Sunday, February 28, 2010

29 Post Monday Feb. 22 - Sunday Feb. 28, 2010

A very special event happened this week, the birth of Renae Ennis. What a beautiful granddaughter she is (just like her mother). She was born Monday, Feb. 22. and weighed 7#5oz and was 21 inches long. Everyone is doing well. Her brothers thinks she is real neat.

Another very busy week for us. We spent the week with Elder & Sister Dorius getting training on our new responsibilities. Not much to say about that other than there is a lot to know and the Dorius leave at the end of the week. We have our staff meeting on Monday mornings with Pres. Hansen. He also interviews the senior couples and it was our turn. He is really a great person and is very excited to have us in the office - we pray he will feel that way in a few weeks! We are really out of our comfort zone with this new assignment. There is so much to learn and remember. Our computer skills will really improve if we survive it all.

The Dorius did not come in on Friday so we left after lunch to go home and start packing. We had arranged to have the big delivery truck from the Bishop's store house come to move us. Thank goodness we had the truck. Brother Rogers, one of the volunteer drivers drove for us. He got to the apartment about 10:15 and four of the elders living in our apartment complex came over to load us up. We had most everything boxed up and beds broken down and ready to go. It took about two hours to load and get on the road. Missionaries from our mission met at our new apartment, Cypress Lake, and helped unload. Elder and Sister Chesnut, the other mission office couple, also came over and helped unload. They and 3 senior sister missionaries all live in our new apartment complex. They all had fixed dinner for us at the Chesnut's place last night. It was great, as we had not eaten all day and we were worn out. We still have our colds and coughs, and the week of training (worrying) had taken a toll on us I believe. The weather was very nice with lots of sunshine, but not hot - a good day to move.

Our new apartment has two bedrooms and two full baths, and is much nicer and more modern than our old place (bottom floor, corner).We have a one or two minute drive to the office on a little back road. I will not miss the freeway commute at all.

We will make this a short note, but want you to know all is well with us. We really do love our mission and are very thankful we can serve.
Lord bless you,
Dad & Mom

Sunday, February 21, 2010

28th Post Mon. Feb. 15 - Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010

What a week - it has been a blur. We started our new assignment at the mission office on Monday. Leona has responsibility for fiances, and I have apartments. This blog will be shorter than usual because Monday through Friday we spent being trained by Elder & Sister Dorius whom we are replacing. Leona has been learning the Church's iMOS computer system for mission offices. Her head is spinning trying to remember all the different responsibilities that will be hers. She is in charge of bill paying, meals at the temple for out going and in coming missionaries, bank deposits and other things that she doesn't even know about yet! This will be a humbling experience, Sister Walker is definately out of her "comfort" zone.
Elder Dorius and I did apartment inspections and located a new apartment in an area where we are moving the Elders. I got some experience with new apartment leases, etc. I am also learning the process to create the photos for the "transfer board" in the mission president's office, the photos for the "mission office board", and for the tracking sheets. It is all good, but there is so much to keep track of and details to handle.

The apartment inspections were interesting to say the least. We inspected a two bedroom apartment where there are 4 elders. One bedroom had 2 twin beds, check; clothes mostly picked up, check; and nothing on the walls that is not allowed, check. Next bedroom, clothes mostly picked up, check; nothing on the walls that is not allowed, check; and no beds - ?? We were a bit taken back, where have the elders been sleeping and what happened to the beds that were there last inspection?? We finally got a hold of the elders and it was...."we found bed bugs in those two beds and we threw the mattresses in the dumpster". That was not a bad move, all things considered, but what had they been sleeping on? They were in the living room sleeping on an old couch and a large easy chair with an ottoman. If only they would have told us we could have brought them mattresses. In another apartment the elders were home so as we went down the check list there were many deficiencies that the elders agreed needed attention. In the course of the conversation, one elder was explaining how he was a "perfectionist" in all that he did. Well you know Elder Walker, I could not resist that lead in. I took the check list and said, "would a perfectionist let these items become a problem??" Well, he agreed that he was a perfectionist, but not in apartment cleaning and appearance. Love the elders!! The two or three sister's apartments we checked were in very good shape as would be expected. I am sure I will have lots of fun inspecting the elder's apartments. Elder Dorius is very reserved and quiet and is all business with the missionaries, kind of reminds me of me, huh!

