Monthly Archives: February 2013

75% of the Missionaries Come to Transfer Meeting!

With 19 missionaries coming in and needing trainers as well 14 going home, there was a lot of changes in the mission which meant a much larger transfer meeting than usual. I was able to take pictures of a good portion of the new companionships but of course there are some that I missed in the mass of milling missionaries when the meeting was over.

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So here are the transfer sheets that show where every missionary will serve and who they will serve with for the next 6 weeks. If you want to know what the different colors mean, please go to the transfer near the middle of January below and read what it says…

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Sisters Bagley and Chavous will serve the Coconut Creek North area. Elder Bloom and Mackley will serve in Cypress Creek with elder Bloom as DL. Elder Brimley will be trained by our dear elder Thorne in the Fort Lauderdale East area.

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Elder Claude will be serving in be serving with elder Marsh (not shown) in South Bay while elders Chamberlain and Brockbank work in Coconut Creek South. Elders Curtis and  O’Neill will be in El Portal South. Sister Daines will training sister Garcia in Lauderhill South.

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Sister Dougal is the trainer for Gordon and serve in Nova YSA. Elders Dowdle and Williams are now the Zone Leaders for the Miami Beach Zone while serving in the Miami Beach YSA. Sister Dunford will train sister Johnson in Snapper Creek YSA…how interesting that three YSA areas ended up in the same set of pictures…it was not on purpose!

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Elder Edwards is now serving as a Zone Leader in the Fort Lauderdale Zone with our old friend elder Smoot! They continue to serve the Hollywood South area. Sister Farley will be training with sister Symes the new Fountainebleau South area. Sister Fletcher will be training with sister Bean in the Riverside Park branch.

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Elders Gutierrez and Marcusen will be in Fountainebleau North. Sisters Hansen, Holyan are seen with elders Pond and Hunt. Elder Harris will train elder Williamson in the Miami Beach area.

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Here is a picture of just sister Holyan who is training sister Hansen in Doral South. Sister Hansen will get lots of press here because she told me how much she enjoyed our blog as she waited to go into the MTC. When they move to a new area elders are supposed to not take the whole house with them – somehow the message did not get to elder Hunt. I am not sure how he got all that into the car along with his new companion elder Jones (not shown.) Elder Smoot now probably has a lot more room in their apartment. Elders Hunt and Smoot asked for a last picture before the parted. But they will see each often at ZL councils, transfer, etc.

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Elder Shipley was kind enough to move sister Herrera’s luggage to her new car. Where she met up with sister Price. Those two sisters along with sister Tuai are serving in the Hollywood North area.

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Elders Kafton and Lee will serve in the Miami Gardens area. Elders Kata and Webb now serve together in the Blue Lagoon West area. Elders Koerper and Langford are going to be together way down in Key West!

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Sister Lira will train sister Meiling in the Miami Lakes area. Elder Haddock will be trained by elder Call in the West Palm Central area. I finally got a picture of Elders Marsh and Claude who are now serving in the South Bay Creole area.

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I kid elder Patino a lot about his name – I never seem to be able to write or pronounce it properly, but he will be a great trainer for elder Lange in the El Portal North area. Elder Plowman will now have elder Bowen as his companion as the serve as the ZLs for the Hialeah Zone. Elders Richardson and Silva will serve in the Sunset North area.

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Elders Rivera and Beer are the Zone Leaders in Homestead. Sister Stegelmeier stayed in the Davies area and will train sister Merrill. So I guess this means we will get to see the two sisters regularly. Elder Rondo did not move very far as he now serves with elder Pond in the Plantation area.

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Elder Whitney will be training with elder Miami Lake South area. Elder Duncan is a good match in size and spirit for elder Faniaka as they serve way up in Okeechobee. Sister Koutz is to be trained by sister Judkins in the Hialeah East area.

