Sunday, June 29, 2014

Don't Just Spend Time-Utilize it.

Time is the raw material of life. 
Every day unwraps itself like a gift, bringing us the opportunity to discover health, pleasure, and contentment, and to evolve into something better than we are at the beginning.
Every passing instant is a juncture of many roads open to our choice. 
Shall we do this, or that?  Go this way or that?  We cannot stand still. 

We were required to drive all the way to Melbourne to request, in person,  that water be turned on in a new house we had recently rented.  After looking at the beautiful view of the ocean from the fifth floor at the City Hall we couldn't resist, taking time to cool down on this hot summer day by taking a quick dip in the ocean.
Success is contingent upon our effective use of time.  When we stop looking behind us, stop worrying about what is in the future and concentrate on what lies at hand, then we are making the best and happiest use of our time.
 Elder Patten and Elder Reay, Assistants to the Mission President, humoring Elder Busath one night after dinner by looking at our family photos.

Moving day for the Lake Reams Sisters!
Sisters Winslow and Shedden were originally two of a four sister apartment.  Their ward was recently realigned and now they would be moving to a new apartment to serve in their new area.
Sister Gordon and I arrived early that morning to work our magic by putting on the finishing touches.  Filling the kitchen cupboards with the essentials; glasses, plates, bowls, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, silverware, utensils, pots and pans.  Putting up the shower curtain, placing the garbage cans , broom, mop, and cleaning supplies.  Once our job was done we left our companions behind to move the "big" stuff and we hurried back to the office to wait for the arrival of our new Senior Missionary couple.

Please welcome Elder and Sister Charles Bean from Utah.  Dr. Bean has been assigned to provide medical support for nine missions in the region.  Which includes five missions in Florida and others in Georgia and the nearby area.  Sister Bean has been assigned to work in the Mission Office.  That is, when she isn't out traveling with her husband to tend to the medical needs of the missionaries.

While out and about, actually delivering pizza to the Mission Leadership Council Meeting at the Orlando South Stake Center across the street from the Orlando Temple and giving the Bean's a little mini tour of the area, we decided to see what all the fuss was about at Rocco Taco.  In a word, delicious! 
And for Sam, our daughter,
 a little lesson on the right way to peel an avocado :)  Note the gloves.

When we arrived home one evening we found this on our doorstep with a note saying "Happy Birthday Elder Busath" from our thoughtful neighbor Sister Johnson.  Well she was a month early, but we really enjoyed the kind gesture.  We can't wait to see what she does when it really is his birthday!
We were recently asked to relocate the Elders currently living on an island between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean for safety reasons.  We weren't sure if it was safety from hurricanes or from this tired old apartment complex. 
Either way we got the job done.

 The Elders new home in Melbourne.
If you are going to kill time, try working it to death!
Just a few more days until the arrival of eighteen new missionaries and the transfer of many others.  As a result, beds, dressers, desks and study chairs had to be relocated to accommodate trio companionships so our "P Day" was booked before it even began.  

The Lake Mary Sisters ,Stevens, Nielson and Pitts. 
I guess it's all about timing.
These poor sisters have been fighting a losing battle against mold in their apartment.  Finally the apartment management suggested that they move into another apartment, and the move was schedule for this weekend.  Since we knew that their apartment would no longer be set up for a trio we decided to remove one of their beds a little early and switch it out for a fluffy mat and sleeping bag until transfers.  Sister Stevens was a good sport about taking one for the team and agreeing to sleep on the mat.

 Just a little something for our wildlife fans!

The Lake Nona Sister Trainer Leaders had a bed I needed. 
So I made an arrangement to give them a daybed that would sleep two, in an emergency transfer, if they would let me take one of their twin beds.  They agreed and so our first stop Saturday morning was to set up the daybed and pick up their bed to deliver elsewhere.

Sister Ward sprucing up the place in preparation for their daybed

 Elder Busath, Elder and Sister Gordon and Sister Payne hard at work assembling the bed.

The Lake Nona Sister Trainer Leaders, Ward and Payne, showing off their new bed!

