Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Apartment Inspections

We drove to St. Petersburg and Gulfport to inspection missionary apartments today.  Generally they were well maintained.

We then met Elder and Sister Smith, another senior couple, for an early dinner.  They live in Gulfport and ave been working with the Gulfport Branch.  They have recently been asked to work with the St. Petersburg Ward.  Neither of these units has a lot of strong priesthood leaders.  Of course, that is true of most of the units in the mission.

After dinner, we went to see their apartment.  They live in a high rise building on the Gulf coast.  It is a small apartment, but they have a spectacular view.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

District Meeting and Specialized Training

We drove to the mission office to participate in with one of the Tampa Zone district meetings.  The reason we went to this district meeting is that it was followed by a specialized training meeting.  The topic for the district meeting was the Book of Mormon.  First, we discussed the importance of each missionary have a personal testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  That was followed by a discussion of using the Book of Mormon to answer questions that we might have.  We role played as a group of missionaries using references from the Book of Mormon to answer questions.  Missionaries were especially encouraged to use this in meeting with youth and other members.

Immediately after the district meeting, we moved to another room in the building for a specialized training meeting.  President Cusick had invited a group of missionaries to help him understand their perspectives on the attributes of successful missionaries.  What triggered this was training that President Cusick has seen on how our current missionaries are part of what has been termed the millennial generation. The millennials are more technology savvy, used to regular innovation, less trusting of authority, and generally less religious.  President Cusick wanted to know how these characteristics might impact our missionaries.  The missionaries generated a list of attributes, but the list was about what I expected -- listen to the spirit, diligent, loving, and so forth.  I believe that President may use this in future training.

Monday, September 28, 2015

P-Day and Another Drive

We completed our normal P-Day cleaning activities and then drove to Port Charlotte.  When the missionaries updated their iPads to the newest Apple operating system, some of the iPads locked up in the middle of the update process.  So far as we know, this occurred on 5 of our iPads.  After discussions with the missionary department, our missionary secretary was told that she would need to update the problem iPads by using her desktop Apple computer.  I had to chuckle about this because Apple pitches their more expensive equipment as being worth it because it always works.

Anyway, one of the problem iPads was in Port Charlotte, so we drove there in the afternoon to pick up the iPad.  After we had the iPad, we then drove to Fishermen's Village, a tourist area in Punto Gordo, a city near Port Charlotte.  I had seen some advertisements for it.  It is an old fishing wharf that has been converted into shopping boutiques.  It was interesting, though I doubt that we will return, if for no other reason than it is over an hour drive!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Long Drive to Sebring

It was time for us to visit the Sebring Ward again.  We enjoy visiting the ward but not the drive to get there.  We had to leave our apartment at 5:20 am to be there for their 7:00 am ward council.  One of the reasons they start their ward council so early is they spend 20 minutes or so reading and discussing from Handbook 2.  It takes time, but it helps the ward council members become more familiar with the instructions in the handbook.

They have had a few new members move into the ward which has provided some strength for them.  They are also looking forward to the arrival of snowbirds who will also strengthen the ward, at least until next spring.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Wilson's Departure

Kim and Annette left today to return home.  We enjoyed their visit.  We get along well and enjoy doing similar things.

Although we were sad when they left, as compensation for us we attended a baptism in the Beneva Branch for a husband and wife.  Although the services were in Spanish, we enjoyed being able to participate.  We were especially happy for Sister Tawzer, one of the sisters who taught them.  Sister Tawzer was not called as a Spanish speaking missionary.  However two months ago, President Cusick assigned her to work in the Spanish branch.  She has been working to learn Spanish and gave a talk in Spanish at the baptismal service.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Selby Botanical Gardens

We decided to visit the Selby Botanical Gardens which are in downtown Sarasota.  The gardens are located on the grounds of two old estates.  Renee and I had talked about visiting them, and we all found the visit quite interesting.  One of the specializations of the botanical gardens is orchids.  They have some fabulous orchids.  I was going crazy with my camera.  While at the gardens, a woman who works there stopped me and asked if I was wearing an "LDS badge" - Renee and I were wearing our nametags.  She lives in the Venice Ward and is the Sarasota Stake Primary President.