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Sister Ware is being trained by sister Quiocho while serving in the Miami Shores North area – she is also learning to pose for pictures. I caught Sister Anderson dashing by sisters Tuai and Holyan as they stand next to elder Faniaka. After the meeting there is this big scramble out in the parking lot as missionaries, their luggage and bikes are moved from one car to another. It is also the time for last hugs and goodbyes as they head either back to their areas or to the office.

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I took three pictures of the new missionaries with their companions as they waited to start a training period with President Anderson and the APs. If your son or daughter arrived yesterday you should be able to pick them and their companion out of the crowd…I am sorry I could not get pictures of all the new companionships but there were just too many.

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When the missionaries came into the office to get their supplies they found lots of goodies being served by sister Bare. Since many of them have not had breakfast they pretty much cleaned things out. In the last picture on the right elder Maki shows that the food was finger-licking good!

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Elders Wardell and Pingree will serve together in the Flagler area.

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Of course one of the most popular area in the office is in front of the big missionary board where the missionaries find their picture and that of friends and decide how many transfers they have before they are released. None of them want to be on the top line because it means that their time is growing short. Some actually took the time to get their supplies…they managed to clean us out of English Books of Mormon. I know just how this elder feels…some of them had to get up at 3:30 to drive here in time to get their companions here early enough to go on the temple trip that all about released missionaries get to take to the Orlando temple.

New Arrivals – 11 Special Sisters 8 Special Elders

 It is a very special day because 19 above average missionaries arrived in the mission. For months we have known their names and even had a lot of information about them, but when they come through the security gate and we get to meet them, they are truly Florida Fort Lauderdale missionaries.

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Since there were so many coming a caravan of vehicles had to be assembled and driven to the airport to pick up them and their luggage. President and Sister Anderson of course greets all incoming missionaries. Sister Bare and myself along with the APs drove 3 vans and a truck to the airport. It is a wonder sight to see the first missionaries come through the gate. Everyone smiles when they see each other. These young men and women have been up since 1:30 – 2:00 am Utah time, have spent 5-6 hours in airports and airplane and still arrive with big smiles on their faces and ready to go to work inviting others to come unto Christ.

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Their is a lot of luggage for 19 missionaries and so it take about a half hour to get it all off. Then missionaries and luggage is loaded in the vehicles. They are next driven to the hotel – which is right next to the mission office – where they are assigned rooms, they get just a few minutes to get themselves and their luggage loaded into the rooms and then it is back into the vehicles to be driven to the mission home.

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I did not go with the missionaries but stayed behind to pick up two elders who missed the connection from Fort Worth to here. Elders Williamson and Lange got an extra 1 1/2 in the Fort Worth airport where they told me they had a good conversation with a woman. Since their luggage had already been collected we drove directly to the mission home where we were the first to arrive. President Anderson greeted them and immediately started interviewing. 19 interviews takes a good bit of time

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The other missionaries arrived at the mission home about 20 minutes after we did. They filed in and almost immediately Sister Anderson had some one bless the food so they could get started eating.

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I was surprised how quickly all the missionaries filled their plates and started eating. There was very little conversation until plates had been pretty much cleaned. Then the sister’s table had a good time talking about many things with sister Anderson

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After a meal of roast beef, potatoes, carrots, and salad there was brownies and ice cream. Everyone had as much as they could eat and commented it was great to have a meal of something other than cafeteria food. Sister Anderson is a wonderful cook and love to cook for the missionaries.

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I did not take a lot of individual pictures. The APs do that so they can be put on board cards and a picture of the new arrival and president and sister Anderson can be sent home to their parents. Sister Meiling will be trained by sister Lira the Miami Lakes North area. Sister Hansen will serve with sister Bean in the Riverside Park branch. After dinner the assistants train the new missionaries about the mission rules, how to use their MSF cards, etc. They are given a binder that is full of necessary and helpful information. While this is going on President Anderson continues to interview the missionaries so he can be inspired as to which missionary will train them.

