Monday we were in the office early after running our 2 1/4 miles on the treadmill and getting ready for work. Lots of new missionaries coming the next few transfers so I worked on the photos, and apartment lease issues (several coming due this month and next). The missionaries were in and out of the office most of the day picking up their mail and packages. They also had questions about the scriptures, about my first mission, about "what would you do with this investigator", about school, etc. Of course I am not short on answers so it was another good day. Sister Walker's alteration shop is always open for the missionaries and today was no exception. She also told some of the sisters who were in the office that we would bring ice cream to them at the park where their zone was going to have p-day activities. She had things to be done in the office so I was sent on the errand. I stopped on the way to pick up ice, bottled water, and ice cream treats. It was hot and windy so the missionaries really were thankful for my "stopping by". We enjoy so much our association with the young missionaries.
Tuesday I drove out I-10 to Sealy to try and find an apartment complex that will do corporate leases and that have one bedroom apartments. I had called one place the other day and they said they had all I was looking for. When I got there I recognized the place as the same place I stopped one year ago with the same questions and was told they do not do corporate leases. The manager was upset that I had been given bad information. Anyway the apartments looked OK and were available in the time frame I need them so I spent time filling out the paper work. There are very few choices in Sealy for acceptable apartments. I stopped back in Katy and looked in the north part of town for apartments to move the Kenwood Club at the Park elders to. Lots of apartments, many way too expensive, some not in a location that would be central for the four elders (2 on bikes and 2 have a car) and just one or two that may fit our needs. Spent most all day looking and talking with apartment managers. Warm and humid today.
Wednesday when we arrived at the mission office and checked email, we discovered that we now have 14 more new missionaries coming over the next few months! I worked on their photos and many apartment lease issues.
Our replacements (the Bowcutts) are bringing their 5-wheel to live in so they will not need our apartment. The senior sisters want to move from their apartment into our 2 bedroom apartment and since both leases are due the end of May it will work out well. I talked to the manager of our apartment complex and she will work with us on transferring our expiring lease to the sisters.
A lady came in the office this afternoon and asked for a blessing, she had just had a root canal. I was the only priesthood holder in the office at the time so we talked for awhile. Elders Harris and Vehrs, the North Zone Leaders, stopped in just at the right time. I annointed and Elder Harris sealed. He gave her a wonderful blessing of health and then blessed her that she would be a light to her family (it was like out of no where when he said that). The blessing was ended and she was in tears. It turns out she has been trying for some time to keep members of her family active in the church. She received the blessing that she needed, it may not result in the outcome she wanted, but if she continues faithful, it will be in the Lord's way and time. She was very thankful for the blessing. What amazing missionaries we have, they are very faithful and obedient and close to the Spirit - we love them.
Thursday I called all the apartments that have leases due the end of May to check on rent increases, etc. I then sent a fax confirming our intentions to renew the lease and stating the name that should be on the lease: The Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Utah Corporation Sole. We use to do leases in the name of the Texas Houston Mission, but that is not a legal entity of the church. I also worked on a schedule of missionary interviews, in the missionary's apartments, for the new mission president. That should be very interesting. Most of the information can be down loaded from iMOS into a spreadsheet.
One of Sister Sulski's responsibilities is the missionary information sheets. Elder Stringfellow has been working on a new format that will be used. We are each going to help with this project to get all the current missionaries in the new format; then Sister Sulski will be able to keep up. Today I started on my assigned missionary information sheets. They are very time consuming but interesting as you read through their (missionary's) papers. They are amazing young adults; one I completed today is supporting himself - $400 per month. That is alot of money to save before you start your mission. Their testimonies are strong, it is a blessing for us to serve with them. The church is in good hands, they will be great leaders, fathers, and mothers.
We did not leave the office until after 6pm this evening. A long day, but we are so grateful to be here.
Friday, when we went to excercise early this morning and turned on the TV the station was broadcasting the royal wedding in England. We watched the very end as we were pretending to "run". The inside of the cathedral was very beautiful, lots of people inside and outside, choir singing and orchestra playing and of course a beautiful couple. The thought crossed my mind of mine and Steven's eternal marriage. The quiet beautiful temple, the proper priesthood authority, a small group of family and being sealed together forever. I am so thankful for the gospel for the knowledge and testimony of eternal families. The royal wedding in England was beautiful and the world looked on thinking that the young couple had everything but they are missing the most important part - the gospel and proper priesthood authority that binds families together eternally. I am thankful for that blessing.
At the office had our staff meeting with the Hansen's and the AP's. President Hansen said that he had just concluded the last of his interviews with all the missionaries - for the last time before they are released. He told of one experience where one elder came in and sat down and asked Pres. Hansen if this was his last interview with him, when Pres. Hansen confirmed it was the elder began to weep. President Hansen said at that point they both stood and embraced each other (Pres Hansen always embraces the elders when he greets them) and just held each other for about 10 minutes. "This was the only interview that I have ever had with a missionary where no words were spoken, but where "volumes" were communicated", President Hansen said.
There were lots of missionaries in the office before and after district meetings today. The Spanish District from the North Zone came in well after lunch and were talking about where they were all going to go for lunch. Leona suggested I take them to lunch and she would stay in the office with Sister Sulski our new mission secretary. The four elders rode with me and the 4 sisters followed us down to Sam's Club (that is where they wanted to go). They really enjoyed the pizza, soda and ice cream shakes. Good missionaries all of them. Another beautiful day to be a missionary.
Saturday is a special day, a day to get ready for Sunday, so that is what we did in the morning. We met the Stringfellows over to the office and drove out to Tomball together. We met Elders Martin and Bateman and took them to lunch. It was Elder Martin's birthday (he served in the office with us one transfer and trained the Stringfellows). We enjoyed our visit with them.
Leona and I are reading Pres. Monson's book "To the Rescue". What a wonderful man he is and a real blessing he is the prophet at this time in history. He truely has spent his life serving and rescuing others.
It is always a blessing to attend church. There were many testimonies shared, the Spirit was very strong in Fast and Testimony meeting. There are alot of great members in the Olde Oaks Ward.
Another great week and it went by very quickly. Dan and Melissa Vincent were going to come for a visit this past weekend but Melissa decided to take up the roofing business - bless her heart she has shingles. We were disappointed that they could not come and we pray for a speedy recovery for Melissa.
We love each of you. Have a safe week.
Mom and Dad