Later in the afternoon, we drove to Myakka River State Park.  Renee and I have visited there previously.  It has been closed for a month or so due to flooding.  They just reopened the main road.  It was actually interesting with the woods flooded on both sides of the road.  And, we were able to see an alligator!

Sarasota Bay

Selby Gardens

Kim and Annette Wilson

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Road Trip South

We wanted to drive to see Marco Island, Sanibel Island, and Captiva Island which are in the Naples and Ft. Myers area, south of us and outside of our mission area.  Those areas were part of our mission until last January when they were transferred to the Ft. Lauderdale Mission.  I checked with President Cusick, and he gave us permission to drive there.  So we planned a day trip.

We were interested in seeing Marco Island because Marriott has a time-share resort there.  However, we were not impressed by the island.  Even worse, they are building two additional towers at the Marriott resort.  We checked it off our list of places to visit.

Renee and I had visited Sanibel and Captiva Islands about 20 years ago.  Our memories were positive, so we wanted to see why.  Both islands, which are connected by a bridge, are pleasant without a lot of commercial development.  I'm sure the limited accommodations on the islands are very expensive.  We stopped at one of the beaches on Sanibel to look for shells.  We have read that the "shelling" on Sanibel and Captiva is good, and we found that to be the case.  We found a lot of shells, though not any large or unusual ones.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Siesta Beach Day

We took Kim and Annette to Siesta Beach.  Fortunately, we had excellent weather, light breeze and not too hot.  I was surprised there were not too many people at the beach, maybe the fewest I have seen.  The beach is very large, so it doesn't feel crowded even when a lot of people are there.  We introduced them to our new hobby of looking for interesting shells.

In the afternoon we drove north through the barrier islands visiting the standard tourist spots of Lido Beach, St. Armand's Circle, Longboat Key, Anna Maria Island, and Coquina Beach.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

District Meeting and Visitors

We drove to Arcadia to meet with the Sarasota Zone South District meeting.  This district includes the missionaries in Port Charlotte, Sebring, and Lake Placid.  The zone used to have three districts because of the distances between the missionaries.  When President Cusick decided to remove the missionaries from the Venice Ward, I suggested restructuring the district and consolidating into two.  He agreed that having two districts would be preferable.  The challenge is the distance between the missionaries in the eastern and southern part of the zone.  So I suggested that the district meetings be held in Arcadia even though no missionaries are assigned to the Arcadia Branch.  The advantage is Arcadia is roughly midway between Port Charlotte and Sebring/Lake Placid.  So everyone has to drive about an hour to get to the meeting.

The District Leader, Elder Menlove, did a good job of leading the discussion about teaching the restoration lesson.  He has only been out for 3 months and is already a district leader and is also a trainer. 

We drove back to our apartment to wait for the arrival of my brother and his wife, Kim and Annette.  They are going to visit for a couple of days.  They arrived in time for us to go to dinner at Bonefish Grill, probably our favorite fish restaurant.

Monday, September 21, 2015


We have settled into a routine for our preparation days.  We work on cleaning our apartment in the morning, and then try to do something in the afternoon.  This afternoon, I attempted to find a bird nesting area south of us, the Venice Rookery.  I had seen some signs for it.  Unfortunately, we weren't able to find it.  It turns out it is further south than I thought.  So our lack of success for today will give us something to do later.