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When everyone has been interviewed and trained they are loaded back into the vans and taken back to the hotel. As there were so many missionaries, Mary and I came back and picked some up. By the time they get back to their rooms they are either so tired they pray and fall into bed or are so hyped up that they can not sleep. They will be get up early tomorrow, have a quick breakfast and be picked up to be taken to transfer meeting.

A Beauty Treatment that Did Not Work!

I had to post this picture that I got off Karson Rippstein’s Facebook page. Since I had the pleasure to serve closely with both elder Rippstein and elder Fitts, it was hard for me to believe that they did this. I can tell from experience it really did not help their looks at all! But it does show what missionaries will do on their p-days when they have nothing constructive to do.


Fort Lauderdale Ward’s Tailgate Party…

We had the opportunity to go to the tailgate party that the elder’s held as part of their pinewood derby. Bishop Brown made his famous ribs, brother Cofer cooked hamburgers and hotdogs, and there were lots of cookies, cakes, chips, salad and other goodies.

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Harvesting Blessings…being used in Fresno Mission

I was reading a blog of a missionary who is now serving in the California Fresno Mission and read this…

I have been assigned to the Modesto 12th ward which is about two hours outside of Fresno in the city of Modesto. In our mission each day we have two hours set aside for what is called “harvesting blessings” in which we knock doors and tell the people that we have been sent to their home to give their family and home a blessing. Our President has put this into our mission and has helped our baptisms tremendously…

It is a great feeling to see a program started by President Anderson spreading throughout the missions and changing the way missionaries contact people. Now when the missionaries become fully converted to the program and have confidence in it’s success they will really see their new investigators and baptisms increase.

A Weak Week for Me…

Somehow I managed to get a sore throat that started Monday night and continued to bother me until Thursday. As soon as I felt it coming I started taking massive does of vitamin C because I thought it was going to turn into a cold. It would have been a terrible time for me to come down with a full fledged cold because I would have still been recovering during transfer week. But thanks to vitamin C, zinc cough drops and I am sure the Lords tender mercy, I ended up with nothing more than a raspy throat that seem to be pretty much over as of today Friday.

I did manage to take some pictures during the week but not many and most of them seem to include sister Stegelmeier or the APs. But I did manage to get some shots of some of the missionaries who will be going home next week and were in the area because they had their departure interviews with President Anderson on Friday.

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Bromeliads – Elder Smoot’s Letter!

We went to the Fort Lauderdale chapel today to take part in a district meeting. As we walked in there were bunches of bromeliad leaves on the ground. This caused me to look up into the very old trees that surround the chapel and I saw lots of these plants growing above. I took some pictures but they really do not show the number growing all over the trees.

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Zone Conference Pictures…Spiritual Experience from Missionaries

Here are two pictures taken at the Zone Conferences with Elder Haleck…Click on a picture to enlarge -hope you can see your missionary! You can also put it into some photo such as Preview and enlarge it as big as you need to.

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Here are a couple of missionary experiences that President Anderson shared in letter this week.

From invoking the Spirit at the first contact to Baptism in such a short time takes all of “our heart, might mind and strength”:

 â€œTen days ago we were biking down a street that we felt inspired to bike down and saw this lady walking out of her house. We contacted her and blessed her home right then. The Spirit was very strong and she told us that was exactly what she needed at that time. Then we testified of Christ and invited her to be baptized and she expressed very little desire to do so. She told us of how she lived in Utah for six years and has many Mormon friends, met with missionaries for a long time and that we wouldn’t be able to get her because she’s Catholic. But we continued to testify and she committed to come to church. Then the next day when we followed up with her we solidified her coming to church and as we were leaving her cousin Carlos walked out and was leaving but very quickly we invited him to come to church. Then that Sunday they both came to church! After Gospel Principles we testified and set both of them with very soft dates for the next Sunday. But the next time we saw them was Tuesday and Lucia said, ‘What do we need to do to get baptized on Sunday?’ They both had a complete change of heart through the Spirit of God. They were baptized yesterday and as we put our trust in God, he allowed all to work out.”


