Monthly Archives: September 2012

We Wish Elder and Sister Beagley Bon Voyage!

As the day ended we said goodbye to our friends and fellow missionaries Elder and Sister Beagley who faithfully served their 18 months in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission. Elder Beagley just could not stop finding things to do and left with a sweat stained shirt to prove he put in his all. Sister Beagley gave her all but managed to stay cool.

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Mary with Sister Bare and Sister Beagley – Sister Bare now takes over the many things that sister Beagley did so well. I tried to get a good picture of them leaving the office for the last time but for some reason it is out of focus…sorry about that. But I did manage to catch a good picture of them driving out of the parking lot as they headed over to the mission home to see President and Sister Anderson. Tomorrow morning they will hitch up the trailer and head for home. We will see them again when we return home next year!

Another Lunch with Missionaries…

In the 9 days we have had four lunches with missionaries. Twice with the senior couples and twice with the young missionaries. Today we picked up and delivered the food for the lunch at the Hollywood chapel where some of the missionaries from three zones were receiving specialized training from president and sister Anderson and the APs. Since the Fort Lauderdale zone was being trained we knew many of missionaries who were there. Among the others it was good to see elder Rasmussen again – I told him we missed his smiling face.

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We ate at a table with elders Kata, HoChing, Bishop and Larsen. Among the things that were talked about was how the introduction of harvesting changed mission and also how harvesting has changed as teaching methods have changed as the program has developed.

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A Quality Ward Missionary Meeting…

We were invited to sit in on the weekly ward missionary correlation meeting at the Fort Lauderdale ward. There were 6 elders, Bishop Brown, brothers Acevedo and Beale the ward mission leaders and ourselves. It was great to hear how the bishop wanted to concentrate on the recent converts as well as those who have baptism dates. It was one of the best correlation meetings I have been in – including those I was in charge of as ward mission leader.

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Bishop Brown is a scouter as well as a strong supporter of missionary work. Elders Hall and Patrino are smiling for the camera – elder Pond is serious. The young man often works with the missionaries. Elders Doman and Conger, brothers Beale and Acevedo, elder Rellaford and bishop Brown discuss investigators and new converts.

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Elder and Sister Beagley are heading home early Friday morning so Elder Beagley decided to take one last short nap on this very comfortable sofa – he is an inspiration to us all. This can be seen in this picture of me taking a nap in the mission president’s office. It is not nearly as comfortable as elder Beagley’s choice. As we were driving out of the complex this morning we passed this wild painted car…I could not resist taking a picture.

Back to Fort Lauderdale for District Meeting….

With our new assignment to the Fort Lauderdale ward we needed to change the District meeting we attended. So it was back to Fort Lauderdale district with 6 elders and 2 sisters. We know many of the missionaries, especially Elder Conger who is the DL.
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Elders Rellaford, Conger, Doman and Patino with Sister Tuai are on the left. The group of elders in the middle include HoChing – one of the zone leaders,  brother White – a young man who has his papers in for a mission – elder Bishop – the other zone leader, Rellaford, Conger, Doman and Patino. Some how the only picture I took with Sisters Tuai and Escorbores (I seem to always leave out the first ‘r’ in her name) is of their backs as they talk with elder Bishop.

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Another shots of some of the elders. Elders Pond and Hall are ‘teaching’ bishop brown with elder HoChing looking on – also included is another good picture of the back of Mary’s head. And then there is one more picture of elders.

We enjoy being ‘investigators’ for the role playing part of the District meeting. Sisters Escorbores and Tuai helped me with the problem of not feeling that God answers my prayers. One of the rules of today’s role play was that they could not use or quote any scriptures. They had to use their knowledge of the gospel and their personal stories and testimony.

Another Last Lunch…The Beagleys

Since we have Last Lunches for the young missionaries who are being transferred or going home, it seems right to have a Last Lunch for senior missionaries who are leaving after 18 months of faithful service. So today most of the senior missionaries (and four younger ones that came in at the right time) met together for lunch

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It was hard to catch the guests of honor in a natural pose but this one looked good to me. Sisters Johnson, Andrus, Dye and Steglemeier came in and were invited to share our lunch. Mary and sister Evans and E/S backs…

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Obedience –

President Anderson shared these wonderful stories in his letter this week…

I love how you as missionaries have humbled yourselves to allow the miracles to happen because of your obedience, even to stay obedient when discouragement says otherwise:

 

“This past week was tough on Monday and Tuesday. Both these days we went harvesting but had no success. We knocked I don’t know how many doors. We couldn’t find nobody to bless. So Wednesday came and just before we left our apartment, we got down on our knees and offered a prayer to ask God where he wanted us to go. We both felt like there was some family just waiting for us… Where? We did not know. So we asked God. We felt prompted to go to the lower part of our area. When we first arrived to the area we felt prompted to go to, we pulled in and said another prayer, asking if this is the place where we needed to be. We both got confirmation that it was the place. The first door we met an amazing family, a family of 6. Those who were old enough, accepted to be baptized. We went to the next door, same thing met another family. After five doors, we had five blessings, with 5 families preparing for baptism. God truly is there and will guide us to the people who are ready.”

