Sunday, July 27, 2014

Blessed Honored Pioneers

Pioneer Day is an official holiday celebrated on July 24th in the state of Utah. It commemorates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, where the Latter-day Saints settled after being forced from Nauvoo, Illinois. 

Although I may not come from pioneer stock I am proud to be a first generation pioneer. 
As such I feel that it is only right at this time that I offer my heartfelt thanks for the sacrifice of those early Saints and for their valuable lessons of faith and courage.
I may not be an ancestor of those faithful saints, but I have been blessed to know and love some of their posterity and for that and the legacy they left behind I will be forever grateful.

We recently received a care package
for one of our new sister missionaries from her family in Japan. 
At first we were ready to throw the United Postal Service under the bus for the poor condition the box was in.  Until we discovered that the family members had lovingly filled numerous baggies with ice hoping to keep the contents (including squid) refrigerated during it's long trip to the States.   The problem resulted when the ice melted and the baggies leaked, so we were left with a very soggy box and various containers that would now need to be hand delivered.

 All work and no play might make Elder Patten and Elder Busath dull little boys!
No worries here...

This month is such a special one; it's birthday time for you.
We'd really like to celebrate your happy day with you.
Zip-a-dee-ay and heigh-dee-ho, here's something we can do.  We'll sing a song that we all know, Happy Birthday to you!
 It's birthday time again in the Senior Missionary District and so we celebrated Sister Clare's and Elder Busath's 29th birthday, one more time!

 "Dr. Doolittle" ducking his other chores.

Elder Gordon doing something a little different this time. 
Instead of opening and furnishing a new apartment like we normally do
we were closing down and vacating an apartment.

Ta da!

Parting is such sweet sorrow. 
After serving honorably for 12 months assigned to the LDS Employment Service Resource Center, Sister Vaden and Sister Dane returned home last week.  With no one to replace them (as if that were even possible) we had to close down their apartment and store all their furnishings at our local storage unit with hopes of needing it sometime in the future.

The one silver lining in having to close down the Sisters apartment is that we now had furniture to set up temporary living quarters for Elder and Sister Spencer, from Salt Lake City, Utah who had been called to serve in the Mission Office to replace Elder and Sister Gordon and would be arriving around August 6th. Since the Gordon's would not be leaving until August 15th, to enable them to provide necessary training to the Spencer's, and it was days before the arrival of sixteen missionaries and the departure of twelve we ran into a housing problem.  Fortunately Elder and Sister Bean (whose daughter is married to the Spencer's son) offered to put the Spencer's up in their own apartment.  So we quickly moved one of the beds, a dresser, a nightstand, a chair and a lamp  from the Sister's apartment to help make the Spencer's feel welcomed.

 Elders Stewart and Stanford, happy helpers!
Service ever was their watch-cry, love became their guiding star.

 My heroes!
Elders Fuller, Vaughan, the Hulk, Stewart and Stanford

Courage their unfailing beacon, radiating near and far. .

Elder Gordon recently received a bike for one of our arriving missionaries shipped all the way from Utah in a wooden crate. Now what to do with the crate?
Every day some burden lifted,
Every day some heart to cheer.

Every day some hope the brighter, blessed, honored pioneer!

In our Senior Missionary District of twenty two 
there are only six of us that are not from Utah. 
Elder and Sister Bevans are from Cardston, Canada,
Elder and Sister Clare are from Queens Creek, Arizona
and we, of course, are from Sacramento, California. 
As a result we try very hard to be sensitive to family traditions. 
On Saturday, for our senior activity, we celebrated the 24th of July on July 26th with a barbecue. Unfortunately there were no parades, no pie baking contests or quilting bees, as many had come to expect, but we had a wonderful time just being together
and the food was fabulous!.

Telling tall tales...
Sister Nielson's very first time at the wheel of a golf cart. 
Elder Western looks like he might be ready to offer a few pointers,
but everyone arrived safe and sound
and she was ready to take another spin around the park!


Elder and Sister Boynton looking for gators and catfish and cranes, oh my!

The Gordon's beans are good to the last drop!  Just ask Sister Berry :)

The women's group at the Holiday Travel Resort in Leesburg decorated the recreation room prior to our arrival. We thought it fitting that they chose to decorate the room with beautiful hand made quilts. Perfect for our pioneer celebration.

Sisters in Zion

After a delicious lunch and a lively round of miniature golf with not one,
but four holes in one (two by Sister Bevans), it was time to call it a day
and head for home. Warm, tired, but happy!

Each of us has a heritage-whether from pioneer forebears, or others who helped shape our lives.  This heritage provides a foundation built of sacrifice and faith.  Ours is the privilege and responsibility to build on such firm stable footings.
Image result for wally gator images
What legacy will we leave behind?
Have a great week, we'll see you later...

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