As we drove into the apartment complex we saw a large woodpecker land in a tree so I turned the car around to get a closer look. It was an pileated woodpecker, the largest of the wood peckers. They have a very bright red top knot - the Woodywood Pecker type.
Tuesday I started the next round of apartment inspections. They all looked good except one. Worked on files and recently assigned missionary photos. A beautiful day, cool this morning and just warm this afternoon. A great day to be a full time missionary. We got word that they have called a church service missionary to take Sister Marsh's place in the office. She will start this coming Monday.
Wednesday I attended Zone Leaders Council at the invitation of President Hansen to make a followup presentation on Mormon.org. I went up to the Glenn Loch Farms building and helped the Stringfellows set up for the missionary lunch. Leona made a big batch of very good brownies. While the group was eating I set up in the RS room and made sure the Internet connection, etc was working. Mormon.org is a great site and a wonderful missionary tool. You need to check it out and complete a profile. I think the discussion we had went well and Pres Hansen is always very complimentary about my teaching and approach. Back at the office I loaded up the truck with supplies for tomorrow's apartment run, helped Leona with the mail and phones, and worked on apartment lease issues. Another wonderful day in the Texas Houston Mission - we are so blessed to be here. It is a 23 month second honeymoon - we don't want it to end!!
Thursday I left the office right after our prayer meeting and drove to College Station/Bryan, then to Brenham, and Waller checking apartments. I drove over 22o miles on this apartment trip. The apartments looked good for the most part. I had several cases of Books of Mormon and other supplies for the missionaries. Many of the missionaries were home as it is their planning day. It is always fun to visit with them, especially if there are apartment cleaning issues that need attention - I do have fun with that!
A member (artist) from Sealy, TX, delivered two paintings to the office that he had done for President and Sister Hansen. They are beautiful. One is a field of bluebonnets (flowers) that come up in the spring time, we enjoy them on our trips to College Station. The other painting is four missionaries - Elders Bone, Lang, Shaw and Maughan walking on a dirt road in Sealy. The mission truck is in the distant backgound with their bikes on the back. The scripture that goes with the painting is D&C 84:88 "And whoso receiveth you there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. In the painting you can see next to Elder Maughan, the face of his grandfather who died while Elder Maughan was serving his mission. The story is that this grandfather was a big part of why Elder Maughan came on his mission. Next to Elder Shaw there is an angel (a relative) and walking in front of the four Elders is Christ. You can see the nail prints in one of His feet. It is a beautiful picture and has great meaning. We asked the artist if we could come visit his studio and he said yes - another thing to be sure to do before we leave Texas.
We stayed late at the office this evening as Leona had payment items to deal with. A long, but great missionary day.
Friday I left the office just after 8 am, even before staff meeting as I wanted to catch some missionaries at home to help unload bikes and beds. The elder that needed a bike was at home so he was able to get it out of the truck. I missed the elder that needed a new box springs, they had early district meeting. Friday is district and or zone meetings day. It was encouraging that some of the apartments that really needed attention last inspection looked very good this time. I got back to the office just after lunch time. The mission van needed a bit of cleaning so I vacuumed it out and cleaned the windows. There is so much pollen from the trees and settles on the vehicles and turns them a "dusty shade of green". Anyway we loaded up the senior missionaries and headed to Huntsville. All the seniors and the Hansens met at the Sam Houston State University Institute building for dinner. The Stringfellow and us from the office, Sisters Young & Nance from the Employment office, Elder & Sister Peacock from the bishop's storehouse (managers), the Buckways from Bryan (member support and leadership mission), the Christensons (Huntsville) member support and leadership, the Nagels who are CES missionaries at the institute, Sister Nagel's, sister and brother in law (Brother & Sister Payne -he is the Provost at SHSU) and their neighbors were all gather for a wonderful New Orleans Jambalaya dinner. We had a wonderful visit then went over to the newly opened performing arts center on campus to watch the US Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants perform. We have seen this group perform in DC and really enjoyed them. They did not do as much patriotic music as I would have liked but a great performance none the less. At the end they had all the veterans stand as they performed each of the 5 branches of the military's "song". The conductor, Lt. Col. Waite, thanked each group for our service and saluted each group in turn. A touching tribute with color guard and all, a beautiful evening. There were enough senior missionaries there, in "uniform", that they could have played "When the Saints Come Marching Home" and had us all stand, but alas they did not.
Saturday we did our normal reading, cleaning, shopping, and errand running. A much warmer day - I think we are headed for summer.
Sunday morning we went over early to feed the ducks at the lake. There must have been 40 or so baby ducks all following their mothers around. What a sight.
Wonderful, inspiring talks in Sacrament meeting this morning about the blessings of the temple. Ace Endicott spoke, he is the son of Necka Beck Endicott, who we knew when she lived in Delaware. He bore a sweet testimony about when he walked through the temple doors to do baptisms for the dead and how he felt so good and warm and felt his real mother's arms around him. Ace has special needs and loves everyone and loves attending church. He is an inspiration to all each Sunday. President Hansen has given Ace a Texas Houston MIssion pin and he wears it proudly.
Happy Birthday to Christine today. Christine was born on a beautiful Sunday morning, just as it was today. We are so thankful for her and her example to our family.
We hope you each have a good week. Be careful. We love you with all our hearts and thankful for you and all you do.
Mom and Dad