 

I love how you as missionaries work with diligence and excitement, which humbles you, as you are obedient in finding souls to invite to Christ:

 

“I have been studying a lot about diligence this week and it’s interesting to see that diligence is a lot more than just working hard-it’s doing it with excitement and with a good attitude that will spread to everyone we contact! We really noticed that this week! Usually as we harvest, we only get a few blessing every street..but on Monday we knocked only about 6 doors, 4 of them answered that we were able to bless, and 3 of them (3 couples) accepted to be baptized with a date! It was the best hour of harvesting I’ve ever had!”

 

I love how you as missionaries give your all in getting souls to Church and when you are at the end of your hopes, God blesses you for your efforts and your faith, even indirect blessings:

 

“Sunday we went to round-up and found no one at home.  We have been struggling so much to get anyone to keep any form of commitment and it has really slowed things down.  My level of commitment was decreasing subconsciously as we continued to face this discouragement.  As we sat in Sacrament meeting I was pondering over what I could do better and I couldn’t help but think I needed to drop my nets and get back to work with my whole heart…  I said a prayer that I could get back on track and it was as if a great storm subsided in my heart.  As I looked back up, an investigator came in and sat down.  She waved to us from across the chapel.  I smiled and said, ‘At least God helped us get one person here.’  Then I turned back to look at the podium and watched another one of our investigators sneak in.  Her arrival was unexpected since we dropped her two weeks ago.  I got back to thinking and said, ‘That is a miracle, now we doubled our investigator attendance.’  As I said that in my mind, two more investigators  walked in and joined us in the overflow.  Doubled again.  I felt God’s love again and knew that He was helping me to keep going.”

We Have a New Assignment – Hello Fort Lauderdale Ward

With E/S Beagley leaving for home on the 28th, President Anderson asked us to change our ward assignment from Pines – where the Evans also go – to the Fort Lauderdale ward. We are sorry to leave our many friends in the Pines ward but we are also excited to be part of the great missionary work that is going on in the Fort Lauderdale Ward.

There are 4 companionships serving there and as Bishop Brown said as he announced that there would be a baptismal service after the block, “Of course there is a baptism service every week.”

For our first week there, the Assistants asked us to pick up one of their investigators. On the way there it poured rain – I said to Mary it was because the heavens are sad that the Beagleys are leaving the mission. In fact they were the main speakers so five of the couples showed up to give them support.

The ward membership is an amazing mix of cultures and languages. The Gospel Principle class was packed – it basically filled 75% of the Relief Society room. There must have been at 20 new members there. Perhaps the greatest thing about the class was how almost everyone participated. The stories they told about how they came into the Church were very inspiring.  All in all it was a wonderful experience.

After the block there were two baptisms. We were not able to stay for them because the investigator needed to get home. Also the Beagleys asked us to give a young family of four a ride home. This was a special family for them and you could tell by the way they said goodbye. The Beagleys are going to be missed and we just hope we can be as successful in getting to know the people as they did.

I did take pictures of the two sisters who were being baptized. I asked one of them how the missionaries met her and she mentioned that they had blessed her home – Harvesting scores again.

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Elder Rellaford had the privilege of performing one of the baptisms – his companion, Elder Conger, keeps his suit on. These two sisters entered in through the gate. Elder Rellaford a little more relaxed.

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Fort Lauderdale chapel one of the oldest in Southern Florida and the trees that shade the parking lot are beautiful. When we got home I took a couple of pictures of our entry area – our door is on the left. This is the only late bloom on a very large plant but it lights up the area.

The Couples Take a Trip to the Keys

This trip to the Keys was planned for last week but due to an illness it was moved back a week. There are 8 couples in the mission at this time and all but one were able to be there. Elder and Sister Sommerfeldt had a very special baptism to go to. We missed them but they were certainly about their Father’s business. So 6 couples met early and drove down to where the McCormicks live on Marathon Key. From these pictures you can get an idea of why all the rest of us are just a little jealous of the McCormicks’ assignment.

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These first two show some of the views you see when you walk out the McCormick’s back door. It is obvious why we are a little jealous. Elder Beagley joined the fishermen…he was able to drown bait with the best of them.

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Elder Boice and elder Beagley trying their luck. Elder Evans casting and later just enjoying sitting in the shade with a pole in his hand…he said that there was bait on his hook but I am not sure.

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A group of us decided to walk the 2 miles of the Old 7 Mile Bridge. It is in danger of becoming unsafe and there is a push to raise enough money to have it stablized. The middle picture shows the start and if you look carefully you can see the break in the bridge that marks the current end. There were many small boats running in and around the bridges. Some people were scuba diving but I have no idea what they were looking for or at.

