14 August 2007
Önnur Tilraun (Second Attempt)
Second Attempt: There is a woman that I work with indirectly here at BYU who has a blog that I found out about not too long ago. She is helping me get this one all set up. There's not too much to figure out, so I don't think it will be too hard to master the process.
I mentioned before that I come into contact with most of the former missionaries who served in Iceland. There have been about 158 who have ever served there since the mission opened in 1975. I know where about 90% of them are currently. I will try to mention one or so each day that I post something. About a week ago one of the older RM's who served in the late 70's was in the Provo area and asked if he could stop by while he was here. His name is Jim Erdmann. We have been in contact for some time by email since I had been involved with planning the first mission reunion ever for those who had served in Iceland. He and his family live in Washington state and were out to visit family. I invited him to my office so he dropped by. He came with his daughter, Kellie. I got a picture while he was here with his daughter. He apologized for not having shaved that morning, which people tell me from time to time when they come up to BYU and visit me. He served from 1978 to 1980. That was back when the mission had only been open for three years. They didn't have a Book of Mormon in Icelandic back then and were just getting pamphlets put together. So the mission was much harder than what I faced when I was there in 1984 to 1986.
I have a photo album that was given to me over a year ago. It was put together over quite a few years by Klara Gunnarsdóttir who was very involved with the missionaries in the early days. She thought someone else should have the book now and could make more use of it. I inherited it so I have lots of pictures of many of the missionaries who served in the early days, back before Iceland's crust had cooled. This second picture is of Jim's wedding announcement. A bit of a difference in 30 years' time. He is an avionics system engineer and works in a Boeing plant. I have been amazed over the last two years at what a variety of jobs the RM's who served in Iceland have ended up with. We have a few doctors, lots of dentists, some pharmacists, a motivational speaker, entrepreneurs, etc. Jim was fun to talk to and described a mission similar to mine, but with quite a smaller group of members in the beginning.