The past week was filled with multiple different adventures and most of them had little to do with our service as missionaries - mostly just adventures of making it through this journey here on earth. It began last Sunday - September 11 as I contemplated the events that occurred 15 years ago - that started me thinking about the privilege of living in this country and enjoying the freedoms that we do.
When we arrived at the office on Monday morning, the assistants to the President were already there and were busy putting together baptism statistics for the past weekend. There were 9 baptisms in the mission for the weekend of September 10-11 but we only had the forms for 3 of those baptisms. Getting those records completed and entered in the computer correctly is always a bit of a challenge to make sure the information is all correct. This one was even more challenging. A young man (Brother Jones) was baptized and we received that form late on Monday morning. The form was handwritten and the name looked like it said Brandun Jones. I was unfamiliar with that spelling so I got out my trusty magnifying glass and studied it throroughly and finally came to the conclusion that I had guessed correctly and it was Brandun. However, about 2 p.m. the zone leaders came into the office and I asked them about the name. They corrected me and said it was "Brandon". I showed them the form and they reiterated that while the form might say Brandun it actually should read Brandon. I entered the information as Brandon with an "O" and a couple of days later the missionaries that performed the baptism came into the office. They told me the name was actually "Brandyn". I had already submitted the information to Salt Lake City so had to call and ask them to update the record. That one little name was a huge reinforcement to what I have been telling the missionaries the last few months, asking them to make sure the information is accurate and legible. I wonder how many reminders it will take before that occurs...........probably at least a few more!
Elder Ashton returned from his bike ride a little early on Monday morning and said his knee was bothering him so he cut his ride short. He decided to give his leg a rest this week and see if it would get to feeling better.
Tuesday I decided I needed to prepare more binders for missionaries that would arrive 3 weeks from that day, so I started printing the nearly 100 pages that goes in each binder. I was just ready to start putting them together when The assistants to the president arrived and indicated that they had almost finished the update to those binder pages and wanted to use the new pages for this next incoming group. They assured me that the new pages would be ready by Thursday, so I put that project aside for a few days.
On Wednesday 40 cases of Books of Mormon were delivered to the office at about 12:30 by Fed Ex. I was certainly glad that the driver, Elder Ashton, Elder Partridge and Sister Partridge were there to help get all those cases stored in the storeroom. We expect that we will use 13 of those cases to give out to attendees to the Gladys Knight Fireside when she comes to Gilbert on October 6. I was hoping to attend that and hear her speak but I learned on Friday that they have already had 2900 ticket requests and there is only seating for 1800 people. As of now, some of the organizers are trying to convince her to come back and give another Fireside to accommodate those that couldn't get in. I sure hope I ordered enough books!
Wednesday we arrived home and found our private decorator was there finishing up some work. IMO - she is really good at what she does - but I might be just a bit prejudiced since she is my daughter. This is a picture of the completed gallery wall in the Family Room.
I love how "the decorator" can take various different items and put them all together to make it look good. When my family came for dinner today (Sunday) they commented about how much they liked the decorating in the house and then said, "Did Aunt Felicia do that for you?" Guess they know I have ZERO talent in that direction.....sure am glad my daughter got the talent!
By Friday, Elder Ashton's leg was not feeling any better and was really quite swollen. I called our daughter-in-law who is a nurse and explained the symptoms and she convinced us that he needed to have it checked out to rule out a blood clot. Sooooooo - we spent Friday evening here.
Staring out the window at the ER waiting for test results. We made an appointment ahead of time so I was expecting we would be in and out of there in an hour or so.......but it took 3 hours for them to say it is not a blood clot and they think it "might" be that a Baker's Cyst ruptured but he should watch it and go to another doctor if it doesn't get better. Sure hope he doesn't have to wait 5.5 months before someone figures it out like I did with my failed hip implant in 2012. I'm thinking that getting older can have some annoying challenges ;-)
Since the ER ruled out a blood clot, Elder Ashton decided that cleared him to work as hard as he usually does on Saturday. I was busy in the den making out the shopping list when I heard a strange noise behind me and turned around to find Elder Ashton decked out like this in preparation for climbing up in the attic to string wire for some more lights.
Elder Ashton all decked out to keep the dust and insulation out of his lungs.
After working hard most of the day, we decided to reward ourselves by attending the Constitution Fair that was held near our house at the City Complex.
In preparation for the Constitution Fair, the committee in charge of the event lined the streets around City Hall with American Flags. We had a nice little breeze yesterday afternoon and it was great to see the flags rippling a little in the breeze.
This display had pictures of all those from Gilbert who have died serving their country. Quite stirring to look over all the standards. I would guess there were at least 200 of them.
I think I caught a glimpse of George Washington talking with this family.
This display of a part of the beam from the World Trade Center brought a lump to my throat. as I contemplated what that day was like for so many American families.
Four skydivers dropped onto the lawn. The announcer explained that we would see the lighted flairs on the pant legs of the skydivers (you can see one in the background). I noticed a flair/flame coming from the plane and thought it was a little weird but decided it was part of the show. It wasn't until a few minutes later when the fire engines and ambulance came screaming by that I wondered what was going on. I learned that the flair/flame was not part of the show but the plane was actually on fire and went about a mile and crashed into a house, causing the house to be completely destroyed by the fire. The pilot ejected but had to be taken to the hospital because of burns.
Just one shot of the beautiful fire works that ended the evening after we had been favored with beautiful patriotic music provided by the Millenial Choir/Orchestra.
I am so proud to be an American!!
Happy Constitution Week from Gilbert, Arizona. Please take a little time this coming week to contemplate the sacrifices made by those who founded this great nation and determine what you can do to help keep this nation free and great!