Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ask in Faith, Nothing Wavering

"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." (James 1:6)  We must be constantly influenced by that still small voice, and stand firm in our faith, never doubting. As missionaries we are constantly praying for miracles and our prayers are being answered because we are learning to trust in Him and have more faith.


Last week we had to bid farewell to our friends, Elder and Sister Crismon as they departed for their home in Orem, Utah after serving honorably for the past 18 months.  We will miss them and are quickly learning that it never gets any easier saying good bye.

 When we arrived in the Florida Orlando Mission there were 8 senior couples and 2 senior sisters called to serve, and serve they did!  By this September we will be down to just 3 senior couples, us included, and still no word of replacements.  We believe that it has a lot to do with the 58 new missions that will be opening up in July as a result of "the Wave" and we are excited about the growth and expansion of missionary work.  We have been blessed to see firsthand the important work that the senior missionaries perform and can't imagine not having them here to help make the mission go so that the young missionaries can help it to grow.
"It's easy to find people who can do what they are told, but difficult to find people who know what to do without being told."-Senior Missionaries  ;)

Wednesday night we had the privilege to transport and accompany two of our missionaries, Elder Glover and Elder Stark, to the temple for a one hour tour with one of their investigators. A married woman of about 40 years of age with 2 children. Brother Herzog, a member of the Hunter's Creek Stake,  was our tour guide and the experience was priceless.


While on the temple tour we noticed that the flag was at half staff to honor the prophet's wife, Frances Beverly Johnson Monson, who died May 17, 2013 and who will always be  remembered as a remarkable woman who dedicated her life to serving the Lord.

President Thomas S. Monson, his daughter, Sister Ann Dibbs, and his precious wife,
Frances Beverly Johnson Monson in 2010.

Even the little critters believe that the temple is a sacred place.
I wish I was a better photographer because lately the sky has been beautiful and I would love for you to see it. Of course I am always just a few seconds behind the big display of lightening, (must be my camera) but if you close your eyes and use your imagination :)
or keep your fingers crossed that practice will be made perfect and I will improve.


This picture was taken in our own backyard.

On Friday morning we were given the assignment to pick up 10 brand spanking new Toyotas from a dealership  few miles away. Well 4 senior missionary couples, us included, all loaded into the large mission van and set off.  We each got to pick out our favorite car from the assortment of cars purchased, conducted a brief inspection to be sure all the various bells and whistles were in working order, then got behind the wheel and headed back to the mission office.  I had Elder Busath select a red car so I wouldn't lose him in traffic. As you may or may not know, I am directional impaired.  For some unknown reason I can not read a map to save my life, so as a navigator I am a complete failure. I rely on my uncanny ability to "follow that car" to get me where I need to go. To add to the sense of adventure each vehicle had between 3 and 6 miles on the odometer. Not only would we be required to know where we were going, but we would be required to drive safely on our way there!  No detours, no U turns, obviously someone has forgotten that Florida is the capital of U turns!
It was at times like this that I wish I hadn't left my Tom Tom in the other car. Of course I may need to start hauling a suitcase on wheels because I don't think my purse can handle one more "just in case" item.  Umbrella, check, extra pair of reading glasses for Elder Busath, check, camera, check, extra Book of Mormon and pass along cards, check...Tom Tom ???

 Saturday was our 39th wedding anniversary!  So to commemorate the day, after we had completed the 5 preliminary home inspections to missionary apartments, we treated ourselves to a trip to Downtown Disney. It is actually only 6 miles away from where we live and we had heard rave reviews from the natives here. Surprisingly there were very few people there on a Memorial weekend.  Of course it may just be Florida.  In California Memorial Day is a big day of campouts, barbecues, campouts and family parties.  Did I mention camp outs? In Florida it appears to be just another day, a holiday, but barbecuing is just another way to cook, not a life style. Disney World's Downtown Disney is also a little different than Disneyland's Downtown Disney.  First of all, the parking is free!  That alone is worth the trip.   Second, Disney World's Downtown Disney is a recreation center that includes a variety of $$ restaurants, a bowling alley, a huge movie theatre complex and high end clothing shops.  Unlike Disneyland's Downtown Disney where it appears to be more about souveners, whimsy and a few places to eat. That being said I think I am still a California girl at heart, because Downtown Disney here in Orlando is LOUD, colorful and very expensive. It just doesn't have the old world whimsical flavor of Disneyland, but it is still a great place to people watch and now we can say that we have been there.

 A restaurant with soul.....
 Techno games for kids of the 21st Century
 Who doesn't like candy? Just watch out for any ripe, red poisonous apples.
 Up, up and away with Disney characters, for a nominal fee of course.
 This is the entrance to an elaborate "Food Court" containing various restaurants from every culture.

 Elder Busath playing a camera shy tourist.
Dinosaur burger anyone?

These next few pictures are dedicated to my awesome grandsons Lucas, Mason, Dax, Charles, Cale, Thomas, Jett and William!  I seriously could not believe all the fantastic things you could do with Legos.  The hours it must have taken!
Just think what Grandma could create if you weren't so busy blowing it up before I got done  :)

And for my grand daughter's, Jill and Sienna....


 Ahoy matey! Elder Busath with one of Captain Jack Sparrow's friends.
I loved this sign for really no other reason than I am old and still remember the hours of fun I had as a child playing with Tinker Toys and building elaborate castles with Lincoln Logs.

