Sunday, June 27, 2010

46st Post Monday June 21 - Sun. June 27,2010

Another Sunday afternoon and time to fill you in on this weeks activities. Monday I worked on apartment paper work all day. Mondays are also the young missionaries P-day so there are many who come to the office and today it seemed they had lots of questions for me. It is fun to visit with them, they are such good young men and women. We enjoy them so much. This evening the seniors all got together over at Chesnuts apartment for dinner. We had "hay stacks" with all kinds of toppings. It was really good! We enjoy getting together and visiting - they are wonderful people.

Tuesday I signed leases at three of our existing apartments and also hauled some furniture. Spent the rest of the day with office paper work. The days go by so fast it is amazing. We love what we are doing and count it a real blessing to be able to be here at this time.

Wednesday we took the old picture board down and put up the new one and transferred the pictures. It looks nice if I don't mind saying so myself. We had Elders Worthington and Galbraith over for dinner this evening. They are Zone Leaders in the Houston North Zone and really fine young men. Elder Worthington's Dad is in Afghanistan and returns this fall about the time Elder Worthington goes home. What a happy reunion for his family, his father has been in Afghanistan for a year. Elder Galbraith's Dad teaches at BYUI. His Dad was about 12 years old when the dam broke and flooded Sugar City. He said that his dad wanted to go fishing on the dam that morning but his mother (Elder Galbraith's grandmother) said that he could go just as soon as the lawn was mowed. When he tried to start the mower it wouldn't work so he had to use the push mower. It took him much longer and just as he was finishing their neighbor came by and said that the dam had broke. His life was saved by his mother having him cut the grass and the regular lawn mower not starting.

Thursday Leona went with me to WalMart to purchase cleaning supplies for the missionaries. It is Zone Conferences next week so they request things from the office and Elder and Sister Chesnut put together their "orders". We stopped on the way back to the office at a second hand store and purchased a couple of desks for less than $25 total. When we got back to the office I had a couple of the missionaries help load up other furniture in the trailer so I could make a "furniture run" tomorrow. We went to the temple this evening. There were about 10 or so on the session. It is so nice to be only 20 to 30 minutes from the temple. We enjoyed our time there a lot.

Friday morning we did not have our regular staff meeting as the Hansens have family in town for a few days. I left early to take furniture down to Little York Apartments, then out to Katy. The missionaries were all ready for me and so the unloading went real quick, but the driving time was a bit long as the distances between the two places is almost across the whole mission. This afternoon I went up just north of the office about 20 minutes to take a bed to an elder who is having some back problems. This afternoon as we left the office to go home I asked if anyone wanted to go out to dinner with us - all the office and employment office seniors wanted to go. It does not take much to get us all together. We sat at the restaurant and visited long after we finished eating. Then we stopped to get a raspberry smoothie and sat there and visited some more. Just one one big party when you are a senior missionary. We do have fun together.

Saturday we did our P-day stuff and then drove out to Traders Village. That is just a really big flea marked (Cow Town times 5!!). It was so hot and humid that we did not last long. Even in the shade we were dripping wet. We ran into the other senior missionaries there also. I was glad to get back to the car and home where it was cool.

Sunday we enjoyed our church services. The priesthood and RS lesson was a talk given by Sister Beck. I enjoyed the topic. We sure enjoy your phone calls each week. Thanks for keeping in touch with us.

We love this work and are so blessed to be here and to be associated with such good missionaries. Thanks for your love and support. May Heavenly Father bless you.
Dad & Mom

Sunday, June 20, 2010

45th Post Monday June13 - Sun. June 20, 2010

This was one busy week. It is always busy during transfer week, with the new missionaries coming in, others going home and leadership changes. Monday I went down to the "Little York" apartments to sign a lease on a new apartment. After work we went shopping for food for tomorrows transfers. We cut fruit and got other things ready.

