Sunday, March 29, 2009

Knock knock.....Who's there?

We have had a very busy week. I have helped with 2 dinners at the Presidents' home for two different stakes and all of their bishops and the wives--one on Wednesday and one on Friday evening. Monday and Saturday evenings we went to Miami to help host a display of the "Reflections of Christ" pictures for 4 hours each evening. A photographer has taken pictures of Christ's life using real "today" people. He displays them in a beautiful way in the cultural hall, with lights off and only the pictures and spotlights on them with soft music playing. It is a very spiritaul display. The missionaries figured we had about 800 people come over the last week. They showed it for 2 hours in the mornings and then 4 hours in the evening.

On Saturday, the ward missionary committee (8 members) and 8 full-time missionaries, including ourselves, went knocking on doors of 4 streets within the ward boundaries for about 1 hour. We got 13 referrals during that time! Tim and I got 1 of them. Our ward has a goal of 44 bapstims this year. The first door we knocked on got slammed in our face. A 35ish may came to the door (11:30 am) and said "Man, you just woke me up. This is not good!!!!!" and shut the door. I think he was having a hangover. The ward will do this same thing once a month for the year. We found that the full-time missionaries did not have as much success as the ward members so they sort of said, "You don't have to come every time. Only if you want to." I think the badges, white shirts and ties scared quite a few off. Needless to say, we are exhausted.

Here is a picture of the iguana that has been hanging around our back door and the view out our bedroom window as the sun came up this week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Meeting Elder and Sister Zwick

We were privileged to meet Elder Zwick and his wife from the First Quorum of Seventies when he came to tour our mission this last week. They are good friends with our mission president and told some great stories about working with Pres Monson and some of the 12 apostles. He loves to know about people.

It's a bird! It's a cockroach! It's a frog!!!!!!!!!!

I woke up a little after midnight last night to go to the bathroom. We have a night lite on in the bathroom and as I walked in I could see something black on the floor. I thought it might be a cockroach so I turned the light on. It was a baby frog about 1 ½” long. I grabbed a tissue and made about 6 attempts to catch him. But of course, every time I got close, he would hop around. I could tell I needed some help so I called to Tim. It took about 4 calls before he heard me and came in. I showed him the frog and he said, “What do you want me to do about it?” Duh. Catch it!!!!!! I took a bath towel and held it so the bottom edge touched the floor, creating a barrier for it to escape out the bathroom door. (I ran to get the camera for a picture here). Tim got the broom and took a couple swipes at it but kept missing it. On the 3rd try he stunned it so I picked it up with the tissue and threw it into the toilet and flushed it.
Well, that woke the frog up and he jumped out of the water onto the inside of the bowl near the rim. (This is not a good thing for a 60 yr old who needs to use the bathroom.) Now to figure out how to catch him inside the toilet. I was not about to attempt using the toilet with him still in there. Tim just stood there while I tried to figure out what I could do to catch him. I got a paper cup and tried to knock him into the water. Every time I would knock him down, he would hop back up before I could get the cup into the water. He was so high up I had to almost stick my head inside the bowl to see where he was. After several attempts I finally caught him in the water with the cup. I hurried and put something over the cup to keep him inside and went out to our screened-in patio to throw him out. Trying to hold the cup without spilling it, unlocking and sliding the sliding glass door and then getting out the locked screen door was quite a feat. It had been raining all day and night and I was standing in about 1” of water in my garments on our patio at midnight.
I came back inside and took one step and noticed something black near the back of our swivel chair in the living room. I was sure it was a mouse so I yelled at Tim again. He was not happy with me. When he lifted the chair, we found out it was the black leg of the chair. Then he was really upset with me. I finally made it to the bathroom, and none too soon.
I got back to bed about 12:30 am and lay there for over an hour, sometimes chuckling at the funny experience we had just had. Some day it may be funny to Tim also.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Janet hit the big 60!!!

Bro and Sis Dalling decorated the office for my birthday and had 60's music playing when we walked into the office on my 60th birthday. The music made me want to dance and Tim nor Sis Dalling like to dance but Elder Dalling and I do so we did the "arms length" dance long enough to get a picture. She also made me a delicious cake.

Thanks to all of you who sent cards and e-mails. I got about 8 from people at the district who I used to work with. I was very touched that they would take the time to remember my birthday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We have murdered!!!!

This morning when we opened our door to go to the office, a little gecko ran into the living room. Tim ran and grabbed it by the tail to throw it back out and it's tail came off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It frightened him and he dropped the tail. It kept wiggling all over the floor. The gecko was stunned a little and then ran under the sofa. We moved the sofa and there it was- we think dead. It didn't move. We looked back and the tail was still wiggling. Creepy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Our New Office

We love our new office and looking out the opening to such a beautiful foyer. There is just one problem. The opening is just a little bit too high for Tim and Sister Dallilng.

