Friday, July 1, 2016


We arrived back home without any difficulties other than many hours in the car.  We stopped outside St. Louis on Tuesday evening and drove to Des Moines, Iowa on Wednesday.  We visited Renee's brother, Brent, and his wife, Judy.  We had not seen them in probably 10 years.  We then drove to Cheyenne, Wyoming on Thursday, and completed the trip on Friday.  All together, we spent about 37 hours driving.

It is good to be home, but we also miss the missionary service.  Now our challenge will be to find something else meaningful to do with our lives.

This is what we saw as we drove up the hill to our home.   We have thoughtful neighbors.

Monday, June 27, 2016

On The Road

I had hoped to be on the road by at least 9 am, but as is usual we didn't make that time.  But we were underway by 10.  We drove 3 hours to Gainesville and stopped for lunch with our friends the Parrino's.

Jim gave us a short tour of the University of Florida campus where he teaches.  There are about 40,000 students there.  The campus seems quite large with a lot of buildings.

We saw their home which is quite nice.  Then we finished the drive to Atlanta arriving at the hotel at 9:30 pm.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Last Sunday at University Park Ward

We drove the Elders to church today.  We laughed about how they would now be on their own.  They will be moving into our apartment.

It was sad to be leaving the ward.  I don't think we did that much because of our other assignments, but many members, especially Bishop  Leedom, thanked us for our contributions and positive influence.  One brother thanked me for being me.  He said he had learned much from me and my example.

When we did apartment inspections, Renee would leave a little treat for the missionaries, usually a roll of Life Savers.  She would leave a note thanking them for saving lives.  We had some Life Savers left over, so she gave each of the missionaries in the University Park and Sarasota Wards a roll.  They obviously liked them, though we had to explain to newly arrived Sister Chavez from Mexico what they are.

I packed some boxes in our car during the afternoon.  Then in the evening we attended a baptism in the Cortez Branch -- the brother whom I had interviewed on Friday.  He asked if we would come to his baptism, so I thought we should try.  It was a good way to end our mission.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Meeting David

I took down our cable and internet connection and returned the equipment to the cable company.  So we are now without a cable connection in our apartment.

We then drove south, outside of our mission, to see David who was at a business meeting in Bonita Springs.  (We had President Cusick's permission.)  Bonita Springs, and the Ft. Myers Stake, were part of our mission when we first arrived.

It was good to see him and be able to visit with him.  We had a long lunch, visited a small animal attraction -- mostly alligators, lizards, turtles, and exotic birds.  Maile apparently has had a challenging week, so he wanted to find something for her.  We stopped at a mall and he bought somes shoes.

We drove back to Sarasota and went to the UTC mall so Renee could return some shoes that she bought there earlier in the week.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Another Day, Another Interview

We did more packing and shipped two more boxes to Provo.  That is a total of 9 boxes we have shipped back - four with the Cusick's on the moving van for their goods and five mailed.  And I am still worried about whether we will be able to fit everything in our car.

I had an interview in the Cortez Branch.  The brother speaks some English, but I still had asked the Sisters to arrange for a translator for me.  It was a good interview though a bit longer than usual because of the translation.  When I asked him about some issues, he admitted to a previous transgression.  Then later in the interview, he returned to that topic and confessed some additional transgressions.  After having done that, he said that he felt like a great weight had been lifted.

The gospel changes lives.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Another Interview

We spent the first part of the day sorting, organizing, and packing.  We took three boxes to the Post Office to mail to ourselves in Provo.  The books were able to be mailed at the lower cost media rate, but the other boxes were rather expensive.

Renee continued to pack, and I drove to the Lake Hamilton building, about 2 hours, for another special considerations interview.  This was the first interview I had conducted in this building.  Pres. Healey when he was here conducted those interviews because it was closer for him.

The exciting part of the return drive was encountering a very heavy rainfall for several miles.  It is bad enough driving through torrential rain during the day because of the limited visibility, but it is worse at night.  I slowed down, but many drivers did not, especially the semis.  When they passed, they threw up a heavy wake.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


We started the day with some training with the new missionaries.  I'm not sure why, but this seems to be a good group.  However, as usual, some of them are arriving with some physical and emotional challenges.  Hopefully, they will be able to deal with them.

At 9;30 the missionaries who were being transferred or receiving a new companion arrived.  The parking lot at the mission office was the typical semi-organized chaos as missionaries found their new companion, moved luggage, and loading bikes.  It went fairly quickly.  I think the missionaries are becoming used to this new transfer process, but I preferred having the transfer meeting.

After the milling around, the newly arrived missionaries were assigned to their new companions.  They had some additional training, ate lunch, and then were on their way to their areas.  During this time, Renee and Sis. Alexander conducted medical "intake" interviews.  It is actually Sis. Alexander's responsibility, but since Renee did those for a couple of months, she likes to have Renee interview with her.

After all of the meetings, we drove to Hudson for a special considerations interview.  I was nervous about the drive through all of the traffic, so we left plenty of time for the drive.  We ended up arriving early, so we texted the Elders (May and Gardner) to see if they would like to join us for dinner.  Elder Gardner was in the University Park Ward for quite a while, so we got to know him.  It was good to see him again.

The interview was late beginning because there was a mix-up on who was to drive him to the chapel.  The Elders thought he was not going to come, so after waiting a while, we started back to Sarasota.  We had only driven a short distance, when they called to tell us he was on the way.  So we turned back, and I conducted the interview.  Because of the delay, it was well past 10 pm by the time we were back in Sarasota.