Sunday, September 25, 2016

An Adventure in Preparing for Knight

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Just now as I typed the date and realized that we have been back from Virginia for nearly 5 months, the lyrics to an old song entered my mind....."Oh it's a long, long while, from May to December, but the days grow short, when you reach September".    That's how I am that the remodeling project is essentially done, I can turn my thought to preparing for the holiday season and I realized the other day that there are not too many days left.    I was comforted, though, when I thought of preparing Thanksgiving dinner in my newly revised kitchen instead of in a small apartment kitchen :)

I've been noticing the signs of approaching Autumn all around...captured this "harvest moon" the other night.   I thought the aura around it was quite interesting.

The office was busy this past week as we started gearing up in preparation for the next group of missionaries who will arrive on Tuesday, October 4th.   I'm feeling just a little stressed because I like to prepare the binders for the new missionaries way ahead of time but the Assistants to the President have been working on updating the information in the binders and asked me to wait with a promise that I would have the new information at least 2 weeks prior to arrivals.   I don't have the new information yet and instead of the 10 we thought we arriving, we learned on Friday that an additional 3 missionaries are coming to our mission while they wait for visas.   That means I have 13 binders to prepare this week......hope I get that information tomorrow!!

The temperatures have been moderating and the sun doesn't seem quite so bright or so hot.   I have always said that fall is my favorite time of year, and was thinking about that the other day when I realized I have really been missing my "boys" (who are all grown men now).   It suddenly hit me that fall might have become my favorite time of year because I loved going out in the crisp evening air and watching the boys play football...I didn't like it when their shoes weren't firmly planted on the ground because I would get nervous that they were injured, but I sure like the atmosphere and the weather of watching them play.   And now I ask myself where did all those years go!

With moderating temperatures, the plants perk up a little.   Everything from different forms of cactus to roses take on a healthier glow.

I noticed this interesting cactus on the way to work...and was taken with the long spines and "flowers" on it.   When I stopped to take a picture, I realized the "flowers" may not be flowers after all, but appear to be cut ends of the arms of the cactus.   I still think it is interesting and the "flowers" are quite unique.    I'm glad to live in the beautiful world.!

The next day, driving home for lunch, I noticed a cactus I had never seen before, along with some varied colored roses.   Just had to stop and take a picture of the varied beauty!

Pretty yellow trumpet flowers on trees/bushes all around.   These little yellow flowers were not around in the broiling temperatures of mid-summer.

I call this the "pineapple" cactus.   It is in the yard across the street and is the first thing I see each morning as I back out of my driveway.   I think the "flowers" on this look like tiny little pineapples - some with the skin on and some without the skin.  

Just a few feet away is this pretty rose bush.  At this time of year the roses are plentiful but not very big.  This particular rose bush reminds me of my sister and her love for this particular color/variety of rose.   As a junior in high school she requested that my mom make her prom dress out of apricot colored satin and chiffon with a draped hemline caught up with chiffon roses in this color......her corsage could match perfectly.   What a beautiful creation of a dress my mom labored long and hard over and I think of it every time I see roses like these.

Seems to me that I saw quite a lot of purple flowers when we were in Virginia and not so much out here.   So when I saw this group of purple flowers at the base of the palm tree on the street where the mission office is, I had to stop and capture it.

On Wednesday, a very interesting referral came in.   I received a call from the referral secretary at the Mesa Mission who said she had received a call from a lady in Utah but the address was in our mission and the Mesa Referral Secretary wanted to give me details about it.   The referral was for a man named Jon who was in his late fifties.   He had grown up with the lady in Utah and went to church with her a few times.  
They grew up and went their separate ways and he is now divorced and has just moved to Mesa.   He called her to ask her if she could tell him how to find the kind of church they went to when they were growing up because he always felt so good when he went!   I gave the information to two of our missionaries who contacted him and he asked them to come over to teach him more the next day.    I think that is a seed that took at least 40 years to germinate and since Wednesday I have kept thinking about how we never know what kind of an influence we can have on someone's life.   I guess I better be more aware of how I respond to everyone.....don't know when/where/or if that seed to learn more about the gospel will be planted!   It is experiences like this that make me feel excited and keep me getting up in the morning to go to the office instead of sleeping in ;-)

I noticed that there was quite a bit of street flooding back in Portsmouth this past week - water on Clifford Street almost up to the knees.    We don't get rain like that, but we did get a 5 minute down pour on Thursday afternoon and I wanted to include a picture of the "Gilbert 2016 Flood".....see that big puddle across the street from the office :)

Rain didn't last long.

When we were driving home about 15 minutes later, I noticed the sun/sunbeams showing through the clouds.....and the crazy, busy traffic just keeps on going....they wouldn't leave the intersection clear for even a minute so I could get a good picture ;-)

The clouds were still hanging around a little the next morning, but I thought the blue sky, white clouds and palm trees were pretty.


 Elder Ashton is still having problems with his right leg - swelling is not going down and pain is still there.   He went to his PCP on Friday and the PCP told him he will need to get the fluid drained from his leg.   That is scheduled for this upcoming Friday at 8:00 a.m. - doesn't sound like much fun to me but hopefully it will resolve the problem.   It makes it easier when you are serving a mission from home and can go to your regular doctors.

The Assistants to the President (we have 4 right now because things have been very busy) have been in the office quite a bit this past week.   They are tasked with dividing up tickets to a Gladys Knight Fireside.  
Gladys is coming to Gilbert on Thursday, October 6 for two Firesides.   She is bringing the Saints Unified Voices Choir with her and they sing and Sister Knight bears testimony and tells her conversion story.   The mission was given 300 tickets to pass out and the four "sponsoring" stakes had 300 tickets each to pass out.   The mission had a request for 800 tickets so these poor Elders have been busy prioritizing who would receive tickets.   It has been grueling for them because they really want everyone to be able to come and hear her testimony.   These are good young men....and a couple of them are going home in just a few weeks.   From left to right is it Elder Stone, Elder Carattini, Elder Fuesner, and Elder Broughlim.   Elder Fuesner is from Cody Wyoming so we have some conversation about the state and the new Star Valley temple when he is in the office.  We are so blessed to have the opportunity to work with the young missionaries!

A busy day at home on Saturday - preserving 23 pints of salsa and 6 pints of diced 7 loads of laundry, plus Saturday cleaning.   As you can see, Elder Ashton is a man for all seasons.....he not only took the worst part of prep (chopping the onions and chilis) but did the floor clean-up afterward.   A man of many talents who can fix a car, fix a bike, build a warning light to tell him the garage door is open, tear out old walls, clean a house, wash the dishes, and even cook a simple meal.   Guess I'll keep him around :)

So as we begin to prepare for new missionaries on the 4th, transfers on the 4th, Gladys Knight and probably 500 referrals on the 6th, I'm planning to get some extra rest and to look for the beauty even in the midst of lots of work!   

Happy almost October from Gilbert, Arizona.

Beautiful blossoms on m neighbor's tree.

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