Tuesday we started the current round of Zone Conferences. Today's conference was at the Longenbough building. We enjoy so much being with the other missionaries. President Hansen told the missionaries that he had prayed last night while laying in bed that he would say what the Lord would have him say. He then spoke for about 45 minutes with no notes on the importance of treating each other with kindness and not saying "cute or sharp" things that hurt others. He also talked a bit about baptism. He then told the missionaries that when we bent over to get his notes from his brief case he remembered he had left them at home. He then thought "no problem" I will just show the power point presentation he had prepare, but when he turned on his lap top the battery was dead. He said we had heard the message the Lord wanted us to hear not the one he had prepared. There was a very strong spirit in the meeting.
Kent and Diane Chamberlin came for dinner this evening. It was fun to visit with them. Sure was warm and humid today.
Wednesday we held Zone Conference in College Station. The stake president in College station was given about 30 minutes to speak. He talked on the many symbols of baptism. The person performing the ordnance is standing in for Jesus himself and that He holds on to us as we hold on to Him and that He pulls us out of the watery grave. We also lay back into His arms. We must learn to lay back completely. Do not hang on to the side of the fount (hanging on to our favorite sins....). Anyway it was a very good talk. President Hansen used the Joseph William Turner painting that President Monson refers to as the "rescue". He used the painting to draw comments from the missionaries and then to liken that to their service. Great spirit in the meeting. What a blessing to be a missionary.
Thursday was the Zone Conference at the Hafer building. I helped Elder Chesnut unload the truck of all the "car supplies, etc" he uses for the zone conferences. I had to go to Huntsville to load up Elder and Sister Marlow who have completed their CES mission. Leona went with me. It was a nice drive up I-45 to Huntsville. The Elders in Huntsville came over and loaded the apartment stuff in the trailer for us. We stopped in Spring to drop off some furniture at their daughter's home. We then brought the rest of the stuff to the mission office. It sure is hot and humid.
Friday, it was our turn to meet with President Hansen before our staff meeting. He is sure a kind man. He is genuinely concerned about our health, how we are liking the office and our assignments. He always asks if we are worried or concerned about anything. He asks about our children and grandchildren. He thanked Elder Walker for teaching "doctrine" about apartment issues instead of "nagging" at zone conferences. He gave the closing prayer and blessed us and our family. As we left he said, "you don't know the peace I feel knowing that you will be here in the office for the duration of my mission assignment, thank you for your service." President and Sister Hansen work tirelessly, they are wonderful servants, we are blessed to know them.
Friday is our staff meeting day. President Hansen is so good at bringing the spirit to our meetings. He always has such good, uplifting stories. He shared a note he received from one of the Sisters. They were teaching a man in the park last week because his apartment just was not a good environment. They were teaching him about the love of God and repentance when suddenly the clouds burst and rain came pouring down. They had nowhere to go so they continued to teach. They all got soaking wet. They had an amazing lesson about the power of God and the atonement of Christ that allows us to repent and be different people as they watched God shake the heavens. It was overshelmingly powerful. The man (Sam) committed to come to church the next day and he did!
This afternoon I went back to the dermatologist. He removed 4 more spots, three off my legs and one from my side. Thank heaven for good medical treatment
Saturday we spent a good part of the day in the office getting some items done. I unloaded the trailer of stuff the elders had picked up from a member. We also drove up to Conroe to get a few items from a member who is moving and wanted to get rid of some furniture. We took a few items but not it all. Worked in the garage getting things put away and fixed another vacuum. We came home tired but grateful we can serve the Lord full time. What a blessing it is.
We were invited to the Endicot's for dinner after church today (Necka Beck). They also invited the 2 sets of Elders in our ward (it was Elder Brady's birthday so we sang and had ice cream). This picture is of Elder Brady with a pinata he bought at the pulga (flea market). The missionaries set up a booth at the pulga on Saturdays. They talk and hand out pass-a-long cards to people who come to shop. He has become friends with one of the merchants so she made this pinata for his birthday. Tomorrow (24th) is the young missionaries p-day so they will fill "Elder Brady" with candy and start swinging. Elder Brady is a fine missionary and has been serving as one of the assistants to President Hansen. He goes home next transfer and is going to be greatly missed. We have grown to love him.
We are so thankful for our children and their families. What a great treasure you are to us. We love our mission. It just does not seem real sometimes that we are actually "living our dream". We have been given such choice blessings.
Love Dad and Mom