When I was in high school (about a 100 years ago) it was tradition to pile old tires on the letter "E" on the hill at the edge of town and burn those tires at homecoming. It was also tradition that all freshmen class members had to assemble at the "E" at 5 a.m. the next morning and "whitewash" the "E" so it would be pristine and visible again. That was the only experience I had with "whitewashing", so I was a little surprised when I learned while serving in the Virginia, Chesapeake mission that the term used for moving exiting missionaries from and area and replacing them with all new missionaries is also called "Whitewashing".
We are in our second week of service here in the Arizona, Gilbert Mission and we have just "whitewashed" the office staff.
Elder and Sister Evans (left) completed their 18 month mission on Tuesday. Elder Ashton and I are trying to take over their duties. Elder Ashton is again taking care of cars and bikes, and I am doing Referrals, temple scheduling for missionaries, missionary supplies, bedding for missionaries and will start doing baptisms at the end of June (essentially doing the same functions that Sister Goldade takes care of in Virginia Chesapeake Mission.
Elder and Sister Brown (right) also finished their 18 month mission on Tuesday. Their responsibilities have been financial tasks and mission secretary. Elder and Sister Partridge started their mission here in Gilbert, Arizona on Friday, May 13.
It should be interesting to see how we get along with keeping the office running efficiently and then adjust to the inevitable changes that will come with a new mission president who arrives June 30.
For those of you who know Elder Ashton, you may not be surprised to learn that one of his first orders of business is going to be getting all the files and shelves organized. I will also need to help with that as I am having a hard time locating supplies - particularly pamphlets and pass along cards. We have a small space to keep all of that (about 7 shelves) to replace all the cupboard space the mission had in Virginia. I think Elder Ashton and I will have plenty to keep us busy for several weeks. Monday and Tuesday of the week were spent with last minute training from the Evans and when Wednesday arrived, we were on out own. I lasted about 3 hours before I had to call Sister Evans and ask her a question.
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday interviews were held in different areas of the mission. Elder Ashton had an opportunity to train at each of those sessions. I also have an opportunity to talk with the missionaries a little about referrals, baptisms, supplies, etc. but only made it to one of the sessions this past week.....,.busy schedule!
I'm still excited to e home and be seeing the Arizona scenery. I've started going to the gym early in the morning 3 times a week and enjoy what I see on my sleepy drive there ;-)
Sun rising on a cloudy day
Old Glory against a blue sky with puffy white clouds
A typical Arizona front yard with organ cactus, oleander bush, and bougainvillea
More bougainvillea and oleander along with a bottle brush tree in the side yard of the same house.
Wednesday we had a furniture delivery scheduled. I thought it was going to come between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. but it did not so I had to stay back from the training. The furniture was finally delivered at 4 p.m........first piece of new furniture that will go in our newly remodeled house. Thursday I stayed at the office in the morning to catch up on some requests from missionaries and Friday I had medical appointments.
At my desk in the mission office on Friday following my appointment for medical tests. I was really "sweating" the outcome of the tests and now that I am back in Arizona my hair has decided it wants to curl a little more, especially when I perspire. Elder Ashton would say he has always known I was contrary and I guess my hair is too......I was warned that it would get more curly when I went to Virginia - instead it lost the curl about 2 weeks after I got there. I thought the curl was all gone, but now that I am back here in Arizona where it should stay straight, it has decided to curl. Pretty crazy:)! But the very best news - the tests all came back clear!!! Yea, breathing a big sigh of relief!
I mentioned that we are doing some remodeling on our house......it is a frightful mess and we have been busy trying to clean it out and get it ready for the new flooring, paint, cabinets and counters in every spare minute we have. We have been busy meeting with contractors to get bids and trying to decide exactly what we want to do about cabinets. My son and daughter-in-law warned me to expect everything to cost more and take longer than I had anticipated......so true!
Packing boxes waiting to be filled
Starting the demo and tearing out the carpet
Today we had a young man who was just a baby when we moved into the ward report that he has received his mission call to Columbia, South Carolina. He is really excited to go - the 3rd boy in a family of 4 boys. It has been great to watch those young men grow up and serve missions - what a great example to other boys in the ward!
I'm loving being at home - cooking in my own kitchen, sleeping in my own bed, and hugging my own grandkids - but find that I am missing my Virginia friends. I think of you and your kindness to us on a regular basis - so "Thank You" for making our stay there in Virginia so wonderful! - and "hello" from Arizona!