Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our Finisher's Fireside..............

Tim, Janet with Sister & President Hale at our "Finisher's Fireside"

This is the group of missionaries departing prior to their departure on April 22. We shared our testimonies and had a delicious meal prepared by Sister Hale.

We'll leave our heart in Fort Lauderdale.....

WOW! I can't believe our mission is already coming to an end. It has really hit us hard this week. Monday evening we welcomed the new couple, the Martins from Washington by going out to dinner with all of the senior couples. Tuesday morning we moved furniture from our apartment to the Martins. It happened to be a very hot muggy day and we were drenched before we could finish. Tuesday afternoon we met 7 new missionaries arriving in the mission and helped prepare their dinner at the mission home and Dad and I did the cleaning up and dishes. Wednesday was transfer day. We didn't get to go to the temple with the departing missionaries for fear Dad would have a kidney stone attack while we were gone. We spent the day training the Martins as well as the Hogges who are transfering from the employement center to the office. They have only been in 3 other times so they also needed a little help that day. At 4:00 we all left the office to pick up potaotes, gravy and pies for the dinner at the mission home for those departing the next morning. Once again we helped prepare as well as clean up afterwards. We then had a testimony meeting where all of those leaving the mission bore their testimonies. There were 9 of us in all. It was a great meeting. Thursday and Friday were very busy days with trying to get all the training in that we could. We are exhausted!!!

Dad hasn't had any discomfort or pain at all since Tuesday. He almost feels like he passed his kidney stone and didn't realize it. We can only pray that is the case.

We will also need your prayers for good weather as we leave Friday morning. We see there was a terrible tornado in Jackson, Mississippi area. Mapquest told us to take that very route going home because it was 1 1/4 hours faster getting to Jeremy and Rebecca's but Dad wants to go further west before we head to McKinney. I remember a couple of years ago when we were in McKinney in April and was stuck at the airport because of a tornado that touched down. So it sounds like this is the time of year for them. Had we left this past Friday instead of next Friday, we may have experienced a little of it as we would have been passing through Mississippi on the day it struck. Please pray for our safety.

We are really going to push hard and try to make it to McKinney late Saturday night. It will be an 11+ hour drive on Friday and about 10 hours on Saturday to make it. That may sound easy for you young folks but it sounds like a looooooooooooooooong ride for old people. My back has really been aching the last few days so I hope it will last that long. We want to attend church with them. We will most likely leave Wednesday morning to head to Utah. That will give us 4 days to arrive before Saturday evening. It is the same distance from Florida to McKinney as from McKinney to Centerville so we should be able to do that.
We love you all and are excited to see you in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Leaving dear friends.....

It is going to be so hard leaving the NOVA (YSA) Branch. There are some really wonderful members here and we have come to love them. This is the Relief Society. The Sister on the front left side is Deedee, an investigator. Janet got to go with the Sister missionaries last night to teach her. We ended up sitting on a park bench overlooking the boardwalk by the lake near her apartment. She does not have a baptism date set yet but we hope it will come soon. The tiny girl on the front row, 2nd from the left, was baptized on Feb 14. Her name is Chrissy. She is going to be a dentist. She has a sweet testimony. She is an only child and her mom is single. She said her mother goes to a church every day and prays for about 3-4 hours. She still hasn't told her mother that she has joined our church. She thinks it will break her heart. She has been dating the counselor in the Bishopric until today. She met a returned missionary before her baptism that was returning from a cruise and happened to come to the branch for church and met Chrissy. They have been corresponding a lot and he flew here to visit her this weekend. They were holding hands in Sunday School. This young man, who is from Alberta, Canada, suits her a lot more than the counselor. The young lady in the back just right of Janet is Alana. She was baptized December 26 and now has a desire to go on a mission. However I think, Jake, a member of our branch has other ideas. They are pretty chummy at church.
This is one of the sweetest young ladies you will ever meet. Her name is Princesse. She is Haitian and a returned missionary. No one else in her family are members. She always gives me a hug and told me one day that she appreciates so much having older Sister missionaries in the branch. That made my day because sometimes we feel like we are chaperones and out of place. I have come to love her so much. She has one of the most beautiful smiles!!
We decided that Tim needed to be in a picture with Princesse also. She is darling no matter what she is wearing.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our going home get-to-gether.....

Last night the Welch's hosted a going home get-together for the Blacks and us. The Blacks will leave a week from tomorrow, April 19. Tim had a couple of good hours between his pain so we took advantage and enjoyed the other senior couples.
Elders Colllins, Black, Welch, Holdstock & Hogge

Sisters Black, Welch, Holdtock, Collins & Hogge

Tim wasn't feeling totally up to par but he was a good sport. We enjoyed a good dinner, visited and then we played charades and pictionary for the rest of the evening. We are really going to miss our association with the other Senior couples.

Our creative missionaries.....

I have had such a fun time seeing the creative letters that are sent to the missionaries. This is a tortilla that was sent from missionary to his former companion. The back side has little notes on it.

Elders Wardle, Sister Holdstock and Elder Dube show off the Title of Liberty the Hollywood Zone created. Each one of the companionships added a little bit to the banner. It is our mission symbol showing palm trees and our future temple.

Another ER visit......

We are down to the last 3 weeks of our mission and can't believe it is almost over. We are, however, needing everyone's prayers for Tim. He has been having excruciating pain the last couple of days and finally ended up in ER at the hospital on Saturday morning. We found out he has a 5mm kidney stone he is trying to pass and another 2mm one still in the kidney. The Dr said that the 5mm point is where they consider blasting it because it is extremely difficult to pass on your own. Wouldn't you know that he has to suffer for 2 days before Monday morning is here and we can try to get into an urologist for help. Hopefully we can talk them into blasting it for him. The last 2 nights he has spent almost the entire night pacing the floor in pain. We need to get this over with so we can finish our mission up full force. Tim is doing the job of 2 senior Elders until our new couple arrives on Apr 20. We are supposed to take the departing missionaries to the Orlando Temple, a 3 1/4 hr. drive each way, in 10 days. There is no way we can go if he is still sick. We are also have transfer planning and preparation going on this week. The next 2 weeks are the busiest weeks of the 6-week transfer period. We also have our new couple arriving a week from Tuesday and need to start training them and moving our apartment furniture from ours to theirs. You can see it is a busy time!!!! Please keep Tim in your prayers. We know that mighty prayers are effective.
We should arrive home about May 9 or 10th.