"Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent.
Most talents are, to some extent, a gift.
Good character, by contrast, is not given to us.
We have to build it piece by piece-by thought, choice, courage, and determination,"
The Orlando South Zone cleaning up the temple grounds
as part of a regular service project and a great character building exercise.
On Thursday, March 6, 2014 I had the privilege of escorting Elizabeth Ellis Carter through the Florida Orlando Temple as she received her own endowment. Elizabeth, recently divorced and now a single mom of two busy boys attended our Temple Preparation Class months ago in the Pleasant Hills Ward, but when she was ready she called and allowed me the honor of serving as her escort.
It was an amazing experience and one I will cherish always.
When we're helping, we're happy!
A sister from the Olympia Ward by the Temple called and asked if we would be interested in obtaining three twin beds for the young missionaries. "Absolutely," was our immediate response, and off we flew!
The beds, in great condition I might add, actually came with headboards and bedding so it was well worth the trip!
Okay, so the next few picture tell of a story much like that of the three bears
with a twist.
We were advised that we should expect the arrival of another Senior Couple, the Western's, from Alpine, Utah due in less than ten days.
Great news and no worries, after all, this wasn't our first rodeo.
Well it was then made known to us that the Western's would be pulling a 30 foot RV trailer and we would need to locate a nice, safe and affordable trailer park in the Leesburg area for them to stay at for the next 18 months.
Well we are getting pretty knowledgeable about apartment living , but didn't have a clue about trailer parks so we surfed the web, sent out emails to the ward leadership in the ward they would be assigned and prayed for guidance. We eventually honed down our long list of possibilities to three and set out.
The first park we visited, Option #1 was very nice.
The office staff was warm and friendly, but the park seemed a little tired and worn down, but not out of the running just yet.
Our next stop, Option #2, totally knocked our socks off! The staff treated us as though we were long lost friends. They encouraged us to take a drive around the huge park, which we did, and then stop in with any questions we might have.
We were actually sold the minute we walked into the office, but we felt like we had to give Option # 3 the benefit of a quick look see, before making our final decision.
The third trailer park, Option #3, did not have a formal office per se, but we were greeted warmly by an elderly couple setting up for a St. Patrick's Day luncheon in the recreation hall. They were snow birds from Michigan and were actually waiting for the ten feet of snow to melt on their driveway back in Michigan before heading for home. They had rave reviews about the park and even gave us personal dollar and cents information, but after a brief tour we had made our decision.
Now back to the three bears comparison-
Option #1 was too old, Option #3 was too small, and Option #2 was just right!
In fact Option #2 seemed very much like a favorite campground of ours and we were almost tempted to purchase our own RV and become neighbors with the Western's.
Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking!
Rumor had it that Elder Nielson was recently stopped by the Florida Highway Patrol after going a little faster than the posted speed limit. Elder Nielson readily admitted his guilt and the officer was so surprised at his honesty that he let him off with a stern warning.
Elder Busath, always about consequences, thought that to help Elder Nielson better repent of his transgression awarded him the first ever
"Florida Orlando Mission Lead Foot Award."
It was actually a little blue plastic, foot shaped teething toy, but Elder Nielson wore it humbly around his neck during the course of our entire Senior Missionary District Meeting.
As always we were back at making a final inspection of a vacant apartment.
This one was located in the Sanford area. The Elders thought they had crossed everything off their assigned list of things to do before turning in the keys.
Not so, although we really didn't put on our white gloves, it was easy to see that they had simply forgotten a few of the basics. Things like cleaning the overhead fan, empting not some, but all of the drawers and my biggest pet peeve cleaning the stove top burners and oven. So it was back to the apartment to try again.
Our Mission President's wife, Sister Beth Berry, her daughter Erica and grand daughter Abby visiting from Utah, came by the office for a brief visit and to liven things up a bit.
For our wildlife fans-Chip and Dale just providing a little afternoon entertainment!
We have a garden!
Okay so it's only one tomato plant, but it is definitely a start.
I am sure you have noticed old people who wander about and seem to talk to themselves. Well Elder Busath, thinks he is Dr. Doolittle now and he actually talks to the ducks! He quack, quack, quacks whenever we go for a walk around the pond and on Sundays he can't wait to get home visit his web footed friends to share a slice of bread, a stale roll or just to chat.
Well today his friends were waiting for him. When we arrived home from church I heard loud quacking just outside our patio door. When I opened the door to see what all the commotion was about, Huey, Duey and Louie were just standing there begging for Elder Busath to come out and play.
Once he stepped outside a shout went out among the crowd, "FREE FOOD!"
The pond emptied quickly and soon he was surrounded.
The sea gulls recently arrived from parts unknown and since they were new and just visiting they were not sure what to make of all the chaos so they kept their distance and watched hungrily from the side lines
It has been a great week, but I have to admit that I can't wait for the coming week!
Tune in next week to find out why :)
I know that I usually end my post with a picture of my good friend and cartoon character, Wally Gator, but today since we are talking all about character I thought I would close with a picture of...
(I bet you thought I was going to include a picture of my family
characters each and every one of them I will be the first to admit)
But no, I thought I would include some of my favorite Disney characters...
There's no limit to what you can achieve if you don't mind who gets the credit!
Now that is what true character is all about!
Until next time........