Saturday, August 23, 2014

Today Determines Tomorrow

Missionary work-to reach, to teach, to touch the precious souls whom our Father has prepared for His message is a monumental task.  Success is rarely simple.  Generally it is proceeded by tears, trials, trust and testimony. 
This week we have been privileged to be instructed by James J. Hamula, of the Seventy. For those of you who know me, you will know how much I loved attending Education Week in Provo, Utah each year. 
Attending each meeting this week with Elder Hamula and his wife was like having my own personal Education Week Instructor's :)  It was that wonderful!

Nothing happens until you ask...
The day was Monday, the hour 7:00 am at the Lake Mary building.  The assignment for the DeLand, Leesburg and Orlando Zone Leaders was to prepare a sign to help direct the missionaries in their zones to a designated area to conduct vehicle inspections prior to the start of Zone Conference.

DeLand Zone Leaders, Elder Gottfredson and Elder Peacock
Leesburg Zone Leaders Elder Forrest and Elder Harman
Orlando Zone Leaders Elder Christianson and Elder Dearden,
Obedient with exactness!
Elder Peacock making Elder Busath's hat look good!
Guess who? 
Yes it is none other that Elder Weston Gale and his trainer, Elder Samuel Jacobsen, currently assigned to the Clermont Spanish area.
Sister Spencer assisting Sister Barnes in placing her "loaner" bike on the bike rack securely.  Sister Barne's original bike fell off the bike rack onto the freeway and was demolished by a passing car a few days prior. 
Unfortunately she was not the first missionary to lose a bike that way :(
All is quiet in the Lake Mary cultural hall first thing Monday morning.

A few hours later it is set and ready to feed 130 very hungry missionaries.
Sister Johnson (M) supervising the work of Sister Bean, Sister Clare and Sister Johnson (E) as they prepare for the special Senior Missionary District Meeting and dinner with Elder and Sister Hamula.
Our Senior Mission District, if you get out your magnifying glasses
Elder James J. Hamula, of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy, and his wife Joyce conducting a Mission Tour and presiding over our Zone Conferences and Mission Leadership Council Meetings this week.
An interesting side note; We recently discovered that Sister Hamula attended school as a youth with Elder Busath's cousin, Claudia from San Jose.  When we were first introduced Sister Hamula immediately recognized the last name and wanted an update on the family.  After a quick text to my Sister in Law, Marian, I was able to provide a current update on Claudia and her family and Sister Hamula was thrilled!
It really is a small world!
Same time, different location.
Tuesday, our Zone Conference for the Cocoa, Hunter's Creek and Orlando South Zones was scheduled at the Orlando South Stake Center, directly across the street from the Florida Orlando Temple.

The Orlando South Zone Leaders Elder Hirschi and Elder Perez with their Zone sign
Before lunch for 140
During lunch...

We got mail!
This time from the Bacchus family in Rocklin California! 
Our box contained everything we would need for a fabulous Florida Beach Party.
Coconut tumblers, colorful straws, leis, candy treats, a beach ball,
even a hand colored American flag! Thanks Charles!
An Elder assigned to the Lake Mary area finally received his debt card in the mail. 
His companion's debit card was almost zeroed out while they waited patiently for the other debit card to arrive.
Never fear, Super Seniors are here!
We were able to deliver the debit card before starvation set in.

Eureka, we found it! 
After months of saying; "When we are ever in the College Park area we should really stop and check out the Baja Fresh." 
Well we finally did it!
 It's funny, the food tasted the same, but the décor was more on the Western/Cowboy side rather than the south of the border décor we had come to expect.


At best, full time missionary work necessitates drastic adjustments
to one's pattern of living.  No labor requires longer hours or greater devotion,
 nor such sacrifice and fervent prayer. 
Elder Vaughan and Elder Fuller, currently assigned to the Wetherbee Young Single Adult Ward were truly an answer to our prayers.  I have to be honest, Elder Busath and I have gotten pretty good at moving furniture on our own, but the job to take all of the furniture from two closed down missionary houses that were currently being stored at a distant location and then moving and consolidating it all into one small storage unit was a job even we weren't  willing to take on alone. So we texted the Elders asking about their availability and they were happy to help. Let me add that it was the hottest day in Florida in over 3 years, so their assistance was priceless.
Elders Terry, De Mille and Elder Robert, assigned to the Bumby area
and Haitian speaking. 
Elder De Mile arrived from the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah and Monday afternoon while  many of us were attending Zone Conference.  As a result we had to postpone his orientation until Thursday afternoon.
We really wish we had taken some classes in photography :(
If you look closely you will see bright blue skies to the right and dark, gray storm clouds to the left.  The rain actually came down in buckets on the left side of the road, while on the right it remained sunny and dry.  Only in Florida!.
Our final farewell to the Gordon's. 
They were released from their mission last week and then hopped on a cruise ship on route to the Caribbean Islands, Jamaica and Haiti just to name two.  They returned to Orlando on Saturday to pick up a few things they had purposely left behind, us included. After a delicious lunch at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants it was hugs and plenty of tears as they set off for their final destination, Orem Utah.
 Alex, a friend, who we take to church every Sunday in the Poinciana Branch was recently hospitalized again with another mild stroke.  So we took time on Saturday to stop by and visit with him and his mother to help pick up their spirits.

It's raining and pouring and the light show that Mother Nature is putting on is amazing!
(Janie you would absolutely be scared to death of all the lightening and thunder,
but for these California natives it is a sight we can't get enough of)
A sign posted on our apartment wall states:
a person who leaves their family for a while so others can be with their familes forever.
Our missionaries are not salesmen with wares to peddle; rather they are servants of a loving Heavenly Father with testimonies to bear, truths to teach and souls to save.
"Behold I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I have been called of Him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life"  3 Nephi 5:13
We are proud to wear a name badge that proclaims that we are representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!
We feel honored to have been called to serve as missionaries in the Florida Orlando Mission.  We love what we are doing, yes even moving furniture at times.  We have been fed both physically and spiritually this week and look forward to the coming week to do our part to hasten this important work.
We love you and so appreciate your love and support.
We pray for you often and hope that today truly does determine your tomorrow.
That you take advantage of opportunities to serve others
and as a result you will have a great week!
See you later...

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