Sunday, February 23, 2014

Beware of Creepage

A slow, imperceptible movement .

The Laver Lane duplex, my home away from home,
where I store all of my surplus furniture to help make a house a home.

 Elders Jacobsen and Waller from Lake Nona Spanish area, barefooted,
yet ready to lend a hand.

The results of a recent District "P" Day activity. 
I promised that I wouldn't disclose whose pedicures I had just photographed,
but you might be able to fill in the clues that I left behind.

The new Sanford Sisters apartment, minus a few essentials.

A couch, desks, kitchen table and chairs, a bookcase, bed frames etc.



 The remains of the Sanford Sisters old apartment. The torn and stained couch, two broken study chairs, an autographed bookcase, and an entertainment center originally donated to be used to be as a desk.  Unfortunately there was no desk space or leg room so it had to go to the dump along with everything else. 
Thanks to Elders Clement, Steed, Booth and T. Ferguson the apartment was emptied and the trailer loaded up all in record time.  Of course the sisters failed to mention that they had forgotten to empty the refrigerator and clean the oven before they vacated their old apartment so we quickly rolled up our sleeves and got to work.


Bright and early Tuesday morning the DeLand, Leesburg and Orlando Zones met at the Lake Mary building for a car inspection prior to Zone Conference. Fluid levels were checked, the body of each vehicle was inspected for any scratches or dings, the bike racks were checked for any problems and the tire pressure evaluated.

Following the vehicle inspections it was time for Zone pictures and then off to the chapel for training.

During the course of the morning we discussed important subjects:
  • Effectiveness in working with Ward Councils-President Pratt
  • Setting Goals-"We plan for our own miracles!" The Assistants to the President, Elders Patten and Elder Quarnberg
  • "Keep calm and carry on!" Sister Nielson
  • "Gossip-Stop It!" Sister Berry
  • "Beware of creepage, be obedient with exactness and be guided by the Spirit in all you do." President Berry


Lunch time thanks to the Leesburg Ward Relief Society!
Following a delicious lunch of chili, green salad, rolls, and cookies it was time for the office staff to provide some instruction. Because Elder Busath and I couldn't be at three places at once we were unable to provide pictures for the two other breakout sessions, but knowing the presenters like we do we have to believe that they were amazing.
Elder Gordon addressed:
  • Basic care of vehicles
  • Monthly mileage reports
  • Accidents
  • Responsible driving
Sister Gordon discussed:
  • Media referrals using their iPads
  • Updating referrals
Elder Busath and I presented:
  • Baptism and Confirmation Record Keeping
  • Monthly Proselyting Follow Up 
  • Life skills-not just mission specific rules
  • Housekeeping 101

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass;
and small means in many instances doth confound the wise
Alma 37:6


Mark 12:30-31
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment.
And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
With the arrival of 13 new arrivals next week and the numerous transfers of missionaries it became clear that we needed to remind them of who their neighbor was and come up with one more valuable piece of advise. 
For those of you with scouting background the phrase will be quite familiar,
 "Leave no trace behind!"
Of course we changed the meaning just a little to make it applicable to mission life, but I can't tell you how weary I am to find a dollop of shampoo, a spit of cleaning solution, a ton of plastic Wal-Mart bags under the sink left behind
by some well meaning missionary transferring out. 
 It's just one more thing for us to throw out as we clean and de-clutter the apartment in preparation for a new companionship to occupy the home.

After Zone Conference we discovered not one, but two dead batteries. 
Elder Busath to the rescue! Always one to go where no one has gone before, he quickly located the closest auto parts store and  hurried back with a set of jumper cables to help get them on their way.
Elders French and Elder Whitaker happy to show off their mission vehicle which recently had a collision with a wild boar in Leesburg, and no the boar didn't get away :(

Sisters Hart and Salveson. 
Sister Hart received an edible arrangement for Valentine's Day delivered at the Mission Office and we had the opportunity to hand deliver it at
Zone Conference.

As my daughter Tracy would often say, "Life isn't fair!" 
So in order to be fair below are just a few more pictures of our recent Zone Conference this time on Wednesday, at the Orlando South Stake Center (across from the temple) for the Cocoa, Hunter's Creek and Orlando South Zones.

