Sunday, March 2, 2014

Friends are the Family You Choose

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
Dale Carnegie

On Monday, February 24, 2014 the Florida Orlando Mission welcomed 13 new friends, missionaries, 7 Sisters and 6 Elders.

Elder Busath and Sister Berry just tying up loose ends, as always :)
"And I never thought I'd feel this way
And as far as I'm concerned
I'm glad I got the chance to say
That I do believe I love you"
Elton John, That's what Friends are for...

Our three Assistants to the President, Elders Reay, Patton and Quarnberg.
Elder Quarnberg will be heading for home soon so he has been re-assigned to serve as a District Leader and Trainer for the remaining six weeks of his mission and we will really miss him popping in and out of the office.

Elder Busath getting to know all about the new arrivals.

Allow me to introduce the newest members of the Florida Orlando Mission Family
From back to front, left to right, Elder Dowdle, Elder Norton, Elder Vaifanua, Elder Stiggins, Elder Hamp, Sister Marsh, Sister Hansen, Sister Woolley, Sister Jensen, Sister Knutson, Sister Harthun and Sister Young-not sure where Elder Vaughan ran off to-probably checking out the alligator who just happened to be out sunning himself in the pond behind the Mission Home.

 After pictures and dinner at the Mission Home we held a brief meeting and then the President prepared to interview each missionary before the Elders departed to stay at President Wood's home for the night.

 Orientation and Transfer Meeting at the Hunter's Creek Stake Center...

Following our Transfer Meeting, the Mission President, Sister Berry, the Assistants and the 7 departing missionaries, Elders Kurtz, Manua, and Polito, Sisters Heiner, Peck, Rich and Schmidt attended a temple session while the office staff prepared a departure dinner for them.

A friend is one that knows you as you are
Understands where you have been,
Accepts what you have become
and still gently allows you to grow.
William Shakespeare
Sister Peck, one of the first missionaries we met who made us feel truly welcome
when we first arrived.

 Sister Rich-a budding artist, who I hope to say one day after she is famous,
that I knew her when...

And if I should ever go away
Well then close your eyes and try
To feel the way we do today
And then you can remember
Elton John, That's what Friends are for...

Sister Berry has started a new tradition at the Mission Home.  When an Elder departs, after his 2 years of service, he is asked to pick out one tie to leave with her.  She then places it on the valance in the kitchen to help remember him.

 We had a gift card just burning a hole in our pocket so we decided to make a 25 minute drive to Winter Park and use it at the Red Robin's there.  The only one in our mission I might add.  In a word, Yum!

Yes, we got mail! 
This time the Hudson family sent us all the "Luck" we would need to get through the next few weeks until it was time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day,
and that's no blarney!

 On Friday, we had the opportunity to welcome
Elder Chris Johnson and Sister Elaine Johnson from Cedar City, Utah. 
They have been assigned to serve in the LDS Employment Resource Center and will be a wonderful addition to our ever growing Senior Missionary District.

 On Saturday, March 1, 2014 we had the special privilege to attend the temple sealing of friends and Senior Missionaries, Elder JD Gordon and Sister Margaret Pratt Gordon at the Florida Orlando Temple.  Long story short, JD was married for 49 years and about three years ago his wife passed away.  Well a good friend of JD's and someone Margaret had taught school with many years ago thought that they would be a good fit.  So she gave JD Margaret's telephone number, they met for lunch and less than 6 weeks later they were married. It turned out that Margaret was actually planning to serve a mission with a good friend and almost ready submit their papers when she met JD.  Obviously she was meant to serve a mission and are thrilled that it happened to be here with us!

 All six of JD's kids flew out to support them!

 Sister Gordon's daughter Laurie and son and law also came to help celebrate the occasion!
 The newlyweds

Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That's what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I'll be on your side forever more
That's what friends are for
Elton John, That's what Friends are for...

Friends and family of the Gordon's

Our Senior Missionary District were all there with the exception of Sister Danes whose grand daughter was in town visiting.

Elder and Sister Gordon and President and Sister Berry

Well you came in loving me
And now there's so much more I see
And so by the way I thank you
Oh and then for the times when we're apart
Well then close your eyes and know
The words are coming from my heart
And then if you can remember.
Elton John, That's what Friends are for...

It has been a bittersweet week as we welcomed new friends and said farewell to old friends. We love being a part of hastening the work, but as everyone knows we were never promised that it would be easy, just worth it :)
Have a wonderful week and pray for your own missionary opportunity!

Until next week, see you later alligator..........



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