So instead of going to see birds, we went to Costco instead.  Whenever we drive south, I like to stop for gas at Costco because it is less expensive.  And since we are in the area, we always look inside Costco to see what bargains they might have that we can't live without.  They always seem to have something.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Visit to Port Charlotte Ward

Today it was the Port Charlotte Ward's turn for us to visit.  We have been to all of the units enough times that we have developed some acquaintances in the wards/branches.  So we enjoy seeing them again. The Port Charlotte Ward is the southernmost unit in our mission.  It is also the second largest unit in the Sarasota Stake.  As with all of the ward/branches, there are many inactive members.

The Sister Missionaries found a part-member family last week while tracting.  The husband joined the Church in 1969 but has not been active for years, and his wife is not a member.  The Sisters invited them to come to the church meetings today, and they came and stayed for all three hours.  She said that she had enjoyed the meetings.  He told me that he had wanted to return to the Church before but she had not been interested.  Hopefully, she will be interested now.

Another senior couple will be arriving in early October, and President Cusick has assigned them to the Port Charlotte Ward.  They will be living in the same apartment complex as the Sister Missionaries, which I think will be good.  The bishop of the ward, Bp. MacDonald, is looking forward to their arrival.  They have had senior missionaries in the ward before, and they were able to have a great impact on the ward.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Another Baptism

We drove to St. Petersburg this afternoon for a baptism.  This was for the sister whom I interviewed earlier in the week.  It was a nice baptismal service.  It is wonderful to see the change and hope that the gospel brings to people who are willing to accept it.

She was baptized by the bishop of the ward, Bp. Marble.  He told me that he had never held a Church leadership calling until last February when he was called to be the Elders Quorum President.  Then only a few months later, the bishop of the St. Petersburg Ward was called to be the President of the St. Petersburg Stake, and he was called to be the bishop of the ward.  So he has really been thrust into Church leadership in a hurry.

Sisters Vanderhoff and Morgan with Peggy

Sisters Vanderhoff and Morgan and Peggy

Friday, September 18, 2015

A Down Day

My car was way overdue for a major service, which I had scheduled for today.  When I called to make the service appointment, I was told if I came in at 8:30 am, it would be done around noon.  So I planned on just waiting at the car dealer service department.  However, when I arrived for the service, I was told that it would take until about 4 in the afternoon.  So the dealership had a driver take me back to our apartment.  I worked on a few projects, such as upgrading my Dell tablet to Windows 10, until they called and said my car repair was finished.  The driver returned to pick me up and take me back to the dealership.

I had a pleasant visit with the driver and gave him a pass along card.  So it wasn't a total wasted day.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Day Working At Home

We spent today working in our apartment.  I had some tasks to do with the missionaries related to using their iPads.  The new missionaries are given iPads when they arrive, but they are not allowed to use them for awhile.  The concept is they have enough things to learn without having the iPads get in the way.  So after a couple of weeks, I contact the missionaries and let them know they can start the iPad training.  The first thing they must do is complete the on-line training for missionaries using mobile devices.  This is the Church's instruction on how to wisely use the iPads.  After they have completed that, they are then allowed to start using the devices.

The first thing that they must do is to delete a bunch of apps that Apple automatically installs on the iPads, such as GarageBand.  There are a limited number of Church-approved apps that can be installed on the iPad, such as Gospel Library.

The missionaries sync their iPads with Church servers to obtain information on their Area Book/Planner app.  While syncing, the software checks to see what is installed on the iPad.  President Cusick receives a regular report on who has completed the on-line training and what apps are installed on the iPads.  I have the responsibility to follow up on these reports.

At the end of the day, we received at email from President Cusick indicating that he has decided not to implement the plan of having a senior couple work with the newly baptized members in each stake (zone).  The idea was that the senior couples would help the new members research family names and go perform baptisms at the temple within 30 days of their baptism.  While that is a good practice and members who do that are more likely to stay active in the Church, it is the responsibility of the wards not the senior missionaries.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Another Zone Training Meeting

The other three zones met for their zone training today.  This meeting was held in Brandon.  This is only a 60 drive without the traffic concerns.

