Sunday, October 26, 2014

Search diligently, pray always, and be believing...

Search diligently, pray always, and be believing
and all things shall work together for your good...
Doctrine and Covenants 90:24

Thanks to the generous donations of many of the Senior Office Couple's children it's beginning to look a lot like...Halloween in the Mission Office.  The funny thing is that many folks here in Florida are  seriously anti-Halloween.  They don't allow parties in the schools or trick or treating in the neighborhood.  No one can tell me why exactly, but teachers here just decorate for autumn (orange and red falling leaves are a novelty) and to avoid the Halloween fallout from parents many of the schools assign a genre for each grade level and the kids have the opportunity to dress as characters in that genre.  For example, we know one teacher whose class has been focusing on myths and fables and her class members plan to dress as characters in one of the fables they have been studying.
On Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Sister Busath had the honor to escort Gillian Burgess, one of our Temple Preparation class members in the Poinciana Branch to her own endowment session at the Orlando Temple, priceless! 
It was an incredible experience and one we will cherish always!

It seems that our adventures have not only worn us out but our shoes as well.
So grab your running shoes because it has been another ghoulish week in the mission field as we prepare for the arrival of 18 new missionaries, the transfer of many others and the departure of 18 on November 3rd-5th. 
Our Senior Missionaries recently completed a 100% inspection of all of our missionaries homes and now we are busily racing from one zone (stake)to the next to "refresh" the apartments/houses and fulfill the "needs" identified. Damaged desks, sagging box springs, broken kitchen and study chairs, too few glasses, bowls and even silverware-basically we have been able to take from those that have a surplus and give to those that need.  Unfortunately they all don't live right next door to one another, so it has become a huge jig saw puzzle and you can ask anyone who knows me-I am not a big fan of puzzles.
 Ooooo...guess what we got in the midst of all the drama???

 We got some spook-tacular mail all the way from our grandkids in Meridian, Idaho!
A tea light, window gel decorations, a Frankenstein candy bag filled with goodies and some scary cakes with scream filling! Thanks Dax, Cale and Jett (Andi and Brian)!

 Conway North Sisters Weston and LaForce had two extra bar stools that they weren't using and we had just the place for them!

The only sign of autumn that I have been able to find so far.
 Elder Busath displaying some artistic masterpieces we also received in the mail recently thanks to the creative talents of grandsons, Charles, Thomas and William Bacchus.

 The new Oviedo East apartment didn't have room for a kitchen table and chairs so the bar stools from the Conway North Sisters, after a quick cleaning, worked out perfectly.

 Elder Clare at the old Oviedo apartment leaving no trace behind!

 The Sanford Elders, Husbands and Weiss, according to our notes needed
two kitchen chairs and a study chair. 
What we didn't know, until we arrived, was that they also needed a new box spring :(

 Sister and Elder Clare helping Sister Busath refresh the very small Lake Mary Sisters apartment in the Orlando Zone with bar stools donated by the Minneola South Sisters, in the Leesburg Zone.

Goldenrod West Elders, Stiggins and Hansen, were in need of a new desk,
but they had to dig deep in the trailer to find their buried treasure.

Oh Canada!
The Bevans, a Senior Missionary couple from Cardston, Canada, were released in September after serving here for 18 months.  We were hopeful to welcome their replacement (as if they could ever actually be replaced) following their departure.  But as we have said before there just aren't enough senior missionaries to go around so we had to close down this apartment.

Elder and Sister Johnson, from Orem, UT, currently serving in the Goldenrod Ward as Mission Leadership Support, offered to help us tie up the loose ends and finish packing, loading the trailer and cleaning the apartment. 
Okay so call us thrifty.  The apartment came with no lights or fans. 
The Bevans installed both lights and fans to help make their apartment more homey. Since we had a long list of missionary apartments who "needed" overhead lights and fans, we quickly removed them and returned the apartment to it's original condition.
Elder Busath and I were exhausted after moving furniture all day and needed help fast.  Who are we going to call?
La superestrella (super stars)!
Elder Martinez and Elder Stewart, currently assigned to the Hunter's Creek Ward speaking Spanish were on bikes proselyting in the area.   Yet when I texted them they immediately responded with, "We will be there in 5 minutes."
That's what we are taking about, service with a smile!
The Poinciana Branch had their Primary Children's Sacrament Program today. 
Elder Busath and Brother Thompson helped by displaying the opening and closing hymn numbers, President Quispe checked his notes and Primary First Counselor, Michelle Gager, and Primary President, Alicia Howse, took care of all the last minute details. 
A total of thirty children were in attendance and they did a...
  tiful job!
The Jordan Family
Miguel, Yachira, and their three boys.
We had the privilege of teaching the Jordan's in our Temple Preparation class and are now waiting for them to set a date to have their family sealed forever.
The clock is ticking and there is still much to do to get ready for our transfers in one week.  
Got to fly...........
Wishing you all a happy and safe Halloween...
...see you later...

Saturday, October 18, 2014

We are not products of our circumstances...

 We are products of our decisions!
It all started with a simple phone call with an offer to donate some surplus furniture from home located in Port St. John Florida.

 What we received far exceeded our expectations.
A couch, a love seat, a dining room table and six chairs, a twin bed with dresser and matching head board, a study chair, two lamps and an organ!  Our minds were working overtime on the number of apartments this generous gift would benefit.
 Our benefactor, Patty Lagle, her Sister in Law and Elder Oaks and Elder Bailey,
currently assigned to the Cocoa area.
 After an offer was made to many of our Senior Missionaries regarding the availability of the beautiful Port St. John furniture and sadly there were no takers, it was then decided that our own kitchen table and chairs would make a perfect addition to some well deserving young missionary apartments.
 So we switched out our old table and made ready for our new kitchen table!

