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.
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.
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.
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 ???
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? :)
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.
Wishing you and yours a Happy Memorial Day!