Friday we spent a half a day at the mission office, mostly to get more training time and also the mission president has the mission office staff meeting that morning. After Elder and Sister Dorius depart there will be two senior couples and one senior sister in the office.
Friday afternoon I had another slice and dice appointment with the dermatologist. He removed more dysplastic nevus and mild cytologic atypia of melanocytes, I just call them lehi-nephi's as it is easier to say and to remember and sorta sounds the same. I have been very blessed with the medical treatment received thus far. The Lord really did know what He was doing sending us to Houston. Leona has had a bad cough all week, but seems to be getting better each day. We did go to the Maplewood 2nd ward today. There were some who remembered us from our visit of a few months ago and there were questions about employment in priesthood meeting.

We sent an email to all our employment candidates who have email addresses and let them know of our change of assignment. Many sent very kind notes back. We will miss many that we worked closely with. We will not miss lugging around our employment office on wheels however (the "wheelie").

We were informed by our apartment complex that they will let us out of our one year lease, assuming that the church will renew the 3 elders apartments that are due the 31st of March, which the South Mission said they would. All things worked out for which we are very grateful. We hope to move the first week in March.

Be careful in all that you do. Remember the Lord in all thy doings.
Love Dad & Mom

Sunday, February 14, 2010

27th Post Monday Feb 8 - Sunday Feb 14, 2010

Monday and our day at the Hafer Road office. We had a couple of people call today and want to attend the Career Workshop this week which was great. They were both from our units so we scheduled a work shop for Wednesday and Friday. Not sure if we have ever had anyone ever call and want to come to a Career Workshop (CWS) without our initial invitation. We sent out several invitations to those who have expressed interest in a CWS in the past and some job postings. Our staff meeting was this morning, but Alex did not come in today, something about his car broke down. There was a bit a tension in the office today as Pres. Hansen talked to Steve again this morning about our moving to the mission office. I know Steve is not a happy camper (can't blame him). It rained all day and most of the evening. We had to wade through the flooded sidewalks to get into our apartment this evening.

Tuesday we were back to our regular 12 noon to 9 pm schedule at the Bering Building. Alex comes to the Bering center on Tuesday mornings so we got to visit with him a bit. One fellow came in who was not a member and who's English was not very good. I attempted to do the intake interview but we were not communicating very well so I got Alex to handle it. We sent lots of job postings and made phone calls to some of our candidates. Our one lawyer did send us a nice email. He has found a job with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He was very excited as it seems to be as "close to a dream job" as he could expect. He was very thankful for our help and encouragement these past few months - that really made our day. A counselor in the Deaf Branch Presidency came by late this afternoon to just see if there were some suggestions and help we could offer. After he reviewed the concerns we talked a lot about welfare principles and employment principles. I think he got some good suggestions. Very windy and cold (not like Delaware however).

We had three people come to our CWS today. A stay at home mom who's kids are all grown, a public relations specialist from Nigeria and graduate from BYU, and a lawyer. The class went really well with lot of participation. The sister was a full time missionary with her husband in SLC and knew the Greenwoods at the genealogy library there, small world. A young engaged couple came in this afternoon. He is working on his GED. We spent time getting him registered on the job website and reviewed job search skills. We gave him a job lead and other information. Today really zoomed by.

Alex did not come to the Broadway Building today to train Sister Rios, our church service missionary. He called and wanted me to go over a few things with her. We spent most of the morning helping her on the new job website and how to deal with those who register online. She left before lunch time but she did get some good hands on experience. She is very concerned about our not being at the Broadway building next week as I believe she gets good practical experience with us. A fellow came in this afternoon who said he was an American citizen and that he had lived in the USA for about 8 years (from West Africa). His English was OK so we could mostly figure out what he was saying. We talked about job search skills, and gave him some helpful information and a couple of job leads. He left immediately after he got the job leads. I hope he is successful.

Friday and our one sister did not make the CWS today, but the lawyer brought a member of this Elder Quorum, who took the first half of the CWS several weeks ago. The workshop went well, the fellows said they really got a lot out of the course. It really is good stuff. Leona had graduation certificates for them at the end of the workshop. What a great week we have had with lots our folks coming in for help. Sister Gibbs a senior sister missionary in our apartment complex, called this afternoon and wanted us to bring our "train game" over this evening. We said we would. Even though it takes "hours" to complete a game we enjoy visiting with Sisters' Gibbs and Oborn.

Saturday we did our normal missionary P-day stuff. Leona did not feel to good so we took her temperature and it was about 101 degrees. She went to bed early.

Sunday, Sister Walker is still not feeling good so she stayed in bed and rested. Another beautiful day. Lots of warm sun shine. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY.