 Their lease was up and it was time to move the Oviedo East Elders to a new home.
 So they said good bye to their old and very worn desks...
Packed up their things and moved across the street to a brand new apartment complex

Before the move

After the move
 Elders Anderson and Elder King very happy in their new home.
 Elder Dalmas and Elder Herrin, currently assigned to the University Park West area, are two of our "Wall of Fame" Inspection Heroes! 
They live in a very tired, very old apartment that many before them had thrown up their hands in surrender at the thought of every cleaning it and making it a nice place to live. Well these two Elders took on the challenge and transformed their sad, worn apartment into something to be proud of! I almost hate to tell them that they will be moving into a new apartment soon after transfers if they happen to still be here.
The hard part following quarterly housing inspections is not how clean we hope they keep them, but rather how are we going to improve on their current living conditions.

We feel a little like Robin Hood, taking from some to give to others, sometimes.
 When furniture is determined to be too worn to reassign and too bad for Good Will to accept we resort to a little martial arts to help it fit in the dumpster to be hauled away.

One of our recent donations (From Port St. John) was a beautiful couch with recliners at both ends.  Not exactly a good fit for our young missionaries. Since we knew that none of our Senior Missionaries would ever complain about what they currently had we were required once again to make the tough decisions. Because we had actually set up most of the Senior Missionary apartments we knew exactly what each one had and did not have. So the decision was easy. Elder and Sister Johnson, in the Lake Mary area, had a couch that could be put to better use elsewhere, so we would be switching their old couch for a much better one.

 Following our recent inspections it was determined that the Orlando Zone Leaders needed their couch replaced.  So they were advised to get rid of the old and prepare for the new...(the Johnson's old couch).  They just need to put the legs on :0
 The Lake Ream's Sisters had a wobbly love seat that needed replacing.
 Lake Reams Sisters Wells, Harthun and Eagar enjoying their new couch thanks to Elder and Sister Spencer who agreed to switch to another more accommodating couch.
 Elder Gooch and Oglesby, assigned to the Metro West Portuguese area, helping us load up their surplus bookcase as we prepare to deliver it to the Windy Ridge Sisters who desperately needed it.

 The Palm Bay 2 West Sisters agreed to let us store a new dresser and bed for our Senior Missionary couple, Elder and Sister Hansen, who were recently reassigned from Titusville to Palm Bay.

 Since we "just happened" to be in Cocoa Zone Thursday evening delivering the dresser and bed in preparation for the Hansen's move, as well as delivering another bed, desk and study chair for a recently established trio; and would be assisting in the Hansen's move just a few miles from here the very next morning we decided to stay the night in Cocoa Beach at a local Holiday Inn Express :)

The ocean water was 74 degrees, who could resist?

 I see the moon, the moon sees me, the moon sees the ones that I want to see...

 We took the opportunity to watch an incredible sunrise
Friday, October 17, 2014 at 7:30 am on Cocoa Beach


Friday was moving day for Elder and Sister Hansen

 After we were all packed up and ready to hit the road the Hansen's said a final farewell to their great apartment manager, "Beau" and gave him back the keys to their home away from home for the past 12 months.
Good bye Titusville, hello Palm Bay!

 Sister Hansen supervising the move into her new apartment
How many cooks are too many in the kitchen?

Just the beginning... 
Many hands make light work!

Sister and Elder Hansen in their new home

 On our way home from Palm Bay we delivered a new dresser (the Hansen's old dresser)
 to ecstatic Sisters Stratman and Ransom in Melbourne.

 Long story short, we also switched out beds during the Hansen's move.  As a result Hunter's Creeks Zone Elders Stewart, Martinez, Bagshaw and Crismon volunteered to help us deliver the Hansen's old queen sized bed to the Nielson's apartment on the third floor.



 Look familiar? 
On Saturday a small group of our Senior Missionary District decided to take (yes another)trip on the Winter Park Boat tour. All work and no play makes Senior Missionaries (us) tired and cranky. The scenic boat tour is located on Lake Osceola, less than 10 minutes from downtown Orlando and a rocks throw from the fabulous Winter Park Farmer's Market. The boat tour was established in 1938 and offers an hour-long guided cruise through three of seven lakes in the area and two narrow man made canals. The tour takes you behind the scenes into the opulent backyards of multi million dollar mansions, the private liberal arts Rollins College, and of course there are plenty of towering cypress covered in Spanish moss,(not really a moss and not really Spanish or so we were told) lush ferns and beautiful hyacinths. So if the houses didn't amaze you the trees and foliage will.
In closing we can't say it often enough,
we absolutely love serving the Lord and hastening His work
as missionaries in the Florida Orlando Mission!
Yet sadly we continue to be told that there are over 400 Senior Missionary positions still yet to be filled, and that we will probably not receive replacements for our positions.  Can you imagine how heart breaking that is? We are working so hard to make a difference only to discover that there will be no one to pass the ball to when we leave. If you happen to be reading this and are actually on the fence about whether to serve a mission or not-please come! We recently prepared a document with pictures and personal experiences of many of our own senior missionaries that will answer many of the questions you might have.  Just Facebook us and we will send it to you!
Don't forget-"Decisions Determine Destiny!"
  Make it a great week, we'll see you later...