Sunday, March 20, 2016

A "Crazy Mormon" Adventure

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Here we are at the end of another week already.   I am amazed that we are moving forward quickly and will soon be 1/4 done with 2016 and I can hardly remember to write that year.   With the passage of time, I should be able to look outdoors and see more sunshine, but it seems we are stuck with more gray, rainy weather than sunshine ;/

Monday we arrived at the office under gray skies and with puddles all over the parking lot ..... and construction workers and equipment.

This  green machine was sitting in the parking lot, ready to go to work.

Some digging work had commenced the week before...

But within a couple of hours, the rain had stopped and the digging got serious

As I wandered around the office and looked out the windows, I wondered what people driving by must think......and I started to giggle.   One of the other office missionaries asked me what I was laughing at and I told her I was just thinking about how the media blows everything out of proportion and how funny it would be if a reporter was driving by and decided to publish a headline, "Embattled Mormons Build Mote Around Local Building"  I was tempted to make a poster that said, "Nothing to see here-----just plumbing repairs"  This is in front of the entrance to the office so we had to use other doors to the building.

I sure would not want to be one of those workers!
Finally - on Friday afternoon they started to cover the trenches over.

Even in the midst of construction projects, the work of the mission continues.   This last week was more zone conferences and Elder Ashton was busy inspecting missionary cars, but in the midst of that he also had time to sell one car, except for the final paperwork which he left for me to do.   Some of the missionaries call him the Chariot Master and I'm thinking of asking that I be given the title of Jr. Chariot Master because it seems like I have the privilege of helping him out with his tasks on a fairly regular basis.

Thursday was Zone Conference for our area and the missionaries all brought their cars in to be inspected.   For any who know Elder Ashton, you won't be surprised to know that he has the whole thing well organized and missionaries know they are to park their cars in every other space and leave the hood and trunk open.   Elder Ashton,  Elder Wright, and young Brother Goldade inspected 17 cars thoroughly and it took them about 2.5 hours.  Thank goodness they had one of our rare beautiful weather days for it! 

One of the missionaries told me they worked really hard to make sure their car was clean - they spent most of Monday cleaning it but by the time Thursday rolled around (they park in a dirt driveway, under a tree) it was dusty again.   He was disappointed that they didn't get a prize after they worked so hard so I told him he needed to take his complaint to Elder Ashton- that I thought it was valid.   Maybe the next Chariot Master that comes to this mission will not be so strict on cleanliness of vehicles;-)

This was another week of struggling with the mail service in this area.   This is a check that was sent from Church Headquarters in SLC and arrived at the apartment complex like the bag that says "WE CARE?"   Wow!

I had to cancel this check and issue a new one.

Received this "damp" envelope this week.   The bill inside was a little damp but was still legible so I could go ahead and pay the bill.   
The post office staff is probably familiar with my name by now because it seems like I call on a fairly regular basis to report missing mail, tattered mail, no delivery, etc.   We have had 5 days since January 1st when no one bothered to deliver mail to our building and I think I've heard every excuse imaginable.   Usually, if we haven't received mail by 4 p.m., if I call the post office, we get a delivery the next day.   I wonder if we will have those same kinds of issues in the Arizona, Gilbert mission.

Elder Ashton had the opportunity to go with the Assistants to the President to teach a lesson on Thursday evening.   He came home and said the lady was really interested in joining the church.   She came to church this morning and was telling me that she really wants to be baptized soon - just needs to finish the lessons and get it set up.   It is interesting to watch the transformation in people's lives and to hear them say that when they heard the missionaries it just "felt" right.  

Even though skies are mostly cloudy and gray, we do notice several signs of spring.   I drove past this little bush a few times and then finally decided I liked it enough I wanted to stop and take a picture or two.   

Lots of flowers on one little bush

I love the coral color - very vibrant

Makes me smile when I see that cheery little bush!

No blossoms on the pear trees last weekend, but by Thursday of this week, they were in full bloom....even starting to turn from all white to some green showing as the leaves break out too.

By next week, the ground beneath this tree will be white with blossoms.

This is the little tree in our parking lot that had the red berries on it.    Now it has red buds and little pink/white flowers.

 Lastly, as I was walking through the parking lot today, I could hear birds singing and looked overhead to see these birds sitting about 30 feet up at the very top of a tree and singing loudly.   That brought a smile to me face, even though I felt a drop or two of rain as I looked up.

 I have loved the beautiful trees, bushes, and flowers back here and it looks like I am going to get to enjoy them for one more season before we head back to Arizona.   I'll have great memories of the beauty of Virginia to take home with me.   I'll also have lots of memories of the great people we have had the opportunity to associate with.   We had the Sister Missionaries over for dinner last night and we were talking about how it would be strange for us and strange for them when we go home, because we have kind of liked the role of Mission Grandparents.    I sort of feel like I've acquired hundreds of new grandkids in the last year and a half......and I've almost gotten so I can get "y'all" to roll off my tongue ;-)


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