Saturday, April 13, 2013

April 6th through April 13th

Greetings from the sunshine state!
If you recall I mentioned in our last post about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints semi-annual General Conference that was televised last weekend.  Well Elder Busath and I had every intention of watching conference at our local church building, but were invited to watch conference with some of the other Senior Missionaries at their office. This is a picture of Sister Grant and the classroom we camped out in.  Fortunately for me and for Sister Moline, no one minded having the close captioning on so we didn't miss a single word :)

Each conference address was incredible as I am sure you would agree, but I can't resist sharing some of my favorite highlights:
Sister Elaine S. Dalton-Once as a young college student traveling in Scotland, following the recent death of her father, feeling alone and discouraged she saw a stone with these words etched in it: 
"What e're thou art, act well thy part"
That simple statement renewed her vision that Heavenly Father knew her and had a plan for her life and the spirit she felt helped her to understand that her part mattered.
We are all children of a Heavenly Father who knows us individually and loves us. We matter to Him.
Elder Enrique R. Falabella-"In order to contend you need two people, and I will never be one of them." Words to live by!
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland-"All things are possible for those who believe, no matter how small that belief might be. Even faith the size of a mustard seed has power to move mountains.  When problems come and questions arise, individuals should not start their quest for faith by saying how much they don't have, leading with their unbelief. He suggests that we be true to the faith we do have." Hold the ground you have already won and move on from there.
His message gives me hope and reminds me that we all are expected to walk by faith, that God will always send us help, but we need to humble ourselves and ask.

Well I have good news and bad news about the egg pictured above.  I was so excited that spring had finally arrived and to learn that in a few short weeks we would be enjoying a flock of baby ducklings because the eggs are everywhere.  That's the good news. The bad news is that I heard from other residents here that last year at this time they had over a dozen baby ducklings and very few made it to adulthood. Just when I was beginning to think that alligators were a myth in this wild kingdom I now discover that there are hawks that swoop down and carry away the baby ducklings!!! I definitely plan to carry a big rock with me when we go walking to help defend the baby ducklings against predators.  Where is Goliath when you need him?

This naughty duck thought it would be a good idea to go for a swim in the big people pool. Maybe he thought it would be a good place to hide from a hungry hawk.

While Elder Busath and I were out and about dropping off a new vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies to two missionaries at their apartment this week we noticed this cute little squirrel having a picnic.

Allow me to introduce you to our newest family member. His name is Lenny Lizard and he lives in our enclosed patio.  I am not sure how he got in and I am not sure if he can get out, but he is there every morning to greet us when we go out to check the temperature of the day or to water the plants.

 If you look really close (to the right) you can see our new friend Lenny peeking through the leaves. It is not even a real plant, but he doesn't seem to mind.

 Since we are rarely at home in the evenings and although I hate to admit it, Elder Busath and I have been taking full advantage of fast food coupons and sharing meals to save money. As a result we haven't done a whole lot of cooking lately.  But since we recently received a box of chocolate cookie mix in our Easter care package we thought it only appropriate that we celebrate having access to an oven by baking cookies.
  As you can see Elder Busath agrees!

 This is a picture of the missionaries in the district we are assigned to. Standing from left to right, Elder Coe, Elder Baugh, Elder Holtz-Zone Leader, Sister Higley and Sister Bolton.  Seated are Elder Buckmiller, Elder Clement, Elder Christiansen and Elder Olsen-District Leader.  Our District Meetings are held every Tuesday morning.  We meet together, receive instruction and role play different situations to help us each feel more comfortable in teaching others. This past week Elder Busath and I had the opportunity to present a brief 10 minute mini lesson on teaching with unity and meeting the needs of others. I decided to go first and used an object lesson comparing teaching as companions (Doctrine and Covenants 42:6) with baking cinnamon rolls.

Plan, prepare and delegate, mix your ingredients carefully, allow time to process, enjoy the results of your labors...

Elder Busath shared some of his experiences while working on the Governor's Protective Detail. He reminded us that we need to be flexible in teaching. That at any time things can change and that we will need to make the necessary adjustments to accomplish our goal and most importantly to meet the needs of the individual.
"The difference between "unite" and "untie" is where you put the "I"
As missionaries if a lesson is to be effective we need to forget about ourselves, unite, and focus on the one being taught or the lesson will become unraveled. 

We are teaching people, not lessons.
I think it went well, all things considered, but obviously the best part of any object lesson where food is involved is eating the cinnamon rolls at the end!

Thursday night we went to the temple to take care of some family names. The poles pictured are actually lightening rods on the roof top of the temple to protect those inside during a severe storm. Mother Nature has quite a sense of humor in Florida. Sometimes it's cold, sometimes it's hot, and at other times it is raining all on the same day! The sky is routinely lit up by lightening, but we rarely hear the thunder.
Today was our "P" Day.  We decided to take a run (okay a fast walk) on the outdoor track across the street for a change. I think seeing all the duck eggs is depressing Elder Busath :( We then cleaned our apartment taking a total of 5 minutes, did our laundry and then met a set of missionaries for lunch at the local McDonald's. We discussed the progress of locating some of the people in our Ward (congregation) whose addresses have been found to be incorrect. The missionaries, Elder Jackson and Elder Sanford, are awesome and have accomplished in one day what has taken us weeks to do. We revised our original plan and will update the Bishop of our progress tomorrow. 
We also had the privilege to meet with one of the Senior Couples, the Crismon's, who were previously assigned to our ward before the big boundary realignment and are now serving in a small branch. They made an appointment with one of the single sister's in our new ward and they invited us to join them.  The Crismon's, from Orem, Utah,  are due to be released from their mission the first of May, and they wanted to be certain that the people they have worked so closely with for the past 18 months will not feel abandoned. It was kind of like passing a torch and I feel humbled that they trust us to take care of those people who have become so precious to them. We had a wonderful visit and I look forward o getting to know the single sister better.  I hope she now knows she has a friend in me.
I only wish that we had met the Crismon's earlier because in the short time that we have known them we have grown to love them. They will be missed!  On the bright side, one nice thing about living in a small world is that the Crismon's live in the same ward as Elder Busath's cousin's Jan and Greg Wright so if we are ever in Orem again we now have two places to visit :)
We love being missionaries!  We hope all is well with you and yours and please know that you are in our prayers!
Until next time..........


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you are busy busy, busy as always. Love you both.