TIME FLIES - especially when you are busy, busy, busy. It is hard to believe it has been two full weeks since I posted anything because I kept telling myself I was going to find time to sit down one evening after we got home from work and post something. However, every evening was filled with work trying to put our house back together.....and it is FINALLY starting to look like a house again but still a ways to go. I must say it is turning out much as I envisioned - I'll share a few pictures below. But before that - a few adventures from the mission to share.
I have mentioned before that the small geographic area of the mission and mission policies specific to this mission make it so we have young missionaries in the office on a regular basis. Preparation day for young missionaries is Monday and they usually spend part of the day hiking, playing soccer, playing basketball, playing softball, playing laser tag, etc., etc. The Assistants to the President have responsibilities that they need to take care of on Monday mornings, and like most things in life, it takes longer than they had planned so other missionaries come into the office to encourage them to hurry with their responsibilities so they have some play time. It is pretty interesting to watch the interactions between them. It went a little different a couple of weeks ago as we didn't have many missionaries in the morning, but in the afternoon two Sister missionaries stopped by to pick up a phone because their's was not working properly. Elder Partridge had received a bright pink phone a couple of days before that and was going to give it to some Elders but when the Sisters saw it, they begged to have the pink phone.
Elder Partridge discussing the pink phone with Sister Young after he gave it to her. Her companion, S
Sister Sorenson noticed I was taking a picture so she struck a pose :)
Sister Sorenson noticed I was taking a picture so she struck a pose :)
Elder Partidge explained that it was not a brand new phone but a refurbished one he had received but they loved the pink phone so much they didn't care that it was refurbished. Sister Young decided to check it out and then she said, "No way, No way, NO WAY. This is my Dad's phone number and he is the high councilor in Washington!!!" She checked for a few more names and found others she recognized. She was so excited to see her Dad's contact in the refurbished phone - it really made her day.
We didn't let her send a message to him and Elder Partridge took the phone back to remove all the contact information (I guess AT&T forgot to do that) and load it with Arizona Gilbert contact information. I got a few chills as I thought about all the "coincidences"(I think not) that occurred to give her that nice little surprise. Tender mercies are so great!
The other day as I walked back home from the mail box, I felt like I just needed to stop and take a picture of these pretty yellow lantanna(sp?) There is beauty all around when I look for it.
The same night as I drove home from the office, I noticed this shaft of sunlight to the west.....
With these puffy white clouds above the gray clouds just to the north of the shaft of sunlight.....
And still more white clouds above the gray a little farther to the north......all against a pretty blue sky.
One of the best parts of the Arizona Gilbert Mission - regular Sunday dinners with part of our family - Lori and Mary
Gray, Brendan, Kodi, and Rhett with Darby peaking out behind
Miranda, Tucker and Cooper
Duncan, Dallon, Colton, Grady and Teague.
These make up about 1/3 of our family.........we love spending time with family members whenever we can!
Monday, August 22 began transfer week. We expected 6 missionaries to go home on Tuesday morning and 28 to arrive at about noon on Tuesday. Although we tried to prepare ahead of time, there is still lots to do at the last minute.
Early afternoon on Monday those missionaries that were going home started arriving in the office and bringing their luggage in to be weighed. Some of them also make it a tradition to leave some gifts behind of other missionaries. Elder McKnight preparing ties (rolling them up and putting a sticky note under a rubber band telling who he is gifting them to) to leave. Elder partridge watching the scale reading for a couple of other missionaries.
Elder McKnight still working on ties, two missionaries having a picture taken during a farewell hug in the background. As the missionaries bid farewell to one another, it is easy to see that they have formed a strong bond of friendship that will most likely last for years.
Missionaries in the background writing their farewell email and Elder Ashton preparing a bike to be shipped.
Elder Ashton presenting one of the departing missionaries with a non-active souvenir TIWI card. The Elder lost his card over a year ago for traveling much too fast and he has begged Elder Ashton to give it back to him every week since we arrived in the mission. So Elder Ashton made one with a little tag on it that read it was a replacement for the one he lost due to a poor decision. The Elder said he was going to hang it up on his wall when he got home ....hopefully he learned a lesson about driving too fast;-)
Pile of bedding waiting to be put into packets
28 bikes and accessories all lined up and ready. It took two pickups and a trailer to haul all the bikes to the building.
Bikes and accessories and bedding packets ready to go.
The new missionaries are arriving after being up since 3:00 a.m. and toting their luggage in. Sister Partridge is greeting them as they arrive.
Bikes and accessories, bedding packets and luggage fill the primary room at the church.
Because this was such a large group of incoming missionaries, five new houses/apartments needed to be rented and set up with furniture, dishes, etc. That also meant that mission zones needed to be re-organized and trainers were needed for the 28 new missionaries. When it was all said and done about 90 % of the missionaries either changed companions, got a new calling, moved houses or any combination of those three. Since I am responsible for arranging the temple times and clothing for the missionaries, I spent one entire day on Friday rebuilding the spreadsheet because of the 125+ changes and still have more work to do when I get to the office on Monday. I was certainly busy, busy, busy the entire week at the office.
Home was busy too as we kept working on the remodel - this is the new kitchen island with the granite counter top. It was my desire to have granite counter tops that started this whole project :)
The extended cabinet section on the east side of the range. I sure do like having more counter space!
We finally got some furniture into the living room and kitchen.....moved out the old kitchen table and recliners and moved in the sectional and new kitchen table. We still need to do some positioning with the rug (design compliments of Felicia's good taste) and get a rocking chair for that room but we are making progress.
New dining table and chairs and part of the new living room furniture. We ran out of muscles on Saturday and just had to stop.
As I drove up to the house on Friday, I noticed lots of little roses on the bushes in front of the house......trying to add a bright spot in this summer heat. Me-----I'm counting down and think we only have about 7 more weeks of unbearable heat.....hurry up and get here October!
Happy "Almost Fall" from Arizona!