Sunday, May 12, 2013

Work Will Win When Wishy Washy Won't

Did you ever have one of those days where you didn't think things could get any better?  Well Monday, May 6th, Transfer Day, was one of those days. We had the privilege to meet and greet 24 new missionaries arriving at the Orlando airport. Two flights were expected five minutes apart.  One with 15 missionaries the other with 9 "visa waiters". 19 of the 24 were sister missionaries and 8 of the missionaries were "visa waiters" called to serve in Argentina and 1 Elder in Brazil and were waiting for their visa's to be approved.

 The scene at the loading curb appeared much like a Charlie Chaplin movie. With few words and little introduction the missionaries were directed to this car or that car hopped in, their luggage loaded into the trailer and we were off before airport security knew what was happening.
At first the silence in the car was deafening, then little by little we were able to get them talking and eventually we were all laughing.  The most often heard question was, "Where are the mountains?" Our Mission President has advised us not to "parent" the missionaries, but Elder Busath and I have vast experience on being "cheer leaders" from the side lines ;) We loved every minute of it!

 Pictures at the Hunter's Creek Stake Center to record the arrival and then dinner was served and brief introductions made.  I wish I could remember all the details each missionary shared that evening, but I will try to mention the highlights.  Most of the new missionaries came from pioneer stock.  4th and 5th generation Mormons, whose fathers, brothers and even some of their mothers had set the example of missionary service. Many were from large families, 6-15.  The largest family consisted of 15 children, 9 biological and 5 adopted, the next largest was a family of 12 kids.  5 or 6 of the missionaries had siblings currently serving missions.  One sister had parents currently serving as Mission Presidents and another, the youngest of eight, had parents waiting to receive their call.

On a side note the one Elder called to serve in Brazil, Steven Untch, waiting for his visa just happened to be a missionary we met while driving from Utah to Florida.  We stopped to attend church in Liberty, Missouri and he was giving his farewell address-small world.

 Bright and early Tuesday morning we wait at the Mission Home to welcome the sleepy, new missionaries and make our way back to the Hunter's Creek Stake Center for a brief orientation and to meet their new trainers.
 The new missionaries are gathered together to be issued debt cards, learn the importance of official church records and to discuss cell phone use, and safe driving techniques.

 While the new missionaries receive instruction their new trainers and other missionaries waiting for their new companions gather in the parking lot to welcome long last friends and get acquainted with some new friends.

 Some members are on hand to help transport new companionships without cars.

 Then almost in a blink of an eye, orientation is over, the luggage is loaded up, farewells are said and the missionaries are off on their new adventure.

Our Senior Missionaries (the Crismon's and the Sherwood's) always ready to offer support or to lend a hand transporting missionaries to and from their area.

 Wednesday after transfers tend to be a little depressing.  All the preparations and the excitement are over and everything gets back to normal.  Not so for me.  The Fed Ex man arrived early that morning with a long brown box in hand. The side of the box said "Flowers" and I couldn't imagine who would be sending flowers to a missionary.  Well surprise, surprise, Katie and the kids sent me flowers for Mother's Day!
As you can see they were beautiful and a great pick me up!

 But wait, my week of surprises wasn't over.  On Thursday while I was trying to play catch up on all the mail (we hold the mail from the Friday before transfers until the Wednesday after) I received a package from Sam and Jake to commemorate Mother's Day and our anniversary.  I didn't tell Elder Busath about the package until that evening or he would have driven me crazy begging to open it.

 Elder Busath is like a kid at Christmas! Our package contained a "lucky bug", spring oreos, little plastic ice cubes, a hot wheels car, mini Almond Joy candy bars, a weekly reminder pad and a cute dish towel that says, "You crack me up", with an egg on it.

We put our "lucky bug" on our entertainment center hoping that he will scare off any unwelcome bugs.
But wait, that is not all!  On Friday afternoon a friend from LDS Employment Services escorted a gentleman with a floral arrangement.  I thought for sure that it must be for Sister Gebs and we proceeded to ooh and awe.  Well just as I was returning to my desk the gentleman approached me and asked me if I was Sister Busath.  I admitted that I was and he said, these flowers are for you.  I almost fainted.  Two beautiful flower arrangements in less than a week, no way. 
Yes, it was true, my kids and grand kids, the Esslinger's, the Bacchus', the Hudson's, the Busath's and the Peterson's sent me flowers for Mother's Day. 
 I couldn't have felt more loved than I did at the moment.
It takes a spirit of obedience if we want to qualify for blessings today. It isn't enough simply to say, "Tomorrow I am going to do better."  The Lord expects us to do better today. 
Saturday was our "P" Day and our Mission President had asked us to do some spring cleaning. We decided that there was no better day than today to get started.  I wish I had taken a "before" picture to help you appreciate the final results.  Let me just say that the garage was filled to capacity from floor to ceiling with discarded furniture and miscellaneous items.  Things that just might come in handy-"someday", or "someday" someone might just have time to repair.  Well someday never came and after not one but two trips to the local landfill with a truck and trailer containing 1 ton (they actually weighed it) of old, broken and obsolete equipment and furniture our job was done.
Operation Spring Cleaning#2 was the result of a landlord expressing some concern over a messy garage. How messy could it be we thought. Missionaries just don't have that much stuff.  Well again a "before" picture would have proved helpful.  But we were on a roll and before we knew it the floor was visible again and we had even packed up the old carpet and padding that had been pulled from the house a few weeks prior.

