Saturday, December 13, 2014

Giving, not getting...

Giving, not getting brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered and God obeyed...We look out upon the world's busy life and become more interested in people than things.
Thomas S. Monson

 We've got mail!  Lots and lots of mail. 
As a result, once we are done relabeling the packages and letters with the correct addresses we have had to drive it back to the Post Office in order to make room for us to be able to perform our normal duties.
 Sister Clare, Sister Berry and Sister Johnson patiently waiting for the fun to begin...
 On Monday, prior to our regular Senior District Meeting,
we went on a field trip to Farris and Fosters Chocolates in Baldwin Park!
 Image result for i love lucy chocolate picture
  Bring on the chocolate!

Following some basic candy making instructions and safety advice we were soon free
to create our very own masterpieces.

 The Johnson M's before the chaos began
 Elder Busath getting the hang of candy making.
He was a natural!
 Just a few of his finished products, yum!
 Sister Spencer offering some decorating advice to Sister Bean.
Elder Bean became our chocolate drizzling expert.
 Just putting on the final touches...
 President Berry turned out to be quite a chocolatier!

 We had a fabulous time and each came away with the hope that the one pound of chocolate we left with would only equal one pound in weight gain when eaten.
 Guess what we discovered right here in Orlando?  It just opened a few days earlier and we took the opportunity to welcome them to the neighborhood-
It was the least we could do, right?
 Hunter's Creek Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) at the Wetherbee building. 
We had Christmas packages to deliver and our two Poinciana Elders to pick up for a missionary correlation meeting at Steak and Shake :)
 The Pleasant Hill Sisters Norris, Jensen and Spreier.
 Sister Sealy's festive home in Poinciana.  
 A special delivery for Elder (Doctor) Bean!
Unfortunately it wasn't from a satisfied customer, but from his Stock Broker.
The little boy who lives upstairs loves to decorate our backyard
by throwing his colorful toys over the railing of his balcony.
Team player, Elder Johnson, preparing to move from his comfortable upstairs apartment to a "refreshed" apartment downstairs and a few buildings over to help get ready for the couple who will be replacing he and Sister Johnson in February.
PS There is really no one who could ever replace them!

 Sneaky Elder and Sister Johnson actually began moving their things yesterday afternoon and had her old apartment spotless before we arrived to actually help move them. 
Once their apartment was completely empty it was simply a matter of vacuuming the carpet and locking the door behind us, priceless!!!
We wish our Elders and Sister Missionaries would follow their example.
 Hunter's Creek Elder Bagshaw multi-tasking!

 Following the Johnson's move there were more beds to be moved. 
Again to make ready for future replacements.
 Our faithful moving crew, Hunter's Creek Elder Crismon, Elder Stewart, Elder Bagshaw,
and Wetherbee YSA Elder Vaughan and Elder Izatt
 Sisters Moffitt, Williams and Damato-parting is such sweet sorrow.
Sister Williams would soon be returning home.
 The Olympia Elders halls are decked...
 This duo would soon be a trio

 The Windy Ridge apartment on Spice Trader. 
Most of you may not appreciate these pictures, but months ago two well meaning Elders spot cleaned the carpet with a bleach solution creating a polka dotted effect on the carpet.  The apartment was recently painted and the carpet replaced just in time to welcome two Sister Missionaries following transfers next week.
 The "Wave" of new missionaries may be over but now we are hard at work trying to relocate missionaries into their actual assigned areas following the recent Stake divisions.
This is a picture of the new apartment for the Tuskawilla Elders available in January. 

 The Sisters in Palm Bay would soon be welcoming a third companion following transfers. So an extra bed, desk and kitchen chair needed to be delivered.
Without going into more detail, this past week has been another roller coaster ride...but through it all we have been blessed to have friends like the Johnson's who even after packing up and moving they found time to prepare a delicious breakfast for their movers and then deliver a loaf of homemade bread and honey to someone who really needed a lift at the end of a tough day.
Only a few more days until the arrival of 18 new missionaries (6 Sisters and 12 Elders)
and the departure of 27 (20 Sister Missionaries and 7 Elders).
It never seems to get any easier as we anxiously anticipate the arrival of the new missionaries and dread having to say good bye to our departing missionaries.
It's been said that timing is everything and let us tell you,
transfers at Christmastime is awful!
Sometimes all you can do is just hang on and try to enjoy the ride.   
Christmas is special because our hearts turn more fully to others.  During this season we spend more time thinking of what we can give, what we can share, what we can do for others. That is the sacred spirit of Christmas.
President Thomas S. Monson has said, "If we are to have the best Christmas ever, we must listen for the sound of sandaled feet.  We must reach out to the Carpenter's hand.  With every step we take in His footsteps, we abandon a doubt and gain a truth."
That is our wish for you this week, to have the best Christmas ever. To listen and understand that...He is truly our gift at Christmas.
See you later...

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