Tuesday we left early for the office as I had to be down to the Little York apartments to move the missionaries and Mom had to get the snacks and other goodies ready for the missionaries as they come in (all day long). The apartment move went well (considering there was no power until later in the day). We closed down the sisters apartment, moved one set of elders into the new 2 bedroom apartment and moved the sisters into the vacated elders 1 bedroom apartment. We now have 10 missionaries living in 3 apartments at this location (Two 2 bedroom apartments with elders and one 1 bedroom apartment with sisters). I got back to the office after the move in time to drive the "bus" (12 passenger van with trailer) with a load of missionaries and their belongings down to the Bear Creek Chapel. They were met by their new companions and rides to their new areas. I brought several elders back with me to the mission office so they could get to their new areas. I loaded up a few more elders and drove them up to their zone leaders apartment which is south of the Woodlands (not too far from the office). We left to go home early so I could change into my suit and a dry white shirt (boy, is it humid!). We loaded up stuff to take to the temple for the dinner this evening. The departing missionaries go through a session at the temple and then have dinner together in the temple cafeteria. Leona had arranged for a new person to provide the dinner but we supplied the desert, paper goods and set up. It was wonderful to be with these great missionaries before they depart. It was a long day, but the Lord really answered our prayers that the moves, and dinner would go well, which it all did (even the power got turned back on).

Wednesday morning the departing missionaries all came back to the office to get their luggage and say good bye. It was hard to see them go. We really got close to Elders Brady (AP) and Whittaker - excellent young men. President & Sister Hansen and the APs take the departing missionaries to the airport and stay to pick up the new missionaries. They got back to the office about 3 pm. This bunch of new elders and sisters really seemed to be excited and ready to serve. All the senior missionaries in the office take a few minutes with them to explain what we do and how we can help them. We then went over to the Hafer Building, just next door and helped Sister Young set up for dinner for the new missionaries (4 sisters and 6 elders), plus the APs, two Zone leaders, Pres & Sister Hansen, Sister Young and us. It is fun to visit with the them, just really good young people. We helped clean up and headed home to get ready for the next day.

Thursday Leona had ordered 14 pizzas for the training meeting at the church near the Temple. This meeting is for all the trainers and their new companions, plus the new district and zone leaders. We had about 50 people there. The pizzas were not ready when we went to pick them up, in fact they didn't even have one baked! Anyway I was headed out the door and Mom reminded me that we had little choice at this point so I asked to speak to the store manager. The snack bar folks were very short handed and unable to deal with the back log. The manager was very quick to get folks organized with three additional staff to help. Things really went fast then. They all were very apologetic and he in fact gave us 2 free pizzas. We were just a few minutes late getting set up to feed the missionaries, but it all worked out. We had a vegetable tray, cut up fresh fruit and cookies and brownies, etc. I thought 12 pizzas would be plenty with all the other stuff, but Mom knows what she is doing when it comes to feeding the masses (thank goodness - we only had a couple of slices of pizza left). The missionaries helped us clean up and we brought 3 sisters back to the office with us so the car was really loaded. We worked until 7 or so this evening in the office getting a bit caught up. What a busy day!

Friday morning in our staff meeting President Hansen asked Mom to give the thought. She had something in mind so was well prepared. The new AP is Elder Thomson from Hawaii. We do not know him very well, but that will change over the next week or so. They had a district meeting in the Hafer Building today so when that was over the office filled up with missionaries. They always stop by to check for mail and it was lunch time so we set out leftover fruit, cookies, etc - so much for the leftovers some of those elders had not eaten for a couple of hours so they were way hungry! Fun to be around them. I drove down to Home Depot later this afternoon to get some supplies to make a new missionary photo board for the office. I got it cut out and the first coat of paint applied. Another late night, but we love this work.

Saturday we went over to the office early as I wanted to work on the photo board and Mom had letters to send to parents, priesthood leaders, and the missionaries concerning the recent leadership calls (trainers, district & zone leaders and the new AP). We worked all day in the office and I did get the board made, but will hang it and transfer the photos next week. So thankful our little project went well.

Today, Sunday is Father's Day. They had a nice program including the primary kids singing. It is always fun to watch their facial expressions as they sing "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home"!
It has been an exhausting week for us "seniors" but we have been blessed with energy to keep up. We return to our apartment tired each night and we are thankful for that blessing. You are each in our prayers. We love you and can feel the blessings that come to us from your prayers. Have a safe week,
Love Dad and Mom

Sunday, June 13, 2010

44th Post Monday June 7- Sun June13, 2010

How was your week? Monday I worked on the photos of the September missionaries for the transfer board, and office photo board and ran a few errands and the day was done. This evening we had the Elder & Sister Thomas come home with us for dinner as all the senior missionaries were coming over later for FHE. The Thomas took our place in employment so they are up at the office on Mondays. For FHE we listened to one of Elder Hollands talks to the new mission presidents in 2009. He talked about the importance of having the Holy Ghost as the third member of our companionship. Leona had watermelon for all after. We sure enjoy being with the other senior missionaries.