Vehicle inspections... Each Zone was assigned a designated area in the parking lot.
The Zone Leaders in the Orlando South Zone went the extra mile and created a sign to direct their zone to the correct location.

Facilities Management (FM) in Florida are busily installing special access boxes to authorize entry into the various church buildings. 
Soon we will no longer have the case of the missing keys mystery to solve.

My hero! 
A few minutes before Zone Conference was to begin it was discovered that not one of the two women's rest rooms had paper towels.  So always game for a search and rescue assignment Elder Busath was able to locate the custodial closet and fix the problem.
A lunch of pulled pork, rice, beans, lettuce, chips, salsa, sour cream, guacamole and two kinds of brownies was provided by the Olympia Ward Relief Society. (We are so spoiled)
 Celebrating birthdays since the last Zone Conference in November.

"Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion"
Doctrine and Covenants 132:8

Sister Vaden and Sister Danes leaving their "mark"

Elder and Sister Hansen-"Doing Their Personal Best".
Sister Bevans reorganizing the cupboards-less is more!


Elders Christiansen and Nakatsuka, currently assigned to the College Park area.  Our assignment was to inspect the apartment theses elders were vacating to be certain that it was "good to go" for another set of elders due to arrive on Tuesday. After a few minor instructions and a whole lot of furniture removal and replacement it was finally ready.

 Our original assignment was to replace a whiteboard at the Kissimmee Sister's apartment. Done! Then they happened to mention that they would eventually like to have the couch removed in their upstairs study just in case I was able to replace their current desks in the near future.  Elder Bevans always up for a challenge surveyed his options and with the help of Sister Halverson and Sister Fisi they were able to lift the couch up, over and down a very narrow set of stairs and into the little living room where the sisters stored their bikes.  Not exactly the perfect solution, but it looked good and since we were driving a van with no way to transport the couch it freed up some room in their study.  Now when I come to replace their desks it will be easy to retrieve the couch at the same time. 

 Ok I just couldn't resist including these pictures.  I contacted the Pleasant Hills Spanish Elders earlier in the morning to make an appointment to pick up their extra bed (for reassignment) and happened to mention that while we were there we would be conducting a brief "spot inspection" of their apartment. Well unfortunately they had other appointments so they would not be there to receive us but we made arrangements to gain access and I couldn't have been more pleased at what I found.  The extra bed was propped up by the front door and the place was neat and clean! This particular apartment has had a reputation of being a little messy-but that all is history or so it seems!

Elder Nielson on the phone taking care of iPad business. Big deal you might be saying to yourself, but if you knew Elder Nielson you would know that it is a huge deal.  He is a very quiet man and prefers to remain in the background, definitely not a fan of phones, but his current assignment as the iPad trouble shooter has him doing "hard" things. 

 It's almost St. Patrick's Day according to the Wawa Gas Station we stopped by recently :)

Sister Jackson, just being herself! 
As is often the case, the Saturday before transfers is set aside to move furniture as needed.  Many times extra beds, desks, study chairs and kitchen chairs need to be picked up or delivered at the last minute in preparation for an additional third companion come Tuesday following transfers. Our arrival is frequently met with shock and dismay. Most of the apartments our missionaries live in are very small and adding just one more thing, let alone another twin bed, another desk, or chairs makes a small area even smaller, but I have to say we have become pretty creative in home decorating.  When we announced our intentions to the Semoran Spanish Sisters, Jackson and Gruber they were thrilled at the opportunity to welcome another companion and couldn't do enough to help.
Beware of creepage...
Some foolish persons turn their backs on the wisdom of God and follow the (dark clouds) of allurement of fickle fashion, the attraction of false popularity and the thrill of the moment. And what are the results of such action? Turning away from God brings broken covenants, shattered dreams, vanished ambitions, evaporated plans, unfulfilled expectations, crushed hopes, misused drives, warped character and wrecked lives.
 ("Decisions, Determine, Destiny", May 16, 1968)
We have so much to be grateful for! 
Count you blessings and be ever watchful that you don't let the dark clouds of discouragement make a slow imperceptible movement (creepage) to cause you to stray from the guidance of the Spirit.
      See you later, alligator!