Sunday, January 26, 2014

As they say in Texas, "If you've done it, it ain't braggin'."

Hi from frosty Florida. 

 Okay so 45 degrees may not seem cold to you, but when you are used to the tropical lows of the 70s and all of a sudden we have a wind chill factor of 20 it's FREEZING! Enough with the cold fronts already!

 Just one day of mail following Martin Luther King Day, a State holiday! 
I can hardly wait for Valentine's Day mail to arrive :(

Once a boy always a boy!
President and Sister Berry's daughter, Lizanne, her husband and 4 beautiful children came for a visit this week.  It was a beautiful day, so while the grown ups talked and got acquainted Elder Busath, always a boy at heart and a Grandpa to boot, took the opportunity to head outside and play kickball with the boys, Scott and McKay.

On Thursday the Senior Missionary District headed to Cocoa, or more precisely, Jetty Park, to have a tail gate party and to watch the launch of a rocket from Cape Canaveral. Fried chicken, potato, macaroni and fruit salad, veggies, rolls, donut holes and cookies.  Do we know how to party or what?

While we were there the Disney cruise ship, Dream, decided to pass by
just to remind us of where were and how the rest of the world lives.

Obviously we weren't the only ones that had the great idea to watch the launch.  When we arrived the park was almost empty, but by the time night fell it was packed.

NASA TDRS-L relay satellite launch aboard Atlas V rocket on Jan. 23, 2014. Credit: Jeff Seibert/ Shot from the Kennedy Space Center

The countdown began at 2 p.m. EST (GMT-5), setting the stage for a sky-lighting liftoff from launch complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 9:05 p.m., the opening of a 40-minute launch window. A problem with the telemetry occurred at about 9:01 just four minutes before the launch, postponing the final countdown for a brief period of time.  Fortunately they were able to resolve the problem and the launch was on.  As I said before it was COLD, so after our tailgate party and a brisk hike along the pier most of us, including those from Utah who were very familiar with cold weather, decided to huddle in our cars with the heat on until it was time to see the launch.


It was amazing!
After we clearly heard Mission Control give the go ahead on the radio station were carefully monitoring, Go, Go, Go as each department reported! (They really do say that)
The four minute countdown began once again and before we knew it
5-4-3-2-1-the rocket was successfully launched!
Suddenly the sky began to fill with a glowing orange light and there was a brief moment when all you could see was orange. 
Then the rocket, a little fire ball to the naked eye raced across the sky overhead, it's tail barely recognizable.

On Thursday, January 23, 2014 at exactly 9:33 EST a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket was launched on a mission to boost a new NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite into orbit, the second in a $715 million upgrade of the agency's globe-spanning communications network-and we were there!  OK so we were actually about 2 to 4 miles away but we saw the rocket race across the sky with our own eyes.

A view from the van we were driving at o dark hundred Saturday morning as we headed to the Orlando South Stake Center to prepare to feed 260 hungry missionaries following a special conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson.

The Florida Orlando Temple-our view from the parking lot of the
 Orlando South Stake Center
On Saturday, January 20th we were privileged to attend a special  Missionary Conference at the Orlando South Stake center where Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter Day Saints, would be addressing us.
Elder Nelson, an internationally renowned surgeon, medical researcher, and author of numerous publications and chapters in medical textbooks has lectured and visited professionally throughout the United States and in many other nations prior to his call as a General Authority.
Born September 9, 1924, Elder Nelson is the son of Marion C. and Edna Anderson Nelson. He and his wife, the former Dantzel White, have ten children. Sister Nelson passed away in February 2005. In April 2006, he married Wendy L. Watson.
Just a few of the things we learned from this incredible conference:
  • As of this week 84,000 missionaries are currently serving full time missions.
  • We should be prepared to invite others to come unto Christ, "Whenever, wherever, whoever"
  • More important than speaking is listening.  When you listen carefully to others , you understand them better. If we listen with love, we won't need to wonder what to say it will be given to us-by the Spirit. And by the Spirit we will be able to see with spiritual eyes , hear with spiritual ears and listen with our hearts.
  • Our Mission Statement should always be-
For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  Moses 1:39

Before the conference, the Senior Missionary District, or as we like to refer to them, "The Rescuers" gathered together very early that morning to begin preparations for a luncheon of pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, cucumber and carrots, chips and chocolate chip cookies.

Elders Clare and Nielson with Sisters Gordon and Hansen in the background putting the finishing touches on our table decorations for the luncheon.

Sisters Vaden and Danes with Elders Clare and Bevans, supervising.
Ready or not!

 Following the luncheon was the Orlando South Stake Priesthood Leadership Meeting so we quickly stowed the tables and re-arranged the chairs transforming the gym in minutes.

Sister Sheffield with yours truly!

Just when we thought our work was done Saturday we discovered that the sister missionaries in Viera were stranded. Even after a thorough evaluation by our very own "Mr. Goodwrench, their car simply would not go. So we made arrangements to drive them in the van we had driven to our apartment and then let them take the van home until we could get their car up and running.
It has been a crazy busy, but truly wonderful week!
In closing we just need to give credit where credit is due. 
Faith has always been a fundamental principle of strength for us. 
Without it, we can do nothing. With it, we can accomplish anything including; watching a rockets red glare, feeding 260 missionaries, taking care of stranded motorists and continuing to serve as instruments in the Lord's hands, far from home and family because we have been inspired to do so yet again, this time by an Apostle of the Lord.

We love you and hope you had an incredible week as well. 
Until next time.
See you later...alligator

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