Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fun at the luau.........

We had a luau today for our ward activation activity. They pinned real palm leaves on the walls and had beautiful colorful tablecloths on the tables. We ate pulled pork, chips, and salads. The Hollywood Ward (Bishop Hoope's Ward - Jeremy) did the entertainment with lots of hula dancing and numbers from Saoma, Tonga and Figi. Jessica's baptism followed.

The Lord's work continues to increase here in Southern Florida. This weekend we had 20 baptisms scheduled, although not all of them will actually take place.
We had a baptism today for Jessica Martin, who is a 23 year old granddaughter of the couple that Tim and I are working with. Her Grandma will probably be baptized soon but her Grandpa is holding out until he can be totally committed. He loves the church and the people so we will continue to work on him. We are going out to dinner with them on Monday evening. This last week was zone conferences and we were able to attend one near Miami. We talked about our purpose as a missionary – to baptize! The President said that Miami was the largest metropolitan area that didn’t have a temple so we are working really hard.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Little teaching moments.........

We stayed until about 6:15 tonight. About 6:00 the APs came and were standing talking to me when someone knocked on the door. It was a black lady, about 35 years old, who wanted a couple of Bibles to take to Jamaica with her next week. Elder Isom got her 2 and she asked if that was all he could spare so he got her another one. I told her she could have some B of M also and she said she had one but would like some to take with her also. She also requested some pamphlets. I asked her if she knew anything about our church and the B of M. She said something about that guy who started it all (Joseph Smith). I said “do you know where the B of M comes from?” She said “I think that guy had a vision.” I asked the missionaries to tell her the story of Joseph Smith and I told her how the B of M and Bible go hand in hand. I then told her that we have a prophet on the earth today like they did in Biblical times and she said, “I believe we have prophets all over the earth today. Some of them are scared to tell us who they are but I believe they are there.” I then asked her if she would like some missionaries like these young men to teach her about our church and she said “Yes.” I had her fill out a referral card and put it on the computer. She is in the Fort Lauderdale Ward boundaries so maybe I will see her at church. Her name is Dawn. I told her we had missionaries in Jamaica also and would she like me to send some to her relatives. She asked if I had their number and I told her I would have to put it into the computer and it would be sent to Jamaica. She said she would get their address and call me with it. The Elders told me afterwards “Sister Holdstock, you are a good missionary.” It made me feel brave with the 3 of them standing there to back me up though.
A few minutes later Elders Isom, Olsen and Stewart went into their office and shut the door. I could hear them singing a hymn. One of them could not carry a tune, but nonetheless, they sang. I think they were planning the zone conferences for next week and having a prayer and devotional before starting. It touched my heart. I love to see them being so spiritual in their duties when no one else is listening.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dodging the hurricane.....

We are still doing okay here in Florida. We had a hurricane that was going to bring us some rain towards the end of last week but it went up into the Gulf of Mexico. I guess we must have prayed harder than the missions up there. We are about 1/2 way through hurricane season and haven't seen any action at all. I hear it is terrible if you have to go to a smelly, HOT Red Cross Center and be without electicity for 10 days. They say they are packed. NO THANKS!
We have caught another 2 geckos in our apartment this week. It has been a while since we have had any. One was loose in our bedroom for about 4 days and we finally found him on the wall above my bed. It was almost more creepy finding him there and squishing him on the wall (Tim did that) than not knowing where he was.
We have a new couple coming to our mission on Oct 1 to replace a couple who is going home. The President is having the new Elder do ALL of the apartment work except for the checks that will need to be written. Tim is elated. He has been doing quite a bit of it to help the couple over them. It will be a welcome relief for him.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Busy week.....

Outside the Orlando Temple
The sisters who are going home this week.

