Sunday, March 23, 2014

Beannacht Dé oraibh-May God Bless You!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Better late than never, right?

St Patrick's Day, Good Luck Pursue You Quote

The Mission Office Staff took the "wearing of green" to heart!


 Okay I will be the first to admit that the thought of celebrating another St. Patrick's Day without the traditional corned beef and cabbage made me a little sad. Our family usually took St. Patrick's Day dinner over the top, but that's what traditions are all about. 
The lengths that some people are willing to go to in order make one senior sister missionary happy was truly humbling. The office staff, along with President and Sister Berry, joined us at Shannon's Casual Café on St. Patrick's Day for a lunch of corned beef and cabbage and it was better than I ever could have imagined.

Good news! Our senior missionary district is growing. 
We currently have 7 couples and two senior sisters with 2 more couples actually on route.
As a result, and in order to accommodate us all, we have had to schedule our Monday evening district meetings at a church building instead of taking turns hosting the meeting at our various apartments.  St. Patrick's Day was to be the first time that we met at the Sanford building (the midway point for all of us) and since it was our turn to host we couldn't resist preparing a dinner with a bit of Irish green.
Shepherd's pie with green mashed potatoes, a green salad with green colored Ranch dressing, green jello fluff, green butter, green iced water and brownies with green mint frosting.  But wait that's not all.
Sister Gordon made a yummy green ice cream dessert and Sister Johnson made Shamrock shaped sugar cookies with "lucky" fortunes inside each one.
We are truly "lucky" to be serving with such a wonderful group of senior missionaries.

But our meeting wasn't just about the food.  We also got a chance to get to know Elder and Sister Western from Alpine, Utah a little better and even took time to discuss the talk given by Elder Soares from the General Conference issue of the November 2013 Ensign.
The clock is ticking...

We are expecting two senior missionary couples at the end of the week
and there was much to be done.
Sister Gordon hard at work in the Daytona Beach apartment kitchen, before.

The Daytona Beach apartment kitchen, after.

The Daytona Beach Ward had done a fabulous job of donating many of the necessary items needed to make this apartment a home, including a beautiful queen sized bed.  The only problem was that the frame was too small. Never fear, Senior Sisters to the rescue!  Sister Gordon and I donned our capes and headed to nearest Wal-Mart to locate one just the right size.  But a funny thing happened on the way to Wal-Mart. 
Our good old GPS "Samantha" first directed us to the local Sheriff's department and jail, for some reason. With no Wal-Mart in sight we tried re-entering our request once again and were finally rewarded with the correct directions to a Wal-Mart Superstore just two miles from our current location. 

After laying out all the supplies to the bed frame just to be certain we had everything we needed, we immediately set to work.

The queen sized bed frame actually came with a lengthy set of instructions and it's very own tools!  The trouble was that after about 30 minutes the bed frame just wasn't coming together as pictured.  The clock was ticking and we had to be back at the office soon. So what do two damsels in distress do? Why they call for help, that's what. 
I immediately went outside to the front of the apartment building, actually hoping to see the maintenance man, and instead decided to introduce myself to the first  person I found, an older gentleman working in his garage on his Harley Davidson motorcycle.  I explained our problem and eventually persuaded him to lend a helping hand. It turned out that "Mark" was retired Navy, who had grown up in Pensacola and he and is wife, who was originally from Iceland, had decided to settle in Daytona Beach recently and we are glad they did! In less than an hour he had the frame good to go and we were able to officially declare apartment #1 finished!

The Daytona Beach apartment bedroom, after.

The study area happens to be right next to the bathroom,
convenient or annoying, not sure which one applies. 

Ta da! The finished Daytona Beach apartment for
Elder and Sister Boynton from Orem, Utah.

 Long story short, in the process of tying up the loose ends in the Daytona Beach apartment I discovered that the study chair I had brought just wouldn't work due to the location of the desk.  Fortunately I remembered that the Daytona Beach sisters, Sisters Hiatt and Petersen, had a broken study chair that I had been meaning to replace for some time. I quickly called them and it turned out that they were available.  So after helping us load up refuse for the dumpster and determining that the study chair wasn't going to fit in their little car, we placed it in the back of the van, followed them to their apartment, and switched out the old broken chair for a new one.
I love it when a plan comes together!

  Come and get it!!!
On Friday, March 21, 2014 we joined a host of many others at the 65th Deseret Ranch Rodeo

Sister and Elder Johnson and Sister Danes, from the Employment Resource Center,  enjoying a delicious dinner of BBQ brisket, beans, chips and soda before the start of the rodeo.
Some of the spectators, Elder Gordon and Sister and Elder Clare 
in their official rodeo going attire.


The Drill Team putting the horses through their paces.

 Real bucking broncos!

Even Muttin Bustin I.  Which basically meant that a willing little girl or little boy was placed on the top of a sheep, wrapped their arms around his neck and
held on for dear life!
The rodeo had a little for everyone.
Bronc bustin, barrel racing, wild cow milking, team branding,
even a pig scramble for kids 8 and under and all the proceeds went to
the Boy Scouts of America.

One apartment done and one to go...

The next few pictures are of apartment #2 located in Lake Mary for Elder ad Sister Dale Johnson also from Orem, Utah and on their way to Florida as I post this.

There is also a long, sad story about this apartment, but I won't bore you with the details.  Let me just say that fortunately everything turned out happily ever after.

Just putting on the finishing touches

 Drum roll please...

The Lake Mary apartment for Elder and Sister Johnson was also officially finished and ready for occupancy this week thanks to the hard work of many dedicated missionaries, both young and old.

Saturdays may be special days, and the day we get ready for Sunday, but for Elder Busath and myself it is often the only day we can find time to go looking for apartments and deliver furniture to the far corners of the mission. 
Elders Greer and Hamp, currently assigned to the Cocoa area, were in need of twin beds.  They had both been toughing it out on bunk beds, for quite some time, but these are BIG boys.   Fortunately we were finally able to remedy the situation and as it turned out it was actually Elder Hamp's birthday so it was nice to make at least one
of his birthday wishes come true :)

Happy Birthday Elder Hamp!

Random pictures of Cocoa Beach, sorry. 
It's just that we rarely see the pretty side of many of the mission zones because we are so focused on a specific location and on the cost factor.
It was nice for  change to see how the other half lives.

Also Cocoa Beach and the kind of surroundings we are more familiar with. 
We are currently on the look out for an apartment for the Elders and this one looked promising. So on Monday morning we will begin to make some phone calls and hope that we will eventually get a call back.

Remember the bunk beds from Cocoa? 
Well we found a new home for them, at least temporarily. 
Elders Socarras and Delgado currently assigned to the Hunter's Creek area had a bedroom that was quite large as you can see.  They are also the last of the missionaries (I hope) who have over sized beds.  I have been teasing them for weeks that I was going to take away their beds and put them in bunk beds.  But it really isn't up to me.  
Seriously I just needed a place to store the bunk bed and they were willing and able to help a tired old missionary out.
As you can see it has been a very busy week for us.  We have only two more weeks before the new missionaries arrive, many are transferred, and others depart, so the clock continues to tick as we do our best to get ready.
We are tired, but happy and actually look forward to the coming week where we will face  new challenges and recognize more blessings.
Thanks for thinking of us...
Until next time, see you later

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