With so many places to choose from we finally decided to have dinner at Disney's Planet Hollywood, okay so it wasn't our first choice. We originally opted for the Rain Forest, but waiting in line for 1 hour and 40 minutes for an expensive hamburger was a little more than we were willing to sign on for so Planet Hollywood won out.  In a nutshell, Planet Hollywood was a feast for the eyes, an assault to the ears, and the food a little pricey for what you got. 
But hey it was our anniversary so it was all about making memories, right?  :)

Eagle and Flag Clip Art
Tomorrow is Memorial Day and it only seems right that as we wash that last load of dirty camping clothes, fire up the barbecue, grab that beach towel after a quick dip into the pool on a hot summer day, that we stop, reflect and appreciate for a moment the sacrifice of so many.  If it wasn't for veterans like my father and my mother, my uncles, my father in law, brother's in law, and nephews this country, America,  wouldn't continue to be safe and free, a blessed place to live.
One of the most famous enlistment posters of World War II was one depicting Uncle Sam pointing his long finger and directing his piercing eyes at the viewer.  The words read, "America Needs You."  America truly does need you and me to lead out in a  mighty crusade of righteousness.  We can help when we love God and with our families serve Him; and when we love our neighbors as ourselves. (Duty, Honor, Country May 29, 2003)

Wishing you and yours a Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

On the Crest of the Wave

As we continue to ride the crest of the Wave....of enthusiasm for missionary work. A wave of truth and righteousness, an opportunity and a privilege, we have come to discover that by small and simple means the efforts of these young elders and sisters really can "confound" the wise and help the kingdom to roll forward and we are blessed to be a part of it.

It has been a busy week so hold onto your hats because the post this week is a lengthy one.........


The fountain at our apartment complex finally works!!!
Obviously it takes very little to make us happy.

These are a few pictures of Winter Park, Florida during one of our many road trips. It appears to be an older section of Florida and reminds me a little of Gone with the Wind.

We got mail!  The Hudson's were kind enough to remember our upcoming 39th wedding anniversary and to make us feel included in the annual Memorial Day camping festivities.  We have all we need to make s'mores with the exception of a flame!  Since we can't use barbecues here at the complex we will definitely have to get creative because microwaving marshmallow's is just wrong.

Even little summer gel stickers for our windows!
Just in time to celebrate Memorial Day, Flag Day and the 4th of July!
Kennedy Space Center
How is a Space Shuttle assembled? Where does it land?  What are NASA's plans for the future? Well on Saturday, May 18th our Senior Missionary District decided to find out the answers to those intriguing questions and many more.

How many astronauts have walked on the moon?  12
How far from earth is the International Space Station (ISS)? 220 miles
How many days does it take the moon to circle the earth?  27
At lift off, the orange colored external tanks surrounding the rocket hold 500,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen
Prior to launch, the Space Shuttle weighs 4.5 million pounds
A Mobile Launcher platform weighs 8.23 million ponds actually transports the rocket to the launch zone
NASA plans to explore Mars in 2020

Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold. Above is a picture of many of our Senior Missionary District members who were able to join us.  From left to right, us, the Marble's, the Moline's, Sister Rose, Sister Gebs, the Bevans, Elder Gebs in the back and Elder Rose. We were advised to leave our name tags at home while acting as tourists to avoid confusion from others who might think we were there on assignment. I have to admit it was more than a little scary not to have the protection of the name tag to proclaim to the world who we are and why we were here.

A beautiful day for sight seeing :)

 Elder Gebs, the Bevans, Sister Gebs and Sister and Elder Marble getting ready for an exciting day ahead.

On our bus tour we had to slow for a turtle in the road. We also paused to see an alligator and manatee swimming in a pond on the side of the road.  Only in Florida, the not so final frontier :)

The 363 foot tall mobile service structure used to launch Apollo 11 Saturn V rockets as well as the
Space Shuttle Discovery.


The second stop on the bus tour
 The actual launch command center of an Apollo Saturn V launch

Rocket separation

Elder Busath looking like Buzz Light year in plain clothes.  "From infinity and beyond!"

A replica of the Orion capsule
   Historical astronaut suits

And not so historical

 The massive Vehicle Assembly Building
                                                             A mobile service structure 

 A new attraction due to open June 29, 2013

 Elder Busath requesting an autograph from a real live astronaut, JR Reilly

We thought the grand kids would like this picture.  Inside the building are all sorts of "angry bird" games for kids to play.

 The NASA Memorial of men and women who gave their lives to advance space exploration

May the force be with you................


We had a wonderful time and I have to say it was a little like taking a trip down memory lane.  For those of you who are as old as we are space exploration used to be a very big deal. Today we are so used to advanced technology that a space launch barely gets our attention anymore. Visiting the Kennedy Space Center helped to remind me just how proud I am to be an American and what a blessed county we truly live in.

Just so you don't think all of our time is spent playing...
Behold, mine house is a house or order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion Doctrine and Covenants 132:8

Our Senior Missionary District has been given the assignment to work closely with the missionaries in our area to de-clutter, reorganize and basically spruce up their individual living quarters.  Simple, right? Not so. Many of our missionaries have received numerous "charitable donations" resulting in an apartment bursting at the seams with unnecessary stuff.  So our Mission President is calling in the "big guns", the senior missionaries, to help identify the surplus and to assist in distributing the surplus according to the needs of the mission. Again no big deal, except that the assignment must be accomplished before June 1st when Operation Deep Clean will be initiated.  So we have our track shoes on and are ready to roll!

In closing, I am not sure if I have shared this with you before, but our Mission President and his wife have challenged us to get on our knees each night at 10:20 and pray for the faith to create miracles. MIRACLES.  In my effort to be obedient I have recently come to understand that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief and I would encourage you, as President Holland advised in his recent conference address, to forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe!

Thanks for checking up on us!

Until next time...