Saturday, February 28, 2009

Long time - no write - We're finally back!!!

We finally got our internet hooked up today so we are back.

We are still giving Vladimir the missionary discussions (4 so far). He is worried about getting baptized and doesn't want to pray so we are facing some stumbling blocks. He told us this week that his home would always be open to us even if he didn't get baptized. He doesn't believe in a life before and after this one so that is hard. In Cuba they were punished for having religion so it is difficult for him. Last week he told us that the Book of Mormon was a beautiful book but we will see what happens.

Elder & Sister Holdstock at the President's home.

This is Tim's office.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Going from car to apartment

Going from parking lot to apartment
We are at end of the sidewalk

Our door is the far Left one


The living room...
Living room with sliding glass door that goes out to pond.

Our living room and dining room...
looks out onto the pond.


Here are a few pictures of the inside of our apartment. It is a cozy little place.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Our investigator - new convert?

I am so excited! The Spanish sister missionaries called this evening to say that they had been to see the plumber we referred and given him the 1st lesson and have scheduled the 2nd lesson with him on Saturday night and wanted to know if we would like to go. Unfortunately the senior couples are getting together that night for a Valentine dinner at the couple's apartment who live about 20 miles away. Dad said we would go to the next one. He lives about 5 miles away from us. Wouldn't that be wonderful if he ends up getting baptized?????? Siser Fiala, one of the missionaries, is the granddaughter of Bishop Edgley, the Church presiding Bishop. She is the daughter of Mark Edgley, who played basketball with Josh and Jeremy.
I found out today that the missionaries only get $137 a month to live on. That includes food, toiletries, laundry, etc. That is an average of $4.88 a day. It makes me sick to hear that. One of the elders told me that he is often hungry. The members can only have them in their home to feed them now if they have an investigator over also. They are allowed, however, to fix them a meal and give it to them to take back to their apartment or in a sack. It makes us appreciate the little bit of food that we are eating here.
We were told today that our mission is the 2nd priciest mission, second only to New York City. We also found out that the $3,300 they quoted us includes taxes and insurance on our home in Centerville, some prescriptions, life and medical insurance expenses, etc. so we are going to be better off than we thought. It’s the Lord blessing us.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Here's some pictures

This is at the MTC showing where we
are going.

Sister Dalling, Tim, and Elder Dalling.
They are from Rexburg, Idaho and
work in the office with us. They're super!

Studying my scriptures!

Tim and his trainer, Elder Hamilton

Going strong

Things are going great. We are keeping very busy and will be busier as we start helping our ward with missionary work. We love hearing from anyone that is willing to write.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

We are exhausted but happy. There is so much to learn. We can barely remember what state we are now in let alone remembering all of the Elders' names, the people you meet at church, and the responsibilities we have at the mission office. Tim is doing the finances and is feeling a little discouraged right now as he will be on his own now. I, Janet, am making sure that the referrals (about 20 each day) get pulled from the internet and texted to the right missionaries so they can respond to the referral in less than 24 hours. I also take care of forwarding all of the mail to the missionaries. Everything comes through the mission office and I have to make new labels to get them to where they are actually living. I am also doing the phoning and leg work on the medical bills that missionaries get to make sure the insurance company is paying the correct amount, etc.It doesn't sound like we do much but this week has also been zone conference. We spent one whole day in Miami at one and went to the luncheon of another one in Ft. Lauderdale, since we are close and new. That took a lot of our time. A senior missionary spent about 7 hours total this week on my computer trying to get it to talk with the fax machine to no avail so I am really feeling behind.The missionaries were challenged at zone conference to talk to at least 10 people every day besides those who they are giving lessons to. I thought I would try it while we were doing our shopping yesterday. I tell the people that I am from out of state or new in the area and ask things about the store or weather. They usually ask where we are from and why we are here. That leads me into introducing the church to them. The first lady I talked to was at Costco and she never did ask why I was here. The second one sat with us as we ate our hotdog at Costco and she told me that I would never convert her because she is Jewish but we had a good talk. She said, "There aren't very many Mormons here in Florida" and I told her that is why we are here. She laughed. The 3rd person was our repairman. I think we were given 2 leaks in our new apartment so that we would run across Vladimir. He is approximately a 45-yr old Russian from Cuba. As he was working under my kitchen sink, I asked about his family and told him that our church knows how to have your families with you forever and would he like that. He said that no one in his family went to church but that his daughter in law was Catholic, (as if that was going to help him).We visited for just a few minutes and then he left. A couple of hours he came back to finish something else. While he was working, he said, "I don't know much about your church." (BING, BING!) I told him that I could send some wonderful missionaries to his home to teach him if that was okay with him. He said it would be and so I got his name, address and phone number. He asked if we had any phamplets so Tim gave him a couple that we had. He said he couldn't read English very well and we promised him that the missionaries would speak to him in Spanish and get him some Spanish brochures. WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS!!!!The weather is gorgeous - about 75 - 80 degrees. Our apartment complex has a lake in the middle of it that is about 300 feet wide. It is about 20 feet from our screened in patio just off of our living room and right outside our dining room window. When I sit on my bed and at the dining table, I can't even see the grass because the lake is so close. It reminds us of when we were sitting on a cruise ship watching the ocean going by as we ate. When I go outside sometimes, I am met by about 18 ducks wanting something to eat. There are lakes and ponds literally everywhere!!!