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The Evans and sister Boice was with me in the second group. Part of the group decided to turn around so we took a picture of the ladies while they were together. Sisters Beagley, Evans, McCormick, Bare and Boice. Another quarter mile or so along the way the other three that was walking with me decided that they wanted to turn around. I walked a little further but decided that it would take me another at least another 30 minutes or so to get to the end and back to where I was standing and it did not seem fair to keep a group of people waiting for just me…so I took the picture and turned back.

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Sister Collins was the one spearheading the outing. When we first arrived many of the couples came out and took a look at the beautiful scene. Before we left, a neighbor took a picture of the group – the last time we would all be together with the Beagleys.

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When we got to Key Largo we stopped at Mrs. Mac’s and had some excellent seafood and pieces of their famous Key lime pie. Along the way home we had this brilliant view – unfortunately the flash is reflected off the glass.

Last Lunch — Missionaries — Again

Somehow I managed to delete this post from the blog. It did not even save the draft I had so I have to start over from scratch. I apologize to brother Thorne who added a comment that I also managed to remove it also.

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On Tuesday we held our Last Lunch for the district. Elder Thorne knew that he was being transferred and would not be here for the next one. Elders Thorne, Larsen, Pond and Hall arrived early so they could use our computers to check their email and write home. It is luck that we have four of them. The elders arrived first – when there is food they are not going to be late.

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Sister Dye and Steglemeier got there in time to eat and to take some pictures. It was sister Steglemeier’s first lunch. Elder Larsen at the computer. Elder Pond joined elder Hall this transfer and this was the first time for him at the lunch.

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At transfer I tried to take a lot of pictures of new companionships. Especially those where I knew one of the companions because they served in our district. So it was great to see elder Beard and Plowman become companions as Zone Leaders in the Palm Beach Zone. Elder Hunt was joined by Elder Shipley – who was Elder Beard’s companion – as Zone Leaders in the Hialeah Zone. Elder Benetiz joined Elder Taylor in the North Miami Beach area.

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Elder Badillo is elder Beer’s new companion as they serve as Zone Leaders in the Miami Zone. Elder Beer was only with us as zone leader with elder Bishop for 1 transfer but we will miss him. Elder Call joined elder Larsen serving in the Plantation area.

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Sister Dougal will be trained by sister Spjut and will serve in the Stuart North area. Sisters Dougal, Spjut, Packard and Quiocho were willing to pose for a picture. Sister Quiocho and sister Packard will serve together in Boynton Beach South area.

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Two more old friends, Elders Grant and Smoot, will be serving in Boca Raton area. Elder Hanna will be training Elder King in Coral Reef North where elder Hanna is the district leader. Elder Shepard will be elder Marsh’s new companion and they will be serving in the new Miami Gardens’ area.

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Sister Tuai came South to serve with Sister Escobores in Hollywood North. Our great elder Thorne will serve with elder Welch in Wellington North. After the transfer meeting many of the new companionships came into the office to get supplies so I was able to get some more companionship pictures. Elder Doman will be serving with elder Patino in the Fort Lauderdale East area.

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After the transfer meeting many of the new companionship come into the office for supplies. This allowed me to take a few more pictures. Elder Stubbs and Elder  Gutierrez will serve in Lauderhill South.

Faith + Obedience + Hard Work = Miracles

The above average missionaries in the Fort Lauderdale Mission came within 3 of baptizing 100 in the first three weeks of September. 97 people this month have now entered by the gate that leads to Eternal Life. 97 of God’s children now know the Plan of Happiness because their missionaries brought the spirit into their lives so they could come to know that what they were teaching was true. Here are couple examples that President Anderson shared this week in his letter…

“You are laboring not only with the Savior, but also emulating His Spirit as so many recognize who you are and who you represent:

 

“As we were knocking on … an investigator’s [door], a guy ran over to us and asked us ‘are you Jehovah Witnesses?’  And we responded with a smile and said ‘no, we are representatives of Jesus Christ…’ As he responded he relayed a little bit about what he has gone through in the past month. He was in jail for awhile. And he said that ‘I just have this itching desire to know more about God and what I need to do’.  He then relayed that he saw us riding in the apartment complex on our bikes. He said that when he saw us he didn’t know how to describe the feeling he was feeling but that he just had to put his shoes on and run us down… We went to his apartment …, and because of amazing desires to know, He will be baptized in 2 weeks.”

 

You are laboring not only with the Savior, but also with the faith, power, authority and fearlessness to talk and testify to everyone:

 

“Last night we were walking down the sidewalk and I saw a guy on the second floor of an apartment complex. He was eating, I yelled to him ‘Hello’, and he said, ‘hello’. We then introduced ourselves and told him we were there to bless his home and family. He then spoke to his wife for a second and then looked back at us and said, ‘come up!’ It was awesome! We then went up and blessed his home and his family and he accepted baptism!”