Days 4 through 6
It's been a really busy couple of days and the next few days appear to be even busier. Next week we have transfers! What that means is that we are busily preparing for the arrival of a large number of new missionaries, straight from the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah and are preparing to say good bye to missionaries who have served valiantly and have fulfilled their commitment to the Lord. Surprisingly it is a bittersweet experience for us as we have already grown to love some of these missionaries preparing to go home and yet are excited about the new arrivals. We are learning just as quickly as we can what we need to do personally to make the transition smooth as silk ensuring a happy outcome for all.
This is a picture of our hallway at the Value Inn at the end of a very long day. It looks scarier than it really is, but I thought it looked a little like the Twilight Zone. Actually the people that we have met here have been very warm and friendly.
On our way to drop off some important papers at the Mission President's home Friday night we decided to stop by a lake near their home that has been proven to be infested with alligators to see if we could safely catch a glimpse of one. Well Lambie would not have anything to do with it and we had to pry her from the tree when it was time to leave. I am happy to report that there was not an alligator to be seen.
If you look closely you can see Lambie on the top right corner of the sign.
Saturday, our very 1st Preparation day, was filled with a number of activities. First we went to visit the Orlando Temple, and the distribution center to pick up a few things for the sister missionaries. Then we stopped by Sam's Club, to pick up a few things, but mainly because it was Saturday, a tradition back home :)
After a quick stop at the apartment to drop off some things we were off to get our oil changed, by a place called Tire Kingdom, and were treated like royalty. I am not kidding. There was going to be a brief wait while they worked on the car (as expected) so they offered to refrigerate the milk we had just purchased from the store next door and gave us an umbrella so we wouldn't get wet if it happened to rain while we walked to and from a local fast food restaurant.
Later that afternoon we had the privilege to attend a special convert baptism of a woman who had recently moved to Florida from Arizona in search of a new beginning. What started out as a simple request for assistance one day six weeks ago when she found that she had locked her keys in her car in front of the Mission Office, became life changing. She just glowed!
And if the day couldn't get any better we spent the evening at one of the other Senior Missionary Couple's apartment, Elder and Sister Moline, from Arkansas, meeting with two additional Senior Couples and two Senior Single Sister missionaries and getting better acquainted. It was really great to hear of their experiences and I am anxious to make some of our own.
The theme of the conference was based on a couple of conference talks. One given by Elder Bednar, "Converted in the Lord", and the other, "Never Leave Him", by Elder Neil Anderson.
As you can imagine it has been a huge undertaking to try and blend cultures together, but it is working! The spirit is so strong here and you can feel the love. In fact I can safely say that I have never been hugged so much in my life.
One of the scriptures that really touched me today is found in Abraham 3:25, "And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them". I truly believe that the Lord has commanded the people in Orlando Florida to become a Zion people, to unite and love one another. To show the rest of the world it can be done. I am so excited to be here at this time to help this great undertaking move forward.
Thanks for checking in........stay tuned for more to follow soon.