It's hard to believe it was 3 months ago that we were packing up our belongings and the truck and getting ready to begin the trek back to Arizona following our 18 month mission there. In many ways that seems like it was just last week, but when I think about living in our demolished house as we move through our remodeling project it seems like it was a YEAR ago! It's a really good thing that we can go to the mission office every week day and get out of the construction dust!
Monday was a normal day in the office with normal tasks.....but when I left the office a few minutes after 5 to drive home, I noticed some approaching gray clouds with the sun above and filtering down through....A beautiful site that I was so interested in I decided I better pull over and take a few pictures so I could pay attention to my driving.! I love the shafts of sunlight filtering both down and up!
A few minutes later it was just a ball of light above the clouds with sunbeams coming down.....made me think of the 3 year old kids favorite Primary song - "Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam."
By the time I got to my street, the ball of light had increased and gotten closer to the earth as the sun continued to set.....I could almost imagine it was a personal message to me of how much my Savior loves me (and everyone else). What a great blessing to have this beauty in my life.
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday it was time again for Zone Interviews. Due to the small geographic area of the mission, it is quite common to get a number of visitors in the mission office picking up mail and supplies. This week was no different.....we had a number of missionaries making a joyful noise in the office on Wednesday afternoon.
Six Elders plus Elder Partridge who works in the office doing Finance and Supplies and Two Sisters plus the President's wife, Sister Wheeler talking missionary challenges.
Maybe the Elders stop for missionary supplies but they usually find their way to a couple of pretzels or red vines while they are in the office. I think Elder Partridge was telling them a story about when he served a previous mission in Samoa and the living conditions for the young Elder Missionaries.
This is what it looks like when zone leaders forget to pick up mail in the office. An Elder in one of the zones had a birthday and his packages were stacked pretty high! Finally, one of the Sister Missionaries was afraid they were going to come crashing down so she arranged to drop them off in the zone on her way home from the office Thursday night.
As I left the gym on Tuesday morning I noticed these delicate fern-like leaves on the big Palo Verde tree beside the entry door. The picture doesn't accurately show how delicate they looked......I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world!
As I left for the office on Wednesday, I noticed that there are lots of prickly pears on the cactus at the end of my street.....brought back memories of all the hours I spent about 40 years ago making one little batch of prickly pear jelly!
On my way to the store to buy 10 pillows for August batch of incoming missionaries. I looked straight ahead at this happy picture - a beautiful blue sky and fluffly white clouds ALMOST made me forget that it was 115 degrees outside ;-)
Elder Kapua favoring us with a farewell song on Thursday just before he left to return to New Zealand. He was singing about his favorite hero - Jesus Christ in his beautiful voice with his accent. Made tears come to my eyes thinking of his courage to leave home and family far behind and come here to serve. He will be missed.
Saturday, I went to the Freestone recreation center and took a drive past the small lake at Freestone Park on the way home. I noticed the ducks floating on the pond and thought the water looked very refreshing. Just as I started to snap the picture, I noticed the larger white fowl....I think it is too large to be a duck but don't know what it is.....maybe a swan? Anyway, I was tempted to put my feet in the water until I got closer and could see that it really wasn't all that clean :)
FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY!!!!
One room is finally painted - no carpet or tile yet but we are making s-l-o-w progress on this remodeling project. I'm hoping I come home from the office tomorrow and find two or three more rooms painted.
We are really loving this mission experience here in Gilbert - and growing to love these missionaries just like we did the ones in Gilbert. But the best thing about serving here is shown below
Great Grandpa (Elder Ashton) enjoying Sunday afternoon with one of the little ones in our family - 6 month old Grayson. I think this is a pretty cute picture of what it is all about - FAMILY!