The meeting was much the same as yesterday.  President Cusick explained that the senior missionaries will be asked to help new members attend the temple within 30 days with family names.  Our assignment is to work with the members baptized in the Brandon Stake.  This will be a bit of a challenge for us because we have not been involved with the members or missionaries in Brandon.  But we, along with the other senior missionaries, will try to figure out how to make it work.

We didn't have any assignments following the meeting, so we were able to just return home.  We had only been back for a short time when Renee received a text from the Sisters in the Sarasota Ward.  They had a teaching appointment with a brother at the church.  So we dashed to get something to eat and drove to the Sarasota building.  Unfortunately, the brother didn't come despite the Sisters texting and calling him.  So we learned first hand what the missionaries experience every day with appointments not being kept.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Very Long Day

We arose very early to be on the road at 6:45 am to drive to the Tampa Stake Center for a combined zone training meeting.  The stake center is on the north side of Tampa.  With no traffic, it would take us about an hour and 20 minutes to drive there.  However, since we have to drive through Tampa, traffic problems are always a concern.  So we left early to allow for traffic slowdowns.  We were wise to do so because there was an accident which caused a significant backup.  Fortunately, the GPS showed us a detour around the traffic, but it still took an hour and 45 minutes.

The zone training meeting was excellent.  Even though we just had zone conferences, President Cusick though we should combine zones again for more training.  This training was based on materials he has received from the Church.  One set of videos was training on improving sacrament meeting worship.  This was based on the General Authority Training Meeting held before the April General Conference.  The videos were to be shown in all ward councils but that hasn't happened.  So mission presidents have been asked to involve the missionaries in helping Church members recognize the importance of the sacrament ordinance they participate in each Sunday.

The other part of the training was based on materials from the New Mission Presidents' Seminar from last summer.  The two primary topics were obedience and teaching.  The missionaries have been asked to learn how to present the Restoration Lesson in 4 minutes.  To practice this, missionaries will be allowed to visit members to teach this lesson.

Following the training, we had a mission presidency meeting over lunch.  Then we traveled to three apartments to do inspections.  The apartments were a bit cluttered but not dirty.  There seems to have been some improvement in the cleanliness of the apartments.

We then drove to the St. Petersburg chapel for a special considerations interview.  The investigator has endured some very traumatic situations and now feels hope through the gospel.

Then we drove back to our apartment arriving back at home after 9 pm.  Just a good, 15-hour day!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dentist Visit

Today was our P-day.  So we completed our normal, weekly housecleaning chores in the morning.  As we finished those, we were contacted by Pres. Cusick and given a health care assignment.  Renee was asked to call and make some doctor appointments for a missionary.  So she had to study the health care records to learn what to tell the doctors' offices when she called.  One doctor was not scheduling appointments until December!

She didn't get everything completed because we needed to leave for a dental appointment for her.  We found an LDS dentist in the Venice Ward.  Even though her tooth had been bothering her, he could not find anything wrong with it.  He was very pleasant and we enjoyed talking with him.  And he didn't charge for the visit.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Visit to Bradenton Ward

We attended the Bradenton Ward today.  This is a good sized ward which seems to have good leadership.  However, as with all of the units, there is a large number of less-active members.  Following the block of meetings, we were able to visit with Elder (now Brother) Spach who returned with his family to participate in the baptism of the Marriner family.

Renee and Elder (Bro.) Spach

After the regular block of meetings, we drove to Sarasota to attend the YSA branch.  One of the speakers was a young man we have become friends with.  He will leave this week to begin service in the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission - Spanish speaking.  He grew up in a Spanish speaking household.  The other speaker was his close friend whom he taught and baptized.  He bore a very powerful testimony of the Savior.  He will be a great missionary.  Hopefully, his friend will follow his example and decide to serve a mission as well.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Baptisms Day

We had a busy day.  First we drove to Bradenton for a baptismal service in the Palmetto Ward.  The Marriner family was baptized .  This family has been investigating the Church for a long time.  They are friends with many members, and that finally resulted in their being baptized.  The person who really got things started was their older teenaged daughter who has attended seminary, girls' camp, and EFT for the past two years.