Remember service, talk to everyone,  “ faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify [us] for the work.”


“We were on our way back to our car… when we saw a woman and her 3 kids working on getting some groceries from the apartment complex parking lot into her house and the kids weren’t being very cooperative and she looked frustrated. Me and my companion felt prompted to lend her a hand!  Fleur was very grateful for our offer to help, didn’t accept it, but we were very, very persistant and she finally allowed us to help her.  So we helped her out, left her and her family with a prayer of peace and strength in her home (turns out she was a single mother and needed the prayer), and invited her and her 9 year old daughter to be baptized next Sunday!  They said ‘Yes’ and we invited them all to come to church this past Sunday and her kids really wanted to, but the mom was not really swayed.  She said ‘We’ll see.’ So yesterday in church, halfway through sacrament meeting, me and my companion were sitting in disappointment because no one had showed up to church …   But halfway through … she came in with her 3 kids…they were looking sharp! We went to Sunday School, and it was about ‘When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, you are in the service of your God.’, which the teacher had prayed about teaching the night before because the manual has not come in yet.  He didn’t know what to teach, but prayed, and this is what he was prompted to teach.  During the lesson the teacher called up a member and this woman to each come up and to share an act of service that was rendered to them this past week.  After the first member, Fleur got up and told of the experience she had the day before when me and my companion helped her out.  She was very very emotional about the little act of service we had rendered to her and I was choking up because the Spirit was there so strong as she told about this.  Fleur said that as a single mother, she feels like she has so much weight on her shoulders and our act of service lifted that.  She said that she has not attended a church for 9 years, but that this act of service changed that this Sunday because she came.  She said her and her family didn’t have church clothes to wear Saturday because they have never been to church, but because we promised that she could attend church this Sunday, she put forth her effort to come.  She bought church clothes for her and her kids Saturday night, but she said ‘If it rains tomorrow, I’m not going’.  It began to rain Sunday morning and she was like ‘Well, that’s my answer, I don’t need to go.’  But as soon as she thought that, the rain stopped.  And then that instant, she got her family ready to go to church and it didn’t rain the rest of the day .  That experience of our little act of service, had made such a big impact on her life…to bring her to come to worship God at church after 9 years and to help her prepare for baptism.”

Sunday – Baptisms

We had a long but wonderful Sunday. It started with us picking up Mike and his family so he and two of his daughters could get baptized. After dropping them off at the chapel I took two of the elders out to do some round-up.

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After the block there were four baptisms – three by the APs and one by elders Jones and Van Wagenen. They were all confirmed after the baptism and Mike was interviewed for the priesthood and then had it conferred so he can baptize his son next week. After that we took the whole family home before heading back to our apartment.

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Mary’s piano playing talent was put to good use today. First she played for Relief Society, then she started playing for the baptism but was asked to leave and play for a Stake choir practice. Luckily sister Bean was available to take her place in the baptism. Elder Shipley needed to fill out the baptism and confirmation information for those who were baptism. He chose an unusual place and way to get some of it.


My final picture is of our grandson Elder Shane Webb who is serving in the Spain Malaga mission. He is shown here with his trainer – known as his father – and his trainer’s trainer which makes him Shane’s grandfather.

P-day Changed to Tuesday…so do not worry!

Since I know a number of parents check this blog regularly, I thought I would put in a note that p-day this week will be on Tuesday the 18th instead of Monday the 17th. This is because on holidays the libraries where most missionaries go to do their e-mails to the President and home are closed! Also it is a good day to catch families at home together.

So do not worry when your missionary does not send an e-mail on Monday. Enjoy Presidents’ Day! I am sure it will be there on Tuesday.

BTW the office will be open all day!