I can not say that we have been so busy that I did not have time to write here. It just has not been important enough for me to sit down and produce something interesting enough to share. But I am determined that over this weekend I will do some catching up just in case anyone is really interested.
Sister missionaries are very thoughtful and often send notes thanking us for some little thing we have done for them. They also often decorate their reports with little drawings. We are lucky if the elders manage to write clearly enough to be read. On the way home one day we saw this rainbow – the first one we have seen that was not in the fountain at our apartment. On the 10th we were invited over to the Collins to go to dinner with them and the Beagleys . Before we left I noticed this osprey in a tree at the back of their house and got a fairly good picture of him at rest. Dinner was OK but the company was great.
On Sunday the 12th we had the opportunity to attend a baptism for two very happy people who were taught by Sister Hong and Sister Holder. I am always touched by the simplicity of the ordinance of baptism. A priesthood holder calls the candidate by name, declares his authority , and then in the name of the father, son and holy ghost washes away all sin by immersing the person in water and they arise as a new person as they have entered the narrow gate and set their feet on the straight and narrow path that can lead them to Eternal Life. The spirit was strong and they had beautiful smiles as they came up out of the water.
We were coming home from the chapel on Sunday and saw this beautiful black bird stretching it’s wings out to catch the sun. We see the birds here do this often and wonder why. Are they just enjoying the sun or are they drying off? Whatever the reason it was fun to sit and watch the action. I started this post by saying that sisters often send nice notes and that elders never do. However on Valentine’s day the assistants – Elder Neely and Elder Kealemakia spent much of their spare time making a pile of valentines to take to their investigators and recent converts. When I asked them later about how it went they said it was great. So you see some elders do have a softer side. The final picture was taken on the 14th as we walked over to have our valentine pictures taken at the club house. I want to try this picture again when it is not quite so dark and the detail of the trees can be seen.
Today we went to a conference in Miami where Elder Gaverett of the 3rd quorum of the 70 taught about missionary work. It was also the last time that some of the missionaries would see each other as there is a group of 7 going home on Thursday. I completely forgot to take any pictures until the last minute when I caught elder Neeley saying goodbye to elder Castillo. I will take more pictures of the 7 when we take them to the temple on Wednesday. I am sure I can not fully understand the bond of love and friendship that is made between companions as they serve the Lord and teach the gospel 24/7 together for anywhere form 6 weeks to 6 months. They have experiences that will shape their whole lives and after.