Tuesday we had a real storm blow through the area. A really black cloud came through with high winds and and lots of rain. The power blinked a few times but did not go off - thank goodness. Just after lunch time I decided I should walk over to the employment office and bishop's storehouse just to say hello to all the staff. The employment office was closed and there was a man and his teenage daughter waiting, but were ready to go home as no one was around. I let them in and started to talk to them about their employment questions, mostly about the daughter's resume. Anyway Sisters Lish and Billingsley had gone to lunch and were stuck on FM 1960 as the power had knocked out some of the traffic lights (that road is bad on good days). Anyway they finally got back and so I went back to the mission office. It was fun to "teach" employment stuff again. Later in the afternoon we saw three armadillos behind the office! It was fun to get pictures and to see the state of Texas "symbol" for those who had never seen one of those strange creatures.

Wednesday was another office day. I did go out to one of our apartment complexes and sign a lease for another 12 months. Leona & I took the AP's (Elders Hiatt and Brady) and Elders Martin and Whittaker to lunch at Pappasitos as they (Whittaker and Brady) are going home next week. Their apartment was also being renovated today so they were "homeless" for the day. Elder Chesnut and I rode over to Elders Hiatt, Brady, Whittaker, and Martins apartment to check out the new paint and carpet. The elders were excited to have a "new" place and it did look real nice. I stopped by the apartment office to thank the manager for getting the work done. She was not having a good day so when I thanked her she really seemed to appreciate a kind word.

Thursday after our staff prayer I hooked up the truck and trailer and drove to Cypresswood Apartments. We moved the 4'some into a different apartment in a different building. It was real hot and humid. I was wringing wet and I didn't do any lifting. The elders worked hard and cleaned up the old apartment real well. After they moved and we "checked" out of the old apartment I asked what their schedules were and if they had time to eat lunch with me. They could not get their missionary attire on fast enough! It was fun to visit with them as we ate at Jack in the Box - not my choice!

President Hansen asked me to give a thought in our staff meeting today. I read a couple of short paragraphs in the Bible dictionary on prayer (good thoughts to consider if your prayer seem a bit rote). Anyway we had a good discussion on prayer and many shared experiences of their prayers being answered. Sister Hansen told a story about her grandmother who was a nurse during World War II. The men were badly wounded and the doctors had done all they could but they were still in great pain. As she would would check them they would ask if she could help them, she would say that there was nothing more medically that she could do but then she would say to them "you can pray". The wounded soldier would say "I do not know how" she would answer - "I will help you, you just repeat what I say" they then would say a prayer together. When their prayer was finished, the soldier would thank her and say that he felt better. Sister Hansen said that after that when her grandmother would walk into the hospital tent soldiers would call to her and ask if she could help them pray.
This was Elder Brady's last staff meeting as he goes home next Wednesday. He is such a fine missionary and has been a really good AP. You can just tell how much Pres Hansen loves and appreciated Elder Brady's service. We will all miss him a lot.

P-day on Saturday was good. It is nice to get our apartment in order and shopping done so we don't have to worry about it during the week. In the evening we had Elder's Workman, Lamoure, Lopez, and Hill over for dinner. They live close to the office so we see them often. Good young men who really work hard to do the right thing and whatever is asked of them. It is such a blessing for us to serve and associate with all the missionaries both young and "old".

Sunday the senior missionaries loaded in the van and we went down to the Melbourne Ward. Elder and Sister Child, who were in the mission office and then served as proselyting missionaries in that ward, were speaking and reporting on their mission. They live in the north Houston area. This was their 3rd full time mission. Great people who have had a real impact on those of us who have known them. The senior missionaries in the apartment complex came over for cake this evening. We always look for an excuse to get together.

