Daily Archives: April 3, 2012

02 April 2012 – Last Lunch

 One of the things we look forward to is the last District Meeting before transfers because afterwards we have them all over for a Last Lunch…in South Africa it was a Last Supper on Sunday night but here they need to be out saving souls in the evening so they come over to our apartment for their lunch hour. This transfer Mary made a huge pot of spaghetti that I thought was way too much but the elders and sisters proved me wrong and her correct as they almost ate it all to the last piece of penne.

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We traditionally take a picture of new missionaries who are here for the first time standing in front of our door. Elder Wilson has a great smile and a powerful spirit. His companion is elder Smoot who was born here in the Plantation/Davies. This is Sister Hong’s 3rd last lunch but I failed to get her picture the first two times. She was reluctant to pose but finally I got her to flash her wonderful smile.

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This is sister Andrus’ first Last lunch. She and her companion sister Pack are a powerful companionship that, like all the missionaries in the district, give 110% to inviting others to come unto Christ. Picture taking is one of the main activities during these lunches – at least when they are using both hands to eat – so sisters Pack and Andrus are looking at sister Holder’s (she is sister Hong’s companion) latest.

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Elder Conger has only been here as zone leader for one rotation so this is his first picture. His companion is elder Beard who has been with us since we first got here. Elder Grant is also new to the district and was born here 6 weeks ago. He is from New Jersey where he knew our dear friends the Taylors. They were serving there on their 3rd mission and told us that elder Grant is a very special spirit. They are now serving their fourth mission in the South Africa, Johannesburg mission and are stationed in Botswana. They are our heroes.

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Elder Plowman is the district leader and is elder Grants companion and trainer. Sister Hong thinks my picture taking is funny…you can see that she is thrilled to be in that picture. Elder Smoot is caught with his mouth full and elder Wilson is getting ready to join him.

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Elder Conger started with the elders around the table – see the last one and the empty chair – but abandoned them for a softer seat and much prettier company.

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The middle picture is the only one I have of this district and after tomorrow’s transfer meeting it will be different. Some will leave and some new missionaries will come in. But the spirit will stay the same and we will never forget those we had the great blessing of serving with. The last picture shows the missionaries starting to leave after an hour of being together. Elder Conger was caught taking a last bite of brownie before he left.

Pictures…Granddaughters Young and Younger….and other things

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Our beautiful and colorful granddaughter Gentry – that is her in the middle – went with a group of her friends to the Hari Krishna Holy Festival of Colors and obviously greatly enjoyed every colorful moment that they were there. Ah the joys of being young. I wonder what the car looked like when they all got out at home?

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Pictures of grandchildren that I came across during the week and wanted to put on the blog so I could always find them.

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On the way to Church on Sunday the 25th we finally saw the famous alligator that occupies the canal that runs near the Plantation chapel. We had heard about it from President and sister Anderson but had not seen it before. It was bigger than I thought it would be. The cultural hall has been off limits for a few weeks as they prepare the scenery and lighting for the stake production of ‘Savior of the World’ that will run the Friday and Saturday before Easter. They are also painting the chapel but I think this is just a happy coincidence because of regularly scheduled re-furbishing. One man was on the scaffolding but the other was using a roller with extensions that must have been 20-25 feet long…it did not look very effective to me but he seemed to handle it well.

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Elder Conger has been playing the piano for district meeting his rotation. He may not be technically perfect but the spirit is great. Elder Grant and elder Plowman getting ready for the meeting.

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While out walking around the complex in the cooler early evening we saw this beautiful and unusual sky and I had to take a number of pictures. I also took another picture of the fountain as seen through the twisted trees. I still have not got the one I really want but I have another year to get it right.

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On another walk I took this picture looking East down the lake towards our apartment way down at the other end…but it is not visible from here. The yellow tree blossoms are almost past their prime and many of the trees have already lost most blooms. This one shined in the late morning sun. Notice how blue the sky is…the last few days have truly lived up to the motto of being the ‘Sunshine State.”

02 April 2012 – It is official and lots of pictures…Oh – And we are Winning

On Thursday we learned that Elder and Sister Steimle will be released on April 30th so they can be home in time for some important family occasions. Which means as a birthday present I get to become the official Financial Secretary for the mission and Mary becomes the Mission Secretary. I have to say that I am glad to know that who the Lord calls he qualifies because I do not think of myself as qualified. Anyone who knows me – other than the Lord it seems – knows that details are not something I do well. But thankfully Elder Steimle and those before him have organized the calling and hopefully I will not mess it up too often. I will keep Elder Steimle’s home phone number on speed dial!

The other great events of the week were conference and the district’s “Last Lunch” for this transfer. Conference was filled with great instruction and counsel. The talks that at first run through that seemed most directed at me were Elder Hallstrom’s and Elder Andersons, but I look forward to watching, reading and pondering all of them again. Between sessions on Sunday there was an hour feature on “The Saints in Swaziland.” Both the Wilsons who served there while we were in South Africa and the Blackburns who followed them and we got to serve with for a few months were shown in the program. Since we served in Swaziland for 2 1/2 months we knew some of the Swazi members who were shown.

The most important news of the week was the fact that the mission had 106 baptisms for the month. The first time that it has ever had 100 or more and hopefully the new base for an average month. The missionaries here are wonderful and full of desire to serve. We are very blessed to be allowed to accepted as part of a great district. On Monday they held their lasts meeting of this transfer and I had the opportunity to give a short lesson from the Book of Mormon. I gave it on the last few verses in 2 Nephi 32 and tied it in to what it meant to be a successful mission as outlined in PMG.

After the meeting Mary and I hurried home to prepare a spaghetti lunch for the district plus the other sisters who serve in the zone and live just across the street from our complex. I think it went well. Although the missionaries certainly enjoy the food, I think they enjoy just being together and talking in a relaxed atmosphere for an hour. We made sure that they got did not stay longer than the hour they get for lunch…they needed to get back to work because there were people who were waiting for them so their hearts and lives could be changed for Eternity.

During the week we found out that former Elder and Sister Johnson who we served with in Durban are now President and Sister Johnson in the Idaho Falls temple. Elder Johnson was called to be a counselor in the temple presidency. Couldn’t happen to a more spiritual couple.