted for taking it home.  Fergburger In Ferg with Trust sign

Here is the unique menu.  Fergburger menu

Riding on their success with hamburgers they opened an ice cream shop and Bakery just next door.  The kitchen connected to all three so that it really became “one stop shopping”!Fitzburger plus ice cream and Bakery too.This place was never without a line from noon until end of day.  Perhaps we can bring the concept back to Mesa?!

Crowd at Fitzburger

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Next night…”The Cow”.  The name would be a deterrent  but we trusted Yelp.  We have been to The Cow twice now.  It is a small tavern that serves pizzas and a variety of spaghetti dishes.  Anyone that knows me that the space is as important as the food.  This did not disappoint.  You have to want to find this place.  It is in one of those back alleys that only the regulars…and Yelp know about.  In the mid 1800’s they would lead the cows down this small lane to a “barn”  where they milked the cows for hotels and restaurants. It was first named “Cows Lane” and then abbreviate to just…”The Cow”.

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The glacier lakes that runs through Queenstown is a magnificent 80 miles long.  Bob and I took a long walk on the other side of the lake from our apartment.  We walked for miles through this wooded path.  Each corner presented something new a beautiful to see, touch and even…taste.  I wasn’t sure the water would be alright to eat but clearly I am still here to to write about it!  It was so clean!

The beaches along the walk were all private and well taken care of.  There were random swings and docks and even this small wishing well.  We found this little secret garden down a stone path to sit next to the water.

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Our second to our last Sunday here we made the 2 1/2 hours to the city of Gore for our church services.  This was a small building and branch.  When we arrived there were 4 women in the congregation.  Not one husband.  The 1st counselor to the Stake Presidency and his wife were there to speak.  He was emotional as he told the sisters that they have prayed to know what to do about the fact that these women came alone every Sunday to church without their husbands.  The young man conducting is a missionary and the branch president.  Bob and I both have made the clear observation that the church is dying in many of the cities.  Gore is a large city…we are not talking a small community and you can see the small attendance.  The converted saints from 3 generations ago seem to still have a strong hold in some areas but they are few and far between and clustered in the better areas.

As we came into the chapel the two missionaries came up to greet us.  I knew I was standing next to a very green missionary.  I almost hate to ask for fear I will trigger emotions the Elder doesn’t want anyone to see.  But I also know they need to know that it is going to be ok and it will get better so I simply asked, “How are you doing?”.  The tears started welling up so I diverted my eyes for a moment while he composed himself.  And then of course I asked if I could send a picture to his Mom.  He was happy to comply.  My natural instinct was to put my arm around him for the picture and he quickly reminded me it was against the rules.  Right..right..my bad.  Then, because I did not have my glasses handy, I asked him to type into my notes app his mother’s email.  “Ummm, I’m not sure I can do that either!”  Ok, so this Elder is super obedient!

Elder Cluff from California San Jose

I quickly shot of a letter to his mother to assure her that her son was doing great!  Maybe not completely true but she doesn’t need to worry…

Here is my letter:

My letter to Elder Cluffs Mom

It was within minutes that I got this reply:

FullSizeRender 7Elder Cluffs family

His parents met in their senior science class in High School.  He was baptised at 18 and married at 19.  They have raised a good and faithful son and I pray the homesickness turns to excitement as they get those weekly letters!  It is such a bitter-sweet thing to send a child away for two years and so far away.

 

 

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