We talked to all the kids this week. Michael is in Bahrain, and Shawn was finally on his way home from San Diego after airport closures, etc. We love our wonderful family and are thankful for your concern and support. Be careful and may Heavenly Father blessings be yours.
Love Dad and Mom

Saturday, February 6, 2010

26th Post Mon. Feb. 1 - Sun. Feb. 7, 2010

Another Monday and another day in the Hafer Road Office. We enjoy being in the main office as we get to see the other senior missionaries and lots of young missionaries who come in to use the computers on their P-day. Our staff meetings are always fun as Steve, the manager, always has updates on the employment scene in the Houston area and we talk about all kinds of things. We spent our day sending job leads, updating our list, and otherwise contacting our candidates. This afternoon we drove over to the apartment complex where the senior sisters and the Elder & Sister Chesnut live. The apartment manager showed us around the complex and also an apartment. We were asked by our mission president last November if we would serve in the mission office. So anyway, we are getting closer to that happening as they want to start training us Feb. 15th. This will mean that we will need to move at some time in the future because of the distance of our present apartment and the mission office. The employment folks are not happy about this move, but I'm sure things will all work out. We are just blessed to be able to serve as missionaries at this time, regardless of the assignment.

Tuesday we prepared some post cards to send to those candidates who have been on our list for months and even years, who have still not registered on the new website. No one came into the Bering center today, but we stayed busy with our emails, phone calls, etc. We started reading the Book of Mormon again. This time we are marking a copy that our mission president gave each missionary, in the way he suggested we mark it. It is more clear to me as I read that great Book just how true it is and how very fundamental it is to our individual faith. I am learning and seeing things that were "not there" last time. What a great blessing we have in the Book of Mormon!
Wednesday the senior sisters from our apartment complex brought an investigator into the Bering center for us to help with employment. The lady spoke very little English but she can read and understand quite well. It was a real challenge to try to go through the first part of the career workshop with her. One of the senior sisters (Sister Gibbs) speaks Spanish, so with her help we got along very well. In fact the lady said after we got through the material she could understand me very well as I spoke slowly. I think it was because the Lord was blessing her for her faith. Anyway it was a great experience and we feel we are blessed so much in what we are doing.

Thursday we were down at the Broadway building. Alex was there training Sister Rios, our new church service missionary, Steve came later in the afternoon to fix the additional computer we have and to chat with us about our new assignment. We also had four young men come into the center, two at a time. We have not had 4 people in one day at Broadway since we got here. It was great to be helping people face to face and seeing how they respond. The one young man, who is a returned missionary, brought in his brother. They are both living at home, speak very good English, but just not real motivated. We talked a lot about goals and what they need to do in the next week, months and where they see themselves in 2 to 5 years. The spirit really spoke to them I believe. I pray they will move forward. The other two young men were also returned missionaries, but they were not born here and their English was not real good. They wanted to do what ever we asked and seemed to be very motivated. What a blessing it is to be able to help in some small way.

Friday we were suppose to have the lady who came in on Wednesday, back for the second half of the career workshop at 9 AM. Well she came at 4pm with her nephew to meet us and pick up some career workshop material for him. She says she will be back next week. We pray she will. We called the senior sisters (Sisters Gibbs and Oborn) in our apartment complex and invited them to go to a Mediterranean restaurant with us for dinner. We had a good visit with them and the food was really very good (lots of Arab flavor). When we got back home they wanted us to come and play a new board game with them so we did. I think they really enjoy having company. It was a fun evening with them.

Saturday morning we got a call from Sister Lish and wanted us to meet them at the farmer's market not too far from us. It was a fun outing, kind of like being in Mexico. The produce was very fresh and nice looking. We bought lots of grapefruit, oranges, potatoes, nuts, etc. We all went to lunch at a Cuban/Mexican place and then we drove to a place that makes only pies. Oh my, I could have stayed there all day! We had fun visiting with the sisters, they are fun to be with. Today was such a beautiful day, lots of sunshine about 65 degrees and no humidity. David called and told us how much snow they had in Delaware and that they had shoveled snow yesterday and twice today. Oh darn it!

Today, Sunday we drove out to the Katy 1st Ward. It is 35 minutes from our apartment. Fast and Testimony meeting was real nice. As soon as the bishop finished, the folks who wanted to bear their testimonies were on the stand real fast, apparently the time fills up quickly. The new ward employment specialist wanted us to help him register on line as he was having problems. We helped him set up a new email account and then the registration process went real well. We reviewed how to complete his profile, find jobs on the site and other features. He is very enthusiastic about his calling and will do well I am sure.

Michael called this evening. He leaves early Friday morning for Bahrain for a couple of weeks with his Navy reserve group. We pray for his safety and speedy return to his family.

We pray you will have a great week. We love you and are proud of the good people you are!
Love, Dad & Mom