Feeding the Peacocks

I got to feed the peacocks while we were waiting for the boat ride at Everglade Park.

Alligator Pictures

Alligator Pictures

I had to beg Tim to hold the alligator.

Alligator Time

We were able to go to the Everglades today and ride on an airboat for about an hour. We only saw 3 alligators. One was about 15 feet long and two were about 6 feet long. We got to hold a 2-year old one that was about 4 feet long.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

News from the Sunshine Mission

Sister Holdstock got a new mattress today!!! Yeah! She has been sleeping on a twin bed that had a spring sticking up in the middle at both the head and foot of the bed. She would cling to one side and then when she rolled over, she would have to cling to the other side to avoid the spring. The President had one at the home that they didn't need and so the Elders had it on the pickup to deliver to anyone who needed a new mattress. We happened to be there at the right time and "chose" it! We also got a nicer swivel chair for our living room. Our old one went to the other senior couple and they were excited. It is just a game of "I'll take yours and you take theirs".
We had an area general authority visit the office this week. It was Elder Burns from the Southeast United States area. He was delightful and told us some wonderful stories about the hurricanes here in Florida. We can hardly wait! Pres sent an e-mail to all of the parents telling them that the hurrican season starts in a couple of months BUT that we were prepared and would make sure their missionaries were safe when they occur. I'm sure that sent a lot of panic into the parent's hearts - it does mine. We have a large plastic tub on our deck, as does all of the missionaries, with a little BBQ grill, charcoal, matches and lighter fluid. We have 4 gallons of water inside our apartment so we should be set (or not).
Having a great time and enjoying the e-mails we get. We crave news from home just as any 19-year old missionary would. Our e-mail address is incase you have forgotten.
We pray for and love all of you.
P.S. My investigator is still taking the lessons but doesn't seem to be catching on very fast to the beautiful message the sisters have for him. We didn't go last week as we felt there had been too many the time before. The sisters had the Relief Society president show up as well as ourselves (5 of us!!). Can you imagine what Vladimir thought when he opened his door? He probably thought the whole church had come to force him into baptism.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just because we love you!!!!

We have a few fun missionary stories to tell you about our missionaries. Two weeks ago one of our fun missionaries met a gentleman on the street. The man read their tags and said “Oh the Church of Jesus Christ. Well that makes a lot of sense since it is all about him. It’s those Mormons that I can’t stand’. The Elder invited him to church that Sunday and he accepted. As they were sitting in sacrament meeting, the Elder took his scriptures out to look something up. When he sat them on the bench, the man looked down and saw “The Book of Mormon” written on it. He looked at the Elder who was just grinning from ear to ear. He has gone to church twice now and loves it. He will probably be baptized.
Another set of elders were getting the oil changed in their car and said they would give their car to the sisters and take theirs to have the oil changed also. While waiting for the car, they decided to walk down the street a little ways and get something to eat. While walking, they ran into a man they had taught a few lessons to several weeks ago and then lost track of him. They didn’t have a phone number or address and thought he was gone for good but there he was, right in front of them. He pretty much told them that he wanted to be baptized.
The senior elder who works in the office with us was calling about the repairs on a car just before we entered the mission field. He rang the wrong number so he hung up. In a few minutes a lady called back and said, “Did you just call me?” The elder said, “I’m sorry, it was a wrong number.” She said, “Who are you?” He told her that he was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and that he could send some missionaries to teach her about our religion if she would like. She said she would like that. He was able to baptize her about the middle of January.
Our ward is one of the most diversified wards in the mission. Here are a few of the names. I will never be able to learn them. Fiapito Mano Leali’ie’e, Hazer Ornoria Navarro Saballo, Kerven Manutaufonua Tua’one, Elcio Otavio Zanatta, Moussa Khali Abuali, Carlos Jauregui, James Yusasvage, Manfred Jaramillo, Xiomara Acosta, Christoher Asturrizaga, Raquel Carrasco Alegria, Khrishnodutt Ibaran and Ayodeji Adebusuyi.
We are loving rubbing shoulders with the energetic young missionaries. We experienced our first transfer meeting this week. What a wonderful experience! In 3 weeks we will have Elder Zwick from the Seventies visit our stake conference, take a tour of our mission, inspect some of the missionary’s apartments, etc. We are trying to get our office looking nice for him. Pres Hale said that he likes to see how the missionaries are living when they don’t know anyone will be coming. They remodeled our office this last week and it looks like it could be a room in the temple. Pres Hale is into interior decorating and you can tell. I will put pictures on the blog for you to see.
We love all of you and pray for you every day. Thanks for supporting us on our mission. WE LOVE LETTERS and phone calls. We have been told it is okay for family to call whenever they want so don’t hesitate. We have our cell phone with us at the office. May the Lord bless you as you keep his commandments.