We love our time here. It is such a blessing to be serving here at this time and place. We have been so blessed. We are truly living the dream. We pray for you all every day and your families. Lord bless you,
Love Mom and Dad

Saturday, June 5, 2010

43rd Post Mon May 30 - Sun. June 6,2010

It is Memorial Day and we have had an enjoyable day. I drove all the senior missionaries in our mission (all nine of us) in the van up to College Station. The are 3 couples and 3 senior sisters. We visited the "Bonfire Memorial" at Texas A&M campus. In 1999 there were 12 students killed as they were making a log pile for a pep rally bonfire. The logs shifted as they were stacking them and the pile fell crushing the students. The memorial is very impressive with individual granite markers. There was a very reverent and sacred feeling there. We then drove over to the George Bush (the dad, 41) Library and Museum. I really enjoyed reading and finding out more about the Bush family. George was shot down in WWII in the Pacific, and was rescued by a US submarine. He seems to have a real faith in God and a strong sense of family. The Camp David section was interesting as it is just down the road in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland where our stake has held girls camp.
We drove down through the country side on our way back home, lots of rolling hills and beautiful country side. It was a fun day to visit as we rode along. We have some very fine senior missionaries and we enjoy their company.

Tuesday was another apartment inspection day for me. I drove out to Sealy to sign a new lease, which I did sign but unfortunately the apartment renovations were not complete so it will be another month or so before the missionaries can move back in. Lots of missionaries in the office this afternoon as they had been to the temple and they like to stop by the office to see if they have any mail.
Wednesday, and my last day of apartment inspections for this cycle. I had a real good visit with one apartment manager about a broken tub that has taken over six weeks to repair. The tub has now been replace but the dry wall and painting are yet to be finished. It is fun to have them tell me all about how long it takes to do "this type of work" and then I explain, "yes I know I have done that before". Then they start to back peddle, anyway I have fun with them. It rained hard this afternoon and is hot and humid!

Thursday I drove up to the Woodlands to pick up some furniture that a member wanted the missionaries to have and worked on apartment paper work the rest of the day. Still a bit rainy today, but a wonderful day to be a missionary.

In our Friday staff meeting President Hansen told of a visit he had with a non-member last Sunday. The bishop had asked Pres & Sister Hansen to speak in sacrament meeting and for Pres Hansen to interview this man. This investigator had been meeting with the missionaries and wanted to be sure that the church was true. He just could not get baptised because he did not know for certain. The man had long hair, tattoos and weathered skin and looked like he had had a hard life. As they began visiting he would only answer in one or two word responses as President Hansen tried to make conversation. After a while he warmed up a bit and they talked about his search for the truth. The man said he really wanted to know if the Mormon Church was true. President Hansen asked him if he had prayed to know and the man said "no, I don't pray, I have only said two prayers in my whole life and I really do not know how to pray". President Hansen said "it is not hard" and went over the steps of prayer. President Hansen then said, would you like to pray now? He reluctantly agreed. President Hansen said it was the most humble sincere and heart felt prayer he had experienced. The investigator prayed for the people who were trying to stop the oil spill in the Gulf and for the fish and wild life and water that been affected. He prayed that Heavenly Father would let him know somehow or someway if the church was true. President Hansen said the Spirit just filled the room and when the prayer was finished they sat in silence. The spirit was so strong in the room and Pres Hansen said, "do you feel that?" The man said, "yes, what is it"? Pres Hansen explained how the spirit works. The man knew what he must do and that the church is true. President Hansen said that he and Sister Hansen will be returning soon to this brother's baptism! Heavenly Father knows ALL of his children.
All the senior missionaries loaded in the van and I drove down to the Astros and Cubs baseball game this evening. It was a fun outing that included Sister Billingsley's two adult sons who came to visit her.

Saturday I went into the office for the morning and worked on a couple of vacuums. The one was really plugged up and boy did it stink! Anyway I got them running and smelling a bit better. We went shopping up to the Woodlands Mall along with other "shopping stops" this afternoon.

Sunday we attended church at the Eagle Springs Ward east of here. That is where Bishop Chapman is the bishop. Gary and Becky Chapman were in Saudi Arabia with us. Sister Chapman taught Christine to play the violin. We had a good visit, short as it was, but plan to get together in the future.

We continue to be blessed in so many ways, for which we are very grateful. We love being missionaries and doing our little part that we have been assigned. We pray for you each day and that you will feel our Father in Heaven's spirit in your life.
Love, Dad & Mom