Our next stop was to the Winter Garden Sisters apartment where we would be delivering a bed, dresser, desk, and study chair for their third companion due to arrive on Tuesday.

No room at the inn?  Try as we might we just couldn't figure out a way to set up three twin beds in their little bedroom.

Well, never fear, we were blessed once again.  While we were moving the furniture around in an attempt to find the best possible arrangement we discovered four little dowels on the floor behind their large dresser that would enable us to bunk the beds creating room for another bed. 

The Winter Garden sisters, Sister Johnston and Blair, now ready for their new companion.

The Windy Ridge Spanish Elders reported that their vacuum cleaner had suddenly ceased to function.  Since we "just happened" to be in the neighborhood, we stopped by to switch out a new vacuum cleaner in hopes of being able to fix their old one.  While we were there, watching them place the new vacuum in their trunk, Elder Coleman and Enamorado suddenly discovered that their trunk didn't latch properly. So out hopped Elder Gordon to take a look see.  After a brief inspection he advised them to take the vehicle to a Toyota dealership for repair, and off we went.

Next stop, the Leesburg sisters duplex where we would be setting up another trio.  The sisters did a great job preparing for our arrival so we were able to make quick work of setting up the bed, desk and study chair and we were able to make it to our next appointment earlier than expected.

 One of the Leesburg sisters, Sister Good and her companion for the day, due to splits,
Sister Trainer Leader, Sister Low.

The next item on our agenda list was to advance our upcoming Senior Missionary District's July 24th celebration scheduled for Saturday July 26th at the trailer park in Leesburg and of course to visit with Elder and Sister Western, who live there.
  The clubhouse

The preferred method of transportation :)

Make time serve you-don't just spend time-utilize it!

In closing, we just want to share a poem we found that says it better than we ever could:

Today is here.  I will start with a smile and resolve to be agreeable.  I will not criticize.  I refuse to waste my valuable time.

Today is one thing I know I am equal with others-time.  All of us draw the same salary in seconds, minutes and hours.

Today I will not waste my time because the minutes I wasted yesterday are lost as a vanished thought.

Today I refuse to spend time worrying about what might happen-it usually doesn't  I am going to spend time making things happen.

Today I am determined to study to improve myself, for tomorrow I may be wanted, and I must not be found lacking.

Today I am determined to do the things that I should do.  I firmly determine to stop doing the things I should not do.

Today I begin by doing and not wasting my time.  In one week I will be miles beyond the person I am today.

Today I will not imagine what I would do if things were different.  They are not different.  I will make success with what materials I have.

Today I will stop saying, "If I had time..."  I know I will never "find time" for anything.  If I want time, I must make it.

Today I will act differently toward other people as though this might be my last day on earth.  I will not wait for tomorrow.  Tomorrow never comes.

Gerald B. Klein
Have a great week, I know we will!

See you later...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Grateful in Our Circumstances

It is easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way.  But what then of those times when what we wish for seems to be far out of reach? President Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, suggests that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life, that stands independent of our current situation.  He advises that instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances-whatever they may be.

Although we may not always be thrilled to have to physically move furniture we are always grateful for the charitable donations we receive on behalf of our missionaries, like this beautiful desk and chair (dark wood) donated by Patriarch Belnap's family now on it's way to be of service in Elder and Sister Gordon's apartment


The Hunter's Creek Spanish Elders, Sherwin and Stewart, happy helpers!


 Elder Busath and Gordon showing off their matching Father's Day ties.

In the backyard of the Mission Home waiting
for our Senior Missionary District Kodak moment.


On Monday, June 16th the Mission President and his wife invited the Senior Missionary District to a special dinner at the Mission Home to honor Sister Danes, Sister Vaden, Elder and Sister Bevans and Elder and Sister Gordon
who are all due for release in the next few weeks :(

 Sister Nielson thought she had ducked the opportunity to be recognized for celebrating another birthday by being absent at our District Meeting not once, but twice when her birthday rolled around.
But not to worry, this elephant never forgets :)

Sister Johnson actually did have a birthday coming up in the next few days
so we made sure to make it as pain free as possible.