It was extremely busy this week in our mission. We had 16 new missionaries arrive on Tuesday and went to the Orlando Temple on Wednesday with the 12 who departed on Thursday morning. We helped purchase, prepare and serve dinner at the Hale home (our President) on Tuesday evening for 30 people, lunch on Wednesday for those transferring for 140, and dinner the same night for about 30 for those departing the next morning besides our regular days at the office. Monday was spent buying and preparing some of the food for Wednesday. We never got home before about 9:00 and sometimes as late as 10:15 on Mon, Tues and Wed and we got up at 4:30 am to get ready to fo to the temple. It was a 3 hr. 15 min. drive each way. When we got back to the office on Thursday we had to catch up because of missing Wednesday. We hold the mail for about 3 days before transfers so it was really backed up on Thursday and Tim had to get all of the new addresses and changes in apartments into the computer before I could print labels for the packages and letters. We left the office Thursday about 6:30 pm.
President Hale told us today that he has made arrangements with the Director of the Hawaiian Cultural Center to host the senior couples in Jan 2011. He told him he we would give him a couple of days at his condo if he would treat us like he would the Prophet. He plans to have us all come to his condo on Kawaii for a few days reunion.
The President also told us the other evening that he knows the President of Guatemala and that his wife is involved in humanitarian work so a couple of years ago he worked with the Church to give a special humanitarian award to Guatemala's First Lady. President Hale flew on the private jet to go to Guatemala to pick her up and then escorted her to Salt Lake where she received the award and then flew back to Guatemala with her. HE KNOWS EVERYONE!!!!
About a month ago I got an idea about 3 am to put a "chapel card" in all of the "mail only" offers that I send out. The card has a picture of the chapel in each area, address and times of the meetings. The missionaries use them to give to some of their investigators. Some people do not want the missionaries to deliver the items they request (DVDs, Bibles, BofM etc) so I just mail them out. Last week one of the missionaries told me that a lady showed up at church and said she had received an "invitation" to come to church. The missionary didn't know what she was talking about until I explained to her what I had started doing and she said, "That must be why the lady showed up at church." It is interesting how the spirit directs even the referral secretary (me) to do things that can help get investigators to church.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Lesson about the"Dew Point"........

This is Elder Holland, Fernanda Chaud and Elder Bird. I played the piano at her baptism. She is from Brazil.
This is Lysent, Shamar and Sylvia Brown. They were baptized 2 weeks ago and I was able to play the piano at their baptism. Lysent and Sylvia are the grandparents.

It is sooooo hot and steamy here that Dad keeps having trouble with his glasses fogging up when we go outside. This isn't very bad. Sometimes you can't even see his eyes. It happens when we go from an air conditioned area out into the warm. This was on the way to the office in the morning.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What a bird!

This is a picture of Tim finishing his lunch. He watched this bird outside our window about (10 feet away from him) as he ate. This one is NOT as large as the one that eats the baby ducks.

Hunting geckos

This week Sister Dalling saw our sickly tree and found a gecko behind it so Tim had to trap it. She then destroyed the evidence of trimming it. Soon there will be nothing left to it.

Sailing along.......

This week has been a very busy one. Tim is finishing up some projects for the President and we are getting ready for transfers in 1 1/2 weeks, which is always a busy time for us. I went to the President's home on Thursday and helped prepare a french dip sandwich luncheon for 40 people that were at the mission council meeting. I was exhausted when I returned back to the office about 2 pm.
We received word this week that the Sister and Brother (Gwin and Ed Goodman) investigators that we have been trying to have for dinner with the missionaries has found out she has a brain lesion. They were at church today and she said she isn't worried. She has opted to wait until November to have another MRI and see if anything is growing. It might be that she has had it a long time. We are going over this evening to take them some cake and visit. I have really connected with her. We are hoping they will choose to be baptized soon.
Tina, our 88 year old friend, brought us lasagna on Tuesday night for dinner. It took her 4 hours to fix it and I felt so bad. She has really taken a liking to us. She calls us almost every evening. We have tried calling her but she doesn't answer.
Yesterday we were able to attend the baptism of a Grandpa, Grandma and their grandson and I played the piano. When our ward missionary committee went out knocking doors about a month ago, the Bishop knocked their door. It was the only referral he got that day. The committee teased him about only getting one. He baptized them and was very emotional as he played a huge part in finding them. He keeps reminding us that he was baptized in the same font only 7 years ago. Amazing!
We are being blessed beyond measure. Our money seems to be stretching a long way. Tim says he is astounded at how far it seems to be going.