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...

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