Elder Western
Sister and Elder Johnson, from Utah currently assigned as Mission Leadership Support (MLS) missionariesin the Goldenrod Ward in the Orlando Stake, leaving their mark.

 Sister and Elder Gordon also leaving their mark!
Following our "Departure Dinner" many of our senior missionaries were given the opportunity to leave their mark on the Florida Orlando Mission banner,
 proudly displayed in the Mission Office

  The new Lake Crescent apartment, ready for occupancy!

5 little ducklings swimming on our pond...three later now there is only one!
An interesting side note; baby ducklings are born year round in Florida rather than just in the spring like most places. I am not sure if it is due to the weather or what, but it turns out to be a very good thing since few ducklings survive to adulthood :(

Just taking an afternoon nap ZzZ in the sun

The Apopka Sisters, Ludlow and Buxton, helping to load up an extra bed to deliver to one of the four apartments we are opening this transfer.
 The new apartment "Welcome Bag" for the Conway area Elders. 
We are normally big fans of "welcome bags" but seriously how old do they think the new residents are?

The Conway apartment living room before
  The living room after.

  The master bedroom before...
   The master bedroom after.

The second bedroom before...
The second bedroom after.
 Conway Elders, Cotton and Penfold, who served as our moving crew
for the new Conway area apartment!

We recently received a random phone call at the Mission Office offering the donation of not one, but two, dressers.  The caller lived in a residential area by the name of Independence, new to us, so we thought we would check it out. 
With four apartments to open in less than two weeks
the donation was an answer to our prayers.

When there's a will, there's a way!

 The Gordon's making room in the trailer for our treasures.

A hitchhiker on our windshield-wee!

If you look closely the sign on the door states "J.D."
so we couldn't resist capturing Elder J.D. Gordon in front of his own sign.

Some of our donations are unfortunately unable to make the cut.
 Guess where our Senior Missionary District visited Saturday?

Can you say, "Driver's start your engines?"



The Daytona International Speedway is a race track in Daytona Beach, Florida
Since opening in 1959, it has been the home of the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race in NASCAR. In addition to NASCAR, the track also hosts races of ARCA, AMA Superbike, USCC, SCCA, and Motocross. The track features multiple layouts including the primary 2.5 miles high speed tri-oval, a 3.56 miles sports car course, a 2.95 miles motorcycle course, and a motorcycle flat-track.
The track was built in 1958 by NASCAR founder William France Sr. His banked design permitted higher speeds and gave fans a better view of the cars.  It is the third largest single lit outdoor sports facility.
On January 22, 2013, the track unveiled artist depictions of a renovated speedway.
On July 5, 2013, ground was broken on the project "Daytona Rising", is scheduled to be completed in January 2016, and is expected to cost $400 million, placing emphasis on improving fan experience with five expanded and redesigned fan entrances (called "injectors"), as well as wider and more comfortable seating with more restrooms and concession stands.
After the renovations, the track's grandstands will include 101,000 permanent seats with the ability to increase permanent seating to 125,000.

A birds eye view from one of the season ticket holder's booth.



Hail, hail the gang's all here!  With one exception, Sister Danes wasn't able to join us.

Obviously stock car racing is a family affair.



Another piece of history....
We sometimes think that being grateful is something we do
after our problems are solved. 
How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before
being thankful for the rain, yes, even in Florida.
Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God. 
It requires that we trust God,
for He knows what is best for us
and hope for things we may not see which are true.
We are simply eternal beings having a mortal experience. 
There are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.
We are so thankful to be serving as full time missionaries
 here in the Florida Orlando Mission at this time. 
We will be the first to admit that we are oftentimes, hot, tired, overwhelmed, but seriously we can't imagine being anywhere else, because we know we can do hard things-with the Lord's help.
We are grateful for your support and for the support you provide to our children and grandchildren, thank you. 
Long story short,  we are grateful in our circumstances! How about you?
See you later, alligator...