Sunday, November 24, 2013

The road to progress is always under construction

Oh, what a week it was!!!

Our week officially began late last Sunday night when we arrived at the Holiday Inn Express in DeLand.  We had scheduled two full days of missionary housing inspections.  Over twenty eight homes would be inspected in the DeLand and Leesburg Zones and in the interest of time, cost and distance we decided to stay the night in the area to get an early start.  The best thing we soon learned is that our hotel stay cost us nothing!  Because we were frequent Holiday Inn Express patrons our room was free! The Lord truly does work in mysterious ways.

                                   Elders Stokes and Thomas, District Leaders in Bunnell-DeLand

Each home we visited varied as night to day, so we've tried to give you a small sampling
 in picture form so you could see for yourself.
For you map nuts the DeLand Zone covers Bunnell, Daytona Beach, DeLand, 
New Smyrna Beach and Deltona.  
The Leesburg Zone consists of Eustis, Leesburg, Belleview, Lecanto, Sumterville, 
Clermont, Apopka and Minneola.

 The Integra Shores Apartment complex in North Daytona where Sisters McLeod and Blake reside.

 A very large house in Deltona where Elders Beaulieu, Dearden, Ferguson and Anderson 
lay their heads at night.

 A smaller house, also in Deltona , where Sister Trainer Leaders Kern's and Low call home.

The Sumterville North "trailer" in the Leesburg Zone where Elders Weston and Radigan camp out 
when they are not out proselyting.

Look familiar? These are the "after" pictures of the Sumterville South house where Elders Manua and Collins transformed a very sad and needy house into a much cleaner, less cluttered home sweet home.

At the top of the stairs is the Lecanto townhouse where Sisters Pitts and Blair play house. The banner was a gift and is proudly posted on their living room wall. A funny thing about these sisters.  They had just returned home from a doctors appointment when we arrived a few minutes earlier than expected.  When they answered the door to find it was us they politely asked us to wait outside for just a moment while they dashed to the dumpster to discard rubbish that they had gathered while preparing for the inspection. They wanted everything to be perfect for us.  True dedication-and we really appreciated it!

Every problem is an opportunity in disguise 

Just two days before we left to complete our inspections we were advised that we would need to set up an apartment for a new Senior Couple, recently reassigned from the Uruguay Mission to the Florida Orlando Mission due to a medical emergency since resolved, and due to arrive at the end of the week.  

Elder Busath quickly set out to find just the right apartment in the specific location the Mission President had designated only to discover that Sister Busath was not at all happy with his selection :(  So after some persuasion a very convincing phone call was made to the apartment manager (while on the road between inspections) and Elder Busath was able to secure a much nicer, much larger, two bedroom apartment and the race to furnish it was on.  

Because we rely solely on the charity of Church members in furnishing new apartments and because we had such short notice we simply would have to use what we had on hand.  To be perfectly honest most of the furniture stored needed a lot of TLC before we felt comfortable using it, so we simply rolled up our sleeves and got to work.  I can't praise Mr. Clean erasers and Lemon Oil Dark Stain enough :)

 The living room before......
                                  The living room after...

The kitchen before...
                                          The kitchen after...

The dining room before...
                              The dining room after...

The master bedroom before...


                        The master bedroom after...

The second bedroom, or study, before...
                                            The study after...

Introducing Elder and Sister Clare, 
from Queens Creek, Arizona!

Elder and Sister Clare, Sisters Brooks and Hernandez and Elders Hunt and Slade, all now currently assigned to the Valencia Spanish Ward in the Orlando Stake.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
 Thomas Edison

But wait, the week wasn't over yet.  On Saturday we returned to the Leesburg Zone to deliver bed frames, new mattresses, desk lamps, white boards and pick up surplus furniture we just "happened" to inherit while completing our inspections.  We learned quite a lesson on gratitude on our travels.  It seemed that we would just finish one inspection and be told that they had an extra this or an extra that that they didn't need could we use it?  We thanked them, promptly put it in our back seat and headed for our next appointment only to discover that this companionship needed exactly what we had just picked up from the previous inspection.  Time after time we were able to place vacuums, cooking items, proselyting materials, etc. It was amazing!  But more amazing was the hard work, dedication and exact obedience we saw first hand as we met with each missionary during our inspections. We are privileged to be serving with each one of them.

Leesbug Zone Leaders Kurtz and Costa, assisting Elder Busath, Nielson and Sister Nielson dismantling an "extra" pedestal kitchen table now on route to the new apartment we were opening up in Lady Lake for the Belleview Ward Sisters.



Brother Geisler, the Belleview Mission Leader, supervising the move
 into the Belleview Sisters new apartment.

Some of our moving crew Elders Packard, Galindo and Brother Geisler.  Elders French and Jones had to leave for an appointment before this Kodak moment.

Just a few more before and after pictures, sorry...


Sister Nielson and Elder Busath putting the finishing touches on the dining room before...


Elder Nielson constructing a much needed bookcase for the living room...





 The finished product!



The Villages in Lady Lake



A move isn't truly completed until a quick trip to Wal-Mart for the basic essentials and this move was no different.  But were were surprised to find that the sister's apartment in Lady Lake was surrounded by "The Villages" a planned senior citizen community covering three counties, sporting over 40 golf courses and home to over 100,00 people and 50,000 golf carts!
 It reminded us a little of Rancho Murieta in California Super Sized :)

Just when I thought I had seen everything Elder Busath had one more surprise for me.  It was late Saturday night and we were finally on our way home when he announced that he just had to have a hair cut before Sunday.  So he suddenly turned into a nearby strip mall and parked the car smack dab in front of "Da Shop Barber Shop".  I thought he was kidding, but no, out he hopped and I opted to stay in the car claiming that I was tired rather than admitting that I was sure he had lost it.  Anyway, long story short as he entered the establishment they warmly shook his hand and politely seated him in a nearby chair.  That probably should have been his first clue.  He tried to explain what he wanted, a trim, tapered, etc. and was soon to learn that no one could speak English.  The barber smiled , nodded his head in response so he was hopeful that he was understood, that is until the first buzz of the clippers! In a matter of less than two minutes he was done.  Done in more ways than one.  What started out as the need for a trim turned out to be a buzz cut that would not require another trim for weeks, maybe months!  He swears that he is going into hiding until his hair grows out, but I keep telling him everyone can relate to having a bad hair day :)

When things started to get crazy during the course of the week I simply remembered these encouraging words of wisdom and it kept me going...
                                                                   Things will work out.
        Keep trying.
                      Be believing.
                               Be happy.
                                                         Don't get discouraged.
                                                                 Things will work out.
                                                                                 Gordon B. Hinckley

We are exhausted and so looking forward to a day of rest, but we are happier than we have ever been and love hastening His work and serving others.

We have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving and count each one of you as a special blessing-thank you for stopping by to check on us. Happy Thanksgiving!!!

See you later, alligator!