Sunday, February 2, 2014

You Make the Choice, God Makes the Change

Said the Greek philosopher Epictetus, "He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."

Sister Gordon celebrating her 29th birthday once again here in the mission field-and we were there :)

Our Internet was down at the office for four whole days! Elder Busath decided that he could join in our pity party or he could pack up his paperwork, use his personal laptop, and call it "homework", which he did.  Party pooper!

We happened to stop by Bike Works one afternoon to drop off a bike to be shipped home and just had to record the empty wall.  I have never, ever seen it empty, but then again I only stop by when it is time to welcome the new arrivals. It is usually wall to wall bikes so this was definitely something to see, because it won't look like this for long.

Once again we are on the look out for apartments. 
This time in the Deltona area.  This is a picture of  the Edgewater Condos, a good possibility in the right location for missionaries.  The only problem is that these condos, like many in Florida,  are all privately owned and are rarely if ever advertised.  You have to be a detective to determine if there are any vacancies and then locate the actual realtor handling the listing.  We came away with a list of 12 realtor's that normally do business here so we will have to head back to the office and hit the phones and begin calling immediately hoping to get lucky because the clock is ticking.

Since we are on the subject of luck, I feel very lucky to have a special friend in the Pleasant Hill Ward by the name of Sharon Todd.  Because of her generosity, she he has made it possible for me to furnish many of our missionary apartments. I spoke to her recently at the Saturday session of  the Hunter's Creek Stake Conference and she let me know that she a few more desks and chairs available if I was interested.  Interested? Are you kidding me? Her timing couldn't have been more perfect.  So as soon as I could round up my "moving crew", Elder and Sister Bevans, we were off to pick up her much appreciated donations.


I also need to go on record to say how much I appreciate the fact that I can always count on my "moving crew", the Bevans, to go above and beyond what is expected.
When I say they help me move things, what I mean is that they drive, navigate, push, pull, tug, lift, haul, carry and finally load and unload furniture, oftentimes in the heat and in the rain, and sometimes both-so it is not always as simple as it sounds.

The Elders assigned to the Lake Nona Spanish duplex "luckily" were home
to help us unload the desks and chairs.

Inspector Gadget to the rescue!


It's official! The ipads have finally arrived in the Florida Orlando Mission!  As a result the mission has held three "gadget" training classes in various locations for all the very excited missionaries. It's funny to watch the missionaries who were obviously "geeks' or at least "techno savvy" in their former lives become reacquainted with the new technology while others struggle just using a cell phone to text.
At our Mission Christmas Devotional in December 2013, the Mission President announced that all of the young missionaries would have the opportunity to attend the Florida Orlando Temple twice a year, once in January or February and again in July. 
They were thrilled as you can imagine.
On Friday, January 31, 2014 the DeLand Zone had the opportunity to attend the 7:30 am session at the temple. (The 14 members of our Senior Missionary District were asked to split up and attend only the zone in which they were assigned to provide additional support to the zones and not to overwhelm the temple workers.)  Because there are so many of us in the Hunter's Creek Zone Elder Busath and I decided to attend the temple with the DeLand Zone and to say that it was a wonderful experience would be an understatement.  To see 27 young missionaries, 14 Elders and 13 sisters, dressed all in white brought tears to our eyes. They looked like angels!
Mere words cannot express how privileged we felt to be there and witness this very special occasion.  It was a sacred experience and one we will cherish forever.
*Our day was just beginning.  Following the temple we picked up and delivered 16 pizzas to the Trainer Follow Up Meeting and then drove back to the office where we hopped in the van and picked up three new Toyota Corollas to be outfitted with bicycle racks...

 Later in the day, still on our quest for locating missionary apartments, we found this one in the University Park area, the Grande Ville at River Park.  It is a beautiful apartment complex by the UCF campus that actually knows what the phrase,
 "customer service" means.

I don't mean to sound negative, but let me just say that the realtor's and apartment managers in Florida, unlike those in California,  must feel very secure in their jobs and rarely feel the need to return calls or even answer their office phones :(  So after we have made numerous phone calls with no results we are often required to get back in our car and drive, and drive and drive only to be told that that, no, they don't accept corporate leases, or no, they don't have any vacancies. We could have saved a huge amount of time if they just picked up their phones...

The University of Florida campus library, where Elder Busath waits (in the rain) to give the College Park and University Park Sisters some good news.

 It appears that not all chapels are created equal here in Florida. 
After our Sacrament Meeting in Poinciana this morning we drove to Deltona to meet with a recently baptized family who wanted to speak to "Senior Missionaries". Unfortunately they were ill so we couldn't visit with them as intended, but it was a nice drive and we got the opportunity to attend Sacrament Meeting with Elders Manua, and Cowan and Sisters Low and Ward.

Later, that same day we drove to the Waterford Lakes Chapel and were privileged to attended the baptisms of Crystal Hunter and Aubrey Mallinger. 

As expected Elders Christiansen and Nakatsuka were all smiles!
They all currently attend the College Park Young Single Adult Ward.

In honor of Super Bowl XL VIII we bought cupcakes to share with our senior missionary neighbors. Since we are rarely home to eat, let alone bake, we thought it was the least we could do. But wouldn't you know it, great minds think alike. The Gordon's had snicker doodles ready to share when we arrived and Sisters Danes and Vaden made homemade donuts! Does anyone know the meaning of diet?
In the Book of Mormon we are told to "live in thanksgiving daily for the many mercies and blessings which [God] doth bestow upon you" (Alma 34:38) 
Regardless of our circumstances, each of us has much for which to be grateful if we will but pause and contemplate our blessings.
In other words, you can make the choice to count your blessings, name them one by one,
and it will surprise you what the Lord has done and how much happier you will feel!
It has been another incredible week and we are so grateful to be in the Lord's service in hastening the work, and to have friends and family who love and support us, thank you!
Have a great week...

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

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