Monday I spent most all day updating the iMOS computer system and the many apartment files as a result of the apartment moves of last Saturday, lots of little details on lots of forms. I also ran errands to the post office, bank, and hardware store. We did not leave the office until about 6pm this evening, some days are long but we enjoy our mission so much and would not want to be doing anything else, what a blessing it has been. As we were pulling out of the office driveway Leona noticed an armadillo in the flower bed. It was a baby so we were able to get very close, in fact at one point I was able to pick it up by it's tail.
Tuesday we got up extra early to exercise as we had to be at Zone Conference just after 7AM. We love our association with the missionaries and with the Hansens. Pres. Hansen has all the departing missionaries bear their testimonies. Leona and I were thankful for the opportunity. Pres. Hansen's comments about our missionary purpose were so inspiring. We will miss these special times together with the other missionaries - how we have grown to love them.
Pres & Sister Chappell were introduced to the missionaries, he is the new councilor in the mission presidency. His wife spoke about how good it felt there at the meeting and how strong she felt the spirit. It was truly a spiritual experience.
(Leona) I must add that at zone conferences Steven always gives apartment training for 10-15 minutes and does a fine job. He always relates it someway to the scriptures. This time he talked about when Christ chased the money changers and animals from the temple and how the Spirit could not dwell where there is confussion. He related that to the missionaries' apartments and how they needed to be clean and tidy so that they can feel the Spirit and be taught. A great zone conference!
Wednesday we were up early again and on the road down to MD Anderson as Leona had a colonoscopy today. They got her right in but recovery took a while. All was fine and she got a good report. I dropped her off at the apartment and made sure she was OK and then I went to the office. Sister Sulski is on vacation (church service missionary) and the Stringfellows were at College Station Zone Conference. I was the only one in the office so I was able to get stuff done (in between phone calls). Leona felt a lot better after she had some soup this evening.
Thursday was another wonderful day in the Texas Houston Mission. It was Zone Conference at the Hafer Road building, which is right next to the mission office. Again it was just a really spiritual feast. The departing missionaries testimonies were very good . They almost all said how they had changed in the 18 to 24 months. For those missionaries who really "get it" there is a big change in them - you can see and feel it. The member who puts together the departing DVD for the missionaries came and was invited to bear his testimony. He is a person of great faith and faithfulness. Pres. Hansen offered the closing prayer and invited us all to kneel (we were in the chapel). He offered such a wonderful prayer. Again the spirit was so strong no one wanted to leave, an experience we will never forget.
We went back to the office - lots to catch up on - didn't leave until around 7pm. We love it here, we love the missionaries and what we have been asked to do.
Friday, before staff meeting, it was our turn for an interview with Pres. Hansen. He is so kind and very complimentary of our efforts. What a great blessing we have had to be able to serve with the Hansens. I just cannot imagine serving anywhere else, but know we would have if called. President Hansen offered the prayer at the end of our interview and gave us a wonderful blessing, that of health and knowledge of what direction we should take as we return home. He also blest our children and their families. He expressed his thankfulness for our service, but most importantly our example and love toward the missionaries.
We have received much more from this experience than we have given. What a blessing this has been.
There was so much to talk about and plan for in staff meeting this morning. We will be staying until after this next transfer is over. So the plan is to leave Texas around June 28th.
In the next two transfers (August and October) there will be about 20 new missionaries each transfers!! Those transfers will be very challenging to say the least. Our largest transfer was 14 missionaries and that was overwhelming. Needless to say, our thoughts and prayers will be in Houston.
This evening the Stringfellows, us, and the two senior sisters went down to Alwadi's for dinner. The others had not been there before, but really enjoyed the food. They all came back to our place for ice cream and to visit. A nice evening just to relax for a few minutes with the other seniors.
Saturday Leona went into the office to catch up on some work. I washed the car and started to sort through some stuff to take home with us. We are not ready for this "going home" part of our mission. We did our regular P-day things, washing, shopping and the like.
Sunday the seniors went to the Magnolia Ward to hear President and Sister Hansen speak in sacrament meeting. The spirit is always strong when the Hansen's speak. We enjoyed the meetings a lot. The people were very friendly, so down to earth. Leona said after the meeting on the way out to the van, "I could live here in this ward". What a nice sabbath day. We are so blessed to be associated with such good people. Elder Martin is serving in the Magnolia Ward. He was transferred there after he left the office about 9 or so months ago (when the Chesnuts left). It was fun to visit with him and to get a picture at his request. We are going to be way sad when we leave!
We love you and thankful for each one. You bring much joy and happiness into our lives, we are so proud of each one of you. Have a wonderful week. Be safe!
Mom and Dad