Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Best Time is NOW

Happy New Year!The Best Time is ...

An old proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.”
There is something wonderful and hopeful about the word now. There is something empowering about the fact that if we choose to decide now, we can move forward at this very moment.

Even though we might fall short of our finish line, just continuing the journey will make us greater than we were before. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Speaking of continuing the journey…
We had been given the task to find and furnish 6 apartments for the 24 new missionaries due to arrive January 13th.  No problem you might think.  If I remember correctly, you might be saying to yourself, you have done this a time or two before, but for some unknown reason this time was different!
Not one apartment transaction went smoothly.  There was always some drama; either we couldn't find housing in the location required, the landlord was not responsive, or the Realtor failed to return our numerous phone calls, e-mails, text’s.  Enduring to the end had taken on a whole new meaning.
But never fear, good news is finally here! I am happy to report that as of yesterday we were finally able to locate the last of the five new home away from homes for our missionaries.  Now we wait for final approval, paper processing, lease preparation and signatures so we can get on to the big finale of setting up the home for missionaries. All before January 14th, the clock is ticking... 

The first of five new missionary homes, this one is located in the central coastal region of Brevard County, Florida in the city of Viera and is for our sister missionaries.

I have recently discovered that I am all about free welcome gifts provided by apartment complexes.  Even if the gift happens to be a speaker for your phone, a wrapped roll of paper towels or toilet paper on a plunger.

A bird roosting on the Melbourne church steeple (kind of sounds like a Christmas carole). Since we happened to be in the area signing apartment leases we stopped by the local church to deliver a new phone to the sister missionaries, Welch, Collins and Jamison assigned in Melbourne.

We got mail!!!  Cinnamon rolls from the Cortopassi’s in Wilton, CA.  Never underestimate the importance of Christmas traditions! For years Barbara has put a smile on Mr, Scrooge’s face with her awesome cinnamon rolls. It turns out that this year was no exception.  Although we did receive them via snail mail a few days after Christmas, surprisingly, and with a little help from our friend the microwave, they were delicious! Thank you Cortopassi's. I am not sure what we loved the most the rolls or the idea that you went to all the trouble of preparing them and mailing them to us just to make our Christmas a little brighter :)

An early New Year’s Eve dinner at Applebee’s with Elder & Sister Nielson. OK so we will be the first to admit that we definitely are not party animals.  We did however, smuggle a purchased bottle of Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider from the grocery store to our car in it's brown paper sack under my sweater to "avoid the very appearance of evil." And we did actually stay up to 12:01 a.m., just  long enough to text our kids a Happy New Year Zzz!

On New Year 's Day we decided to make good use of some free time, an abandoned office building and the lack of ringing phones to get Elder Busath's, aka the Florida Orlando Mission Finance Secretary's, office ready for the upcoming year.  So we busily relocated the 2013 files to other file cabinet drawers, boxed up the 2012 files and created new file folders for 2014. Get ready, get set, he is now ready to go.........

After weeks of 72+ degree weather, on Friday, January 3rd   at 7:35 a.m it was 46 degrees here in Orlando, Florida!  Later in the day it rained and poured.  Brrr, baby it’s cold outside!
So, quick question, if April showers bring May flowers, what do January cloudbursts bring?

A warm, dry  apartment filled with happy blossoms :) to greet you!
During our many travels to local Realtors in the Kissimmee area desperately seeking houses to lease we recently ran into the Berlinsky Community House and the Monument of the States. 

Begun in 1942 after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, the Monument of States was the vision of Dr. Charles Bressler-Pettis, a local tourism booster, who wanted a physical symbol of American unity in the dark days of early World War II. He wrote letters to every governor to send him local rocks. The donations arrived in a variety of formats: blocks of native granite, chunks of quartz, small boulders, fossils, hunks of old buildings. President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a rock from his Hyde Park estate. One contributor sent a human skull.
By 1943 the Doctor had a complete set from the then-lower-48, and had them mortared into a 50-foot-tall pseudo-pyramid of garishly-colored concrete slabs. Each slab had a rock embedded in it, and was inscribed with the donor's name and location: "Idaho, Chase A. Clark Gov. 1941-42," "Wisconsin Dairy Land," "Harvard Medical School." The pile weighed 30 tons and was dedicated as The Monument of States on March 28, 1943. Dr. Pettis promoted it as, "The World's Most Unique Monument," and at the time it probably was.

 Not to be out done, the Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes panther fountain!
We have driven by this beautiful 40,000 square foot hotel-spa a bazillion times on our way from one place to another, but today we decided to stop and see for ourselves how the other half lives. We discovered that the other half sleep on feather beds and play golf, a lot!

Missionary home #2, a humble abode for sister missionaries located on Brandy Lane, in Titusville.  Titusville is the county seat of Brevard County and nicknamed "Space City, USA". Titusville is a rural community and the cider block homes are supposed to be great in weathering tropical storms. (I still miss seeing a stucco home)
The apartment office for our new apartment, #3 in DeLand.

DeLand is the county seat of Volusia with a population of 27,031. The city was founded in 1876, and was named for its founder, Henry Addison Deland. 
I wish I could show you apartments #4 and #5 but I don't want to jinx them since we are still waiting for final approval.
As always we are crazy busy, but happy to be on the Lord's errand. We have learned so much in the short ten months we have been here and one of the most important has been to have more faith.
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 
In all ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Now is the best time to start becoming the person we  eventually want to be—not only 20 years from now but also for all eternity.

Wishing each of you a very happy, healthy new and better you in 2014!

See you later, alligator.........

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