Thursday, October 31, 2013

Be Faithful, Work Hard, Smile

Welcome back!

Guess where our Senior Missionary District went last Saturday?  You guessed it, Downtown Disney.





Our sensational Senior District having lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe, from left to right, Sister Danes, Sister Vaden, Sister Hansen, Elder Hansen (camera shy) Sister Bevans, Elder Bevans, Sister and Elder Gordon and me!

So, who looks grumpier, Donald or Elder Busath (Grandpa)?

Just a little Lego magic for our grand kids :) who are always on our minds

On Tuesday we had a special Zone Conference at the Orlando South Stake Center which is directly across the street from the Orlando Temple. William R. Walker of the Seventy was presiding and it was incredible!

We met at the Stake Center at o dark hundred (7:00 am) to have each vehicle checked for the proper fluid levels, tire condition, body dents, etc and to get free flu shots courtesy of Walgreen's.

Sister Jackson needed a new bicycle helmet so she was just trying a few on for size.

 The Orlando South Zone

The Cocoa Zone

The next picture should have been the Hunter's Creek Zone,
 but that is the Zone we are in and I couldn't  figure out how to be in two places at once, sorry.

Celebrating birthdays that occurred since our last Zone Conference in August. 
Sister Berry, our very special "Food Fairy" is passing out sweet treats to mark the occasion.

Sisters from the Pleasant Hill Ward who provided lunch for 130 very hungry missionaries! 
Truly a labor of love.

President Wood, from our very own Florida Orlando Mission Presidency, Elder Busath,
 Elder William R. Walker and Sister Wood.

Sisters Adamson and Lowry doing what they do best!

It's Halloween time and thanks to our family we had more than enough reasons to celebrate! Thanks guys!

Sister Jamison, and Elders Degado and Polito assigned to the Pleasant Hill Ward and the  Poinciana Branch respectively helping us get ready for Trunk or Treating.

Our Pleasant Hill and Poinciana missionaries after a spooktacular time!

Someone put this "creepy" sticker on my car window when I wasn't looking and it scared me half to death it looked so real in the dark! I didn't scream like a little girl, but I had to have Elder Busath remove it before I would get into the car :)

It's 8:32 pm Florida time on Halloween night and I think I can count on two, okay maybe three hands how many trick or treaters we have had :( Living in an apartment we just naturally assumed we would have tons of kids, but I guess we were wrong.  Kind of disappointed because we bought lots and lots of candy.

We knew it would be different this year, but we tried so hard to keep the traditions. We dressed in orange and black, and although I couldn't wear my standard crazy Halloween earrings I did put candy corn stickers on my cochlear head piece,  affixed a big, black spider to my name tag, and we even carved a real pumpkin and named him Jim. Unfortunately there are no Papa John's in Florida so we had to settle for a Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza.  Elder Busath actually tried to talk them into decorating it with the pepperoni like a jack o lantern to make me happy, but I think they thought he was kidding.

I guess tonight is one of those "hard things" that we can do! If nothing else tonight we have learned to appreciate being so busy that we don't have time to think, too much. Things like, Lucas, Mason, Jill, Dax, Cale, Jett, Charles, Thomas, William, Sienna and even soon to come baby Wade.  Imagining them all decked out in their Halloween costumes as Super Hero's, Tinker Bell, a princess and maybe a pea in a pod, is something we truly missed this year and we hope that they all had a spooktacular time and we look forward to seeing the pictures of their adventures.

Happy Halloween family and friends, we love you.  Although we often wish we could be there with you so as to not miss a single thing, we know we are where we are supposed to be, doing what we have been called to do, and we love it!

Until next time..........see you later alligator!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

We Will Go and Do

Nephi's Courage

The Lord gives us commandments and asks us to obey.
Sometimes I am tempted to choose another way.
When I'm discouraged, and think I cannot try,
I will be courageous, and I will reply:
"I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands.
I know the Lord provides a way; he wants me to obey.
I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands.
I know the Lord provides a way; he wants me to obey."

Words and music: Bill N. Hansen Jr., b. 1952, and Lisa T. Hansen, b. 1958. (c) 1986 by Wilford N. Hansen Jr., and Lisa Tensmeyer Hansen. All rights reserved. 

It's official! Elder Busath and I have decided to extend our mission service until February 2015.  
As many of you may or may not know our Mission President and his wife recently requested that we consider extending our mission from the 12 months that we had originally been called to serve to twenty three months. We will be the first to admit that it wasn't an easy decision to make and yet we know without a doubt that it is what the Lord wants us to do.  At this time we need to express our thanks and appreciation to our family and friends because we know that we couldn't continue to serve without their love and support.
We love each of you more that we can say.

So I guess this means that you will have to put up with our blog for many more months to come.

Elder JD Gordon's birthday celebration at Chevy's in Orlando-still under construction, but we couldn't wait! (Dave and Janie the whole time we were there we were wishing you were there with us)

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Well here are just a few more of my favorite things...

Fun welcome baskets at brand new apartments

Clean painted walls, and no dirty carpets

Shiny new floors, polished tile and sinks

Elder Bailey and Waller unloading the trailer quick as a wink!

