Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sometimes the things we can't change end up changing us

It's transfer time again!
Time to make new friends and say good bye to our old friends. 
You would think that we would get better at this, but we are sad to report that it is simply is not the case.

The good news this transfer is that we didn't need to open up any new apartments. 
The bad news is that we still had to deliver beds to set up trio companionships-
at the last minute.


 When we are helping we are happy and it helps to lift our heavy hearts.
 Lake Reams Sister Winslow had to say farewell to her long time companion, Sister Shedden and Sister Taylor and Sister Brown were there to cheer her up and help prepare for Sister Winslow's and Sister Brown's own departures in a few short days.
 The Lake Reams Elders apartment, yes Elders, waiting for the delivery of another bed.

 Just hanging out at the Orlando Airport, feeding the sand cranes and waiting for the nineteen new missionaries to arrive.

 All nineteen of them arrived more than a little tired and hungry, but safe and sound, including Sister Olsen, our only missionary this time arriving from the Mission Training Center in Mexico.
Elder Busath "role playing" changing a flat tire with the new missionaries to help them become more confident in "contacting".

 Ta da...please welcome the newest arrivals to the Florida Orlando Mission:
Standing in the back;, from my left to the right; 
Sisters Weston & Nelsen, Elders Rindlisbacher,  Crismon, Baxter, Martinez, Rowley, Izatt,  Hansen, and Carpenter, Sisters Horrocks & Lewis
 Seated; Sisters Fairbanks, Pack, Burnette, Assistant to the President, Elder Flood, President Berry, newest Assistant to the President, Elder Waller,  Sisters Crowley, Muhlestein, Olsen and Christensen

We got mail!  All the way from Manteca, CA and are now all ready for autumn. 
A scarecrow, a decorated gourd, pumpkin pop tarts, a maple and brown sugar cake mix and frosting mix, apple cider, an apple scented candle, autumn gel stickers to decorate our microwave, a magnet notepad, and lots and lots of leaves...thank you!

Elder G_ _ _ _, who prefers to remain anonymous,
spent a recent P Day getting his first pedicure and he loved it!

After serving over 11 months speaking English in the Florida Orlando Mission,
Elder Robert Coleman finally received his VISA to Brazil speaking Portuguese.
Adeus amigo!

 Farewell also to Sister Magali Campos on her way home to Utah
after serving honorably for 18 months.

 Funny thing.  When we went to order the cake at Sam's Club for the departure dinner for the seventeen missionaries going home we thought that everyone knew what autumn meant.  Well not so here in Florida.  When we tried to explain to the bakery staff how we wanted the cake decorated all we got was blank stares.  Finally someone in the bakery came running out with cute little plastic autumn leaf rings and asked if this is what we were talking about.  "Yes", we responded, "Please just place the rings strategically around the cake and decorate the borders and the writing in orange."  We really weren't sure how the final product would turn out, but as you can see we were pleasantly surprised.
Eventually it was time to say farewell to our departing Sister Missionaries.
They had arrived to the Florida Orlando Mission just days after we did back in March 2013 and it was seriously like sending off our own children into the cold, cruel world.
Over the past 18 months we had gotten to know them well and had grown to love them. We were privileged to serve with each one of them and look forward to hearing about the next chapter in their lives, but I have to admit change is hard!
 Sister Abby McLeod from Shawnee, Kansas
 Sister Erica Pitts from West Jordan,Utah
 Sister Kawehi Tato from Waimanalo, Hawaii
 Sister Heather Brown from South Jordan, Utah
 Sister LaKesha Good from Idaho Falls, Idaho
 Sister Jennifer Forsey from Holladay, Utah
 Sister Tanisha Low from Cardston, Canada
 Sister Hillary Payne from Pocatello, Idaho
 And then of course there were some special Elders
who we had also grown to love and admire.

 Elder Kyle Patten from Salem, Utah all 6 feet 9 inches of him!
 Elder Casey Christensen from Rupert, Idaho
 Elder Bayden Brown from Payson, Utah
 The whole crew of September 2014 departures :(

Eternal friendships?
As a result of the recent departures the shed in back of the Mission Office is bursting at the seams with bikes waiting to be shipped home.
Uncle Bob's storage unit is also bursting at the seams because we have been advised that there is a desperate need for Senior Missionary Couples. The Missionary Department has over 400 requests for Senior Missionary Couples and no one to fill them.  So as each Senior Missionary departs from our Mission they will probably not be replaced, including us, and so we are left to store their furnishings in the hopes that someday soon there will be a need for it. If you are still on the fence about serving a mission-JUMP, we need you! 
In the meantime our Senior Missionary District is gearing up to perform housing inspections on all the missionary apartments and or houses during the month of October.  The focus, aside from cleanliness, is to replace old, worn furniture and give each home a bit of a face lift if we can. The goal is to empty Uncle Bob's unit to the bear minimum.
"Make a change-a child of God belongs in the Light"
Thanks for stopping by...don't forget to watch the 185th Annual General Conference next Saturday and Sunday, October 4th and 5th-we will be!
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf suggests that as you prepare for General Conference you ponder questions that you need to have answered.  Answers to your specific prayers may come directly from a particular talk or from a specific phrase.  A heart filled with gratitude for the blessings of life and earnest desire to hear ad follow the words of counsel will prepare the way for personal revelation.

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