The office was closed on Monday for MLK day (church offices in SLC were closed). We took Sisters Marsh and Young on a road trip out to Brenham and the Blue Bell ice cream factory. The Christensons and Nagels drove down from Huntsville and the Stringfellows and their son also met us there. We enjoyed the tour, It is interesting to see the process and watch the containers fill with ice cream and ice cream sandwiches being made and LOVE the ice cream they give you at the end of the tour! Elders Hiatt (from Oregon) and Craig (from Highland, UT) also met us there (they live in Brenham) and went on the tour with us. The Huntsville seniors had not been to Washington on the Brazos, nor had Sister Marsh so I told them to follow me "over the river and through the woods" and I would get them there. We spent some time in the gift shop but it was cold out so our car load did not want to spend time checking the sights. We decided to travel back home via the country roads vrs the freeway. We enjoyed the drive and stopped in Conroe to eat lunch at Ryans, Sister Young's idea. I think they really enjoy that place (so do we). It is an all you can eat restaurant, but the food is really pretty good and lots of variety. We enjoyed our day with the sisters.
Tuesday was Zone Leaders Council at the Glenn Loch Farms building. The office sisters (Walker, Marsh, and Stringfellow) had been asked to take 10 minutes each and talk about faith. Leona really did a good job, but then she always does. I was asked to make a presentation on the revised "Mormon.org" website and the letter we received from SLC. What a neat website with tons of information for non-members and members. Check it out if you have not done so in the past while. Leona and I went back to the office after our part on the program. I worked on apartment files and photos for the new senior sister (Sister Nance) we have coming in mid March (Sister Billingley's replacement). When the Sringfellows and Sister Marsh got back they noted Sister Nance's photo on the board and wanted me to take new photos of them which I did. A wonderful day to be a full time missionary.
Wednesday I started apartment inspection again. I drove up to Conroe, Huntsville, and back down to the Woodlands area. In Conroe I sign leases on two, one bedroom apartments. The President wants to slowly get out of the 4 man apartments. I take any mail/packages with me as I inspect apartments that way the missionaries get their items a day or so sooner.
Leona spent her day with financial items that are a bit complicated and take a lot of phone calls and following up. She did receive our mission financial statement for December and we were under budget for our "administrative" expenses for the year so that was good. President Hansen told her it was the first time since he has been Mission President and he was very pleased.
What a beautiful day! Warm sun shine in the mid 60's - really nice. Michael call, he only worked 1/2 day as the weather in SLC was so bad. Can't say I really miss the nasty freezing weather.
Thursday I inspected apartments in College Station, Brenham, and Waller. That is a lot of driving for one day, but I enjoy the country side and the wide open spaces. The apartments looked good for the most part. Leona said she is further behind today than she was yesterday at the mission office but she also said she was thankful that she was busy, just some days there is too much to keep up with or keep straight and today was one of those days. This evening in my reading in the Book of Mormon I am at the part that talks about Captain Moroni. That is such a wonderful story and example of a truly great leader, yet humble follower of Christ. What a blessing we have in the Book of Mormon - We love this mission!
Friday I inspected several apartments in the Copperfield area (west on FM 1960). Not many missionaries home today as most have district meetings on Friday. Signed another lease renewal this morning. It is always nice to hear the apartment people talk about the missionaries, "we just love your boys, they are so respectful, they are always cheerful and helping their neighbors", etc. The missionaries are great, no doubt about that. After we left the office for the day we drove up to the Woodlands Mall and I bought a sweater to wear in the office. I have a hard time staying warm.
Saturday I got my hair cut, washed the car, and ran some errands. We did the normal P-day activities - laundry/apartment cleanup. We fixed dinner and had four elders come over (Elders Austin, Sorenson, Harris, and Vehrs). It was Elder Sorenson's birthday so Leona made a nice cake for his birthday. We enjoy having the missionaries over. We took a picture (as you can see) and emailed it to Elder Sorenson's folks. There was frost on the cars this morning, but by mid afternoon the sun was out in full force and very pleasant and warm.
Sunday we enjoyed our day at church. The sacrament speakers all talked about the temple and they all did a really good job. I had to teach the lesson in High Priest quorum this afternoon. The lesson was from the Nov Ensign, Pres. Uchtdorf's talk "Of things that matter most". We had a good discussion. I tried to keep us on subject which I know many appreciated. Leona's cousin, Kent Chamberlin invited us up to their place for dinner this evening. Their youngest daughter and family are living with them while they are building a home about 20 minutes away and Kent's sister Kay's daughter was also there. She works for Exxon and is in Houston on business. We sure enjoyed the dinner and visit. It was fun to be there.
Well we will sign off for now. Thanks for all you do friends and family to make it posssible for us to be here.
Lord bless you,
Love, Dad & Mom