Sunday, June 8, 2014

May 2014

Missionary letter written on a ball
The letters and packages arriving at the mission office for our missionaries come in many sizes and shapes, but this one was declared by our mail carrier as the most unusual that she has ever delivered. It was an inflated ball with messages written on it, and had an address and return block (top left) and a valid postage sticker. It arrived in good condition (names smeared out just for this photo) and got much attention in the office as well as excitement for the missionary.

Our missionaries and investigators at May 7 temple tour 

Temple tour nights are wonderful. There is always a spirit of peace and rightness there that investigators can feel as they tour the grounds of the Orlando temple. Bro Herzog and Pres. Wood do great jobs of explaining what temples are for and what goes on inside. It expands our vision of the eternal nature of our lives and why the gospel of Christ is so vital for us to understand and accept. The questions of where we come from before this life, what is the purpose of this life, and where we go after this life are all discussed in the tour, as taught in more detail in the temple. These pictures were from the May 7 tour that we attended. Bro Bao (top) and Bro. Louis (bottom) were both baptized later in May.

Sis Nielson with mothers-day "flowers"

Happy Mother's Day -- Jan felt quite spoiled to have such wonderful children who made her Mother's Day so nice. Thanks to all of you who made it a great Mother's Day! This picture shows her with a bouquet of fruits that Becky and her family sent to her at the office. We both enjoyed them!

Blondy at his baptism with the elders who taught him

We went to a baptism service on May 10 where Blondy was baptized. He's in our Bumby ward and we've come to appreciate his dedication and hard work to get his education and excel in his work.

Special tastes of Florida

The Gordon's, who work in the mission office with us, brought a sampler of foods they discovered at a friend's restaurant in the South of our mission. They were delightful! Bottom left is alligator, bottom right is catfish, top right is turtle, and the rest are southern hush puppies and coleslaw. These are great treats of Florida, and they taste great -- better than chicken.

May 16 Temple Tour

Vapor trail from rocket launch at Cape
Canaveral as seen from Orlando Temple

These pictures are from a temple tour on May 16, where we enjoyed meeting Wil and seeing many of our missionary friends. As often happens when seeing missionaries, there are medical questions. This time there was an infected spider bite (below) that needed an antibiotic. Sis N transmits photos to our area medical doctor to document and consult.
Spider bite

Near the end of the Temple Tour we saw an unusual vapor trail and were told that it was from a rocket launch at Cape Canaveral. The winds have already shifted the trail from the straight path it began with.

Bro Bao at his baptism with Elders Vance and Gallo

Long before we knew Bro Bao, Elder Gallo told us he believed he would baptize someone in Chinese. Elder Gallo studied some Chinese (and speaks English and Spanish besides his native Portuguese). Just before his scheduled return to Brazil May 21, but performed this special baptism on May 17 in Chinese. Although Bro Bao speaks English well, a musical solo and the baptism ordinance were performed in Chinese, adding a special spirit to the baptism service that brought tears to all of us. After the baptism, Bro Bao bowed to everyone in gratitude for the blessing of his baptism, endearing him to all of us.
Aileen on the Orlando Temple grounds

We met Aileen, a new friend from Italy, at church and shared enjoyable times for the few weeks she was here, including the dedication service for the new Ft Lauderdale temple. She's a former missionary in England, and returned to her home in Italy on May 20.

Pres and Sis Berry with 11 newly-arrived missionaries May 19
Monday evening, May 19, we received 11 new missionaries, followed by another one a week later. We missed greeting them on arrival because we were helping a sick missionary check into a hospital.
Twelve missionaries finishing their missions

We had a farewell dinner for 12 departing missionaries at the mission home on May 20, hosted wonderfully by Sis Berry, Sis Busath and Sis Gordon. It was hard to see this group finish and go home because of our many friendships and attachments to them.

Us with our two finishing Brazilian missionaries

We've grown especially close to our Portuguese-speaking missionaries from Brazil because of their faith and diligence and our common love for Brazil. We hate to see them go but expect to see great futures for them.
Baptism in Wetherbee YSA ward

Jan attended the baptism of a young man in the Wetherbee YSA ward on May 24. Elders Fuller and Collins were privileged to teach this well-prepared young man.

Lunch-time pictures at the conference for the North Zones

We attended zone conferences on May 26 (north zones) and May 27 (south zones), where we helped with car inspections, presentations, and some iPad support. We only got the lunch pictures for the north zones because of some glitches and medical issues that took our time.  Loved the Teddy-Bear cookies (or in Orlando, Mickey Mouse cookies). They were yummy besides.
Pictures from Orlando South, Hunters Creek, and Cocoa Zones (top-bottom)
Getting Hurricane Packets
Loading emergency water
We helped put together emergency preparedness packets for the missionaries, which were distributed at the zone conferences. We also prepared lists of the nearest emergency shelters for each missionary apartment in the mission. We hope we're prepared for this hurricane season, which starts June 1.

Baptism in Hunters Creek

We attended the baptism on  May 31 of a 14 yr old whose mother (shown here) was baptized a month ago. He didn't want the lessons then, but changed his mind after coming to church with her. He bore a great testimony at his baptism. As he spoke, he reminded us of our oldest grandson in his manner of speech and behavior.  

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