Supervising the move...

We recently got our car detailed to further protect it from the blazing Florida sun and those naughty
 "love bugs".  
It looks just like new!

Elders Dial and Slade who just happened to mention that they had an extra couch we could pick up on our "P" Day Saturday excursions and oh by the way did we tell you our kitchen table is actually a old wooden slatted picnic table being held together with duct tape and rubber bands???  I have learned to hate surprises, but I had a surprise for them.

After some gentle persuasion I was able to convince the work crew, Elder Busath and Sister and Elder Nielson to return to an apartment where we had made a delivery earlier that same day and switch out that table and chairs and replace it with a table and chairs I already had in the trailer.  The one in the trailer was really nice, but a little on the feminine side. I had originally decided to save it until a rainy day and it appeared to be pouring now.  Fortunately the apartment I placed it in was for sister missionaries and it was a huge improvement. We then transported the more masculine table and chairs to the Elders while they were out, surprise!

The Winter Garden Sisters apartment.  You really can't appreciate these pictures,  but the apartment has been transformed  from night to day.  After a firm, but friendly letter of pleading to the landlord for improvements she finally decided that she valued our business and a miraculous change occurred.  New linoleum, new carpet,  a functional toilet, the works!  It may not appear to be a big deal, but it is a vast improvement and very much appreciated.

Just an old antique couch in the Elders duplex held together by a song and a prayer.  You don't dare sit on it,  because it will break, it is purely for show. Hopefully now that there are actually two other couches in the garage to choose from the Elders will finally get rid of it!

Before-most of the stuff on the left belongs to the landlord, but there appears to be lots of empty space on the right :)

After-I am happy to report that I have recently outgrown the duplex garage at Lake Nona West and now have to resort to storing some of my surplus items at Lake Nona South.  Unfortunately I am still short on kitchen tables, chairs and dressers, but that too may change :)

Monday, October 21st 10 Elders, 7 Sisters and 6 Brazil VISA Waiters (all Elders) arrived at the Orlando airport.  We had expected 5 additional Elders, but two left the Missionary Training Center (MTC) due to illness and three (2 called to serve in Australia and one to Argentina received their VISA's prior to their arrival).

From left to right, in the blue short sleeved top, Sisters Gruber, Brooks, Jackson, Fisi, Williams, Bernier and Butler.

Elder Busath imparting some sage advice to the newly arrived missionaries.

No longer hungry, but definitely tired and more than a little overwhelmed.

After loading the new missionaries into 2 vans, a truck and car at the airport we headed for the Hunter's Creek Stake Center where we fed them dinner and captured the moment for posterity.

Sister Berry giving last minute instructions to the new sisters Tuesday morning 
before they depart on their new adventure.

Orientation ZzZ

Transfers-meet and greet  :)
Make new friends, but keep the old...

Some of our sister trainers, Sisters Tato, Peterson, Hess, Campos, Monson, and Brown.

Some of our Elder trainers Elders Baeza, and Bodkin against the wall...
Tuesday morning we picked them all up bright and early from the Mission Home (the Sisters spent the night at President Wood's home) and headed back to the Hunter's Creek Stake Center for orientation and to finally meet their trainers.

Who got mail??? It looks like everyone got mail this week :(
During "Transfers" I hold the mail the Friday before until the Friday after to ensure that each package arrives at the correct address safe and sound.  If you aren't properly impressed at the quantity just consider that this is just a picture of some of the packages I am holding, the letters easily quadruple that amount.

Sisters Nielson and Gordon supervising the luggage weigh in as the VISA Waiters prepare to depart.

 Just one last Kodak moment to remember the Florida Orlando Mission before 
they set off to the wild blue yonder..

Our departing Argentina VISA Waiters. Elders Clark, Curtis, Cook, yours truly, Dial and Childs'.  Elders Curtis, Cook and Dial have been here for over 6 months so it is difficult to say Adios :(

 Sister Berry's new wheels.  Long story short, months ago a request was submitted for more cars.  As expected the request was logged and we thought forgotten.  Then, I think just to stir the pot a little, the past mission president mentioned the need for a jeep for the sister missionaries serving on the"ranch". Voila our wish had been granted. Sister Berry, the self proclaimed Mission "Food Fairy" now has ample room to transport all of her goodies from one training meeting to another.

Sister Trainer Leaders Higley and Conant.  They dressed up as twins for Halloween. Can't you see the family resemblance?

Elder Lee and his companion Elder Washburn bidding one another a fond farewell.  Elder Washburn is the last of our Argentina VISA Waiters to leave. He was assigned to a different mission in Argentina than the others so he left a day later.

It has been another busy and very productive week.  We are tired but happy and we wouldn't have it any other way.

In closing let me quote once again my favorite Primary song that pretty much sums up our feelings-

"I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands.
I know the Lord provides a way; he wants me to obey.
I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands.
I know the Lord provides a way; he wants me to obey."

Thanks for caring enough to check on us...

See you later alligator :>