After a final sweep of the garage and a quick pick up of the front yard we noticed some objectionable graffiti on the fence directly opposite the house.  Well Elder Busath immediately saw a need and went to work.  He found some white spray paint in a box under all the stuff while we were cleaning the garage and quickly picked it up and carefully painted over the offending words.  Unfortunately the spray paint didn't last long enough to finish the job completely, but it made it so much better.

 One last load and our work would be done for the day.  The Elders were amazed at our results.  Elder Busath and I make a pretty good team. Fortunately for us we were again blessed.  It was mere minutes after unloading the last of the refuse that the heavens opened and it POURED.  It doesn't rain in Florida, it pours.  Imagine someone soaking you with a garden hose, that's how these afternoon rain storms are.  Then 10 to 15 minutes later it is over and the sun comes out again.

We celebrated the end of a very productive day by having dinner at the local TGI Fridays.  The waitress noticed our name tags and mentioned that she was a Christian and that her son, age 22, was a member of the LDS church and had wanted to serve a mission.  She told us she was a single mom and couldn't afford to send him on a mission, but maybe he could serve after he was married like us. She couldn't say enough good about the Church and served us as though we were royalty.  We tipped her well and even left her a pass along card of the Savior.
Maybe someday her son won't be the only member of the Church.
 Our first Mother's Day in the Pleasant Hill Ward was bittersweet.  Okay so I have to admit it was harder than I expected.  Everything around me reminded me of my kids.  The Bishop's opening remarks about women sometimes thinking they are invisible, and the importance of knowing our worth. Then the Sacrament Meeting speakers, a cute young couple...reminded me of Sam and Jake, married in the fall...Tracy and Chad, with three children, two boys and a girl...Katie...he is a nurse...Andi. All I could do is cry.  Then in Relief Society the Bishop shared a special story written by Sheri Dew about feeling insignificant and the reality that we are all daughter's of a Heavenly Father who knows us individually and loves us.  That we are unique, of infinite worth and that NO ONE, NO ONE can take our place.  I believe that!  And as much as I wished I had been a better mother, my Heavenly Father helped to make my children better than I could have ever hoped for or deserved and I am eternally grateful.

We received a chocolate truffle and a special ring as a Mother's Day gift from the ward.  Lambie was curious about the ring and so am I.

 Being a mother has never been an easy role.  The scriptures often remind us how important a role being a mother truly is.  That what we learn from our mothers compromises our very core values, as with the 2,000 stripling sons and warriors of Helaman, in the Book of Mormon, who "had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them" (Alma 56:47). And He did.
Never let it be said of us that we didn't have sufficient time. Time is precious, but life is priceless.
I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day and spent some time counting your blessings as I did! 

Until next time...........
PS Another small world alert for those of you in Fair Oaks, California.  On our last post I mentioned setting up new missionary apartments and it just so happened that we met a member who was donating furniture for one of our new apartments. He took one look at our name badges, pronounced it correctly, and asked that often heard question, "Do you know...?  Actually this time we did know.  He spoke of his fond memories of baking cookies at Aunt Dorothy's home and hanging out with her kids.  He said he was Patti's age and had spent 24 years after his mission looking for the "One".  Well seven years ago he found her right after she found the church.  They have three kids, one disabled child from his wife's previous marriage who recently passed away and two others.  His name is Wayne Robert Little.  He went by Wayne back then, but now goes by Bob and he wanted to be sure that we sent his love!


  1. That was a long post. Lots of things happened. Mission life keeps you busy. Love you both, and so do your kids. Sweet kids, you raised them well.

  2. Hi Busath's! I just wanted to let you know that the Elder you talked about in this post, Steven Untch, is the son of one of my dearest friends. We were in the same ward when Steven was born. I don't think he would remember the Stewarts but I sure do remember him. If he's still there, give him a hug from a very old friend!