Sunday, September 15, 2013

Week Eleven

Our New Sister Missionaries and Sis. Nielson & Sis. Berry

This week we went over to the Mission Home several times to help receive & feed new missionaries and send some old ones back home. Monday we received 13 new one 6 Sisters (shown here e-mailing their parents that they arrived ok) and 7 Elders

Elder Delgado, us, and Elder Costa

Monday night our Portuguese missionaries came by so Elder Costa could say goodbye. He's getting transferred to be new Zone Leader in Leesburg. We'll miss him a lot, but are glad Elder Delgado is staying. His new companion is Elder Gallo, whom we already know & love from meeting him at past Zone conferences. He's from Minas Gerais (Brasil). 

Tuesday morning we had orientation meetings with the new missionaries at the Wetherbee church where Sis. Nielson got their medical forms & insurance cards, and talked about medical things. Then they were introduced to their new companions and left for their assigned areas to get started. All of the missionaries getting transferred also met at the same church to transfer their luggage and ride with their new companions and/or helpful members to their newly assigned areas. I took some over to the mission office a few miles away to pick up bikes, packages, etc., and the whole transfer process was done shortly after noon. The next picture shows the church parking lot after most of the change-outs were finished.  
Remnants of the Tuesday Morning Transfers

The lot had about a hundred people plus bikes, cars, & baggage there just a half hour earlier. 

Pres & Sis Berry with the departing Elders
On Tuesday afternoon we went to the Mission Home and got dinner ready for the nine departing missionaries. The picture by the Orlando Temple shows our nine departing Elders with Pres & Sis Berry just after a session there.

They came from the Temple to the Mission Home for dinner, visiting, a testimony meeting, and final interviews with Pres. Berry, and got ready for their trip to the airport for early flights home on Wednesday morning. 

Cake for education back home
Departing Elders in the Mission Home Loft

We reflected a lot on the prospective futures of the missionaries who are returning home, which appear so very diverse. Some seem difficult at best due to poverty, little family support, and little chance for education while others seem so bright for those continuing their college coursework, with family support, in their chosen fields. What a blessing it is to have supportive families, citizenship, and educational opportunities in addition to knowledge of the gospel of Christ !  Yet we still hope and pray for the miracles of friends and opportunities to be raised up for every one of these dedicated young missionaries as they press on with their lives. 

Sis Nielson continues to field a lot of medical calls for our Orlando and Jacksonville missionaries, which keeps her busy getting doctors lined up, finding the nearest emergency rooms and clinics, and looking at pictures of rashes, & injuries, sending to the regional Dr, follow-up on recovery/healing, symptom & history reviews, and charting everything in the church medical system. Elder Nielson helps move apartment furniture and do a little maintenance, besides office computer support and continuing work on mission maps. We don't know when we've had so much fun with so little sleep.
Two of the Marching Ducks at the Peabody Hotel

On our prep day Saturday, we had a couple of hours after cleaning & shopping so we explored International Drive, which we pass every day on the way to the mission office. We heard about the Marching Duck ceremony at the Peabody Hotel, and went there just after they finished their noon performance. Anyway, here's what a couple of them look like when they're eating.

The Horses Fountain in the Westpoint Blvd Median

Closeup of the Horses Fountain, leading a block of
timed fountains behind it.

We drive along S Hiawassee Rd every day to leave and enter Lake Debra Dr where we live, and generally pass our familiar landmark, the Horses Fountains one block west at the entry to Westpointe Blvd. We finally took these pictures ... they really landscape things in style here!  

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