One of the Elders who taught the family for several months, Elder Spach, returned to perform the baptism of the parents.  All of his family also came.  He was well-liked in the ward, so the ward members were pleased to see him and had good things to tell his parents.

The Marriner family with Elder Lake and Elder (now Bro.) Spach

Elder (now Bro.) Spach and Elder Lake
In addition to the Marriners, another young brother was baptized.  The turnout for the baptismal service was so large that it was held in the chapel.  There wasn't enough room in the baptismal font area for everyone to fit to observe the actual baptisms.

Elders Lake and Bowden and Bro. Andre

We then drove to Sarastoa for another baptismal service.  This brother had been taught by Elders Davis and Colburn and then by Sisters Torres and McGee.  He has several LDS friends, one of who drove from Jacksonville to perform the baptism.

Bro. Tierney and Sisters Torres and McGee

Following that service, we drove to Lakeland (about an hour) to meet the other senior missionaries for dinner.  One of the senior couple, the Severinsons, are returning home in another week.  Their assignment here has included serving in the Orlando Temple twice a week.  They have learned to love the temple.  On their way home, they will stop at 13 temples and take three weeks for the drive.

Dinner at Olive Garden

Our senior missionary district dinner.

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Sad Day

It seemed as humid as yesterday, so I checked the weather again today after my morning jog -- 79 degrees and 94% humidity.

We drove to the mission office today to pick up a missionary, Elder Stott, who is returning home for health reasons.  We drove him to the Orlando airport so he would have a direct flight home rather than having to change planes.  It was sad because he would have preferred to stay on his mission.  He commented to us while we were driving that he has never been so happy as during his missionary service.  He said that probably comes from being focused on others rather than on himself.

The challenge for missionaries with health issues is that it would be difficult for them to recover while still serving as a missionary.  They would be able to find adequate medical services in the area.  However, while they are missionaries, they must be with a companion.  So if they need bed rest, that means their companion must stay in the apartment as well.  Should they need hospital care, a companion would need to be in the hospital.  So the perspective of the Church's missionary department is to send them home and have them recover there.  If the problem is resolved, then they can return to full-time missionary service.

Elder Stott (r) and Elder Newbold before taking Elder Stott to the airport

Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Hot and Humid Day

This morning when I was jogging, I thought it seemed particularly humid.  So when I returned to our apartment, I checked on the weather.  It was 80 degrees and 91% humidity.  It was humid.

We drove to St. Petersburg to finish the shopping for the Elder.  President Cusick told us that we were not to shop rather to buy.  So we explained that we needed to complete the process quickly, so the Elders could get back to proselyting.  We were able to purchase pants, shoes, and workout clothing in two hours including driving time.  We will order some shirts for him through Mr. Mac online.  I think we are finished with this project for now.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

More Inspections

We have settled into a routine of conducting apartment inspections on the days that we do not have any other assignments.  We have to plan these well in advance, however.  The extra keys to the apartments are at the mission office.  We when we are at he mission office, we try to pick up some keys to use until the next trip to the mission office.  The problem with this approach is that sometimes we have the key to an apartment, and someone else needs to get into the apartment.

Today was one of those days without other assignments, so we inspected two apartments.  At least we did not have to drive a long way to do this.  One of the apartments we inspected is in our apartment complex; the other is in Sarasota only a few miles away.  For most of the inspections, it takes us longer to drive to the apartment than to conduct the inspection.  These were exceptions.

It would have been nice had they been exceptionally clean, but they weren't.  They were not bad, mostly just cluttered and untidy.  That is more a state of mind than a reliance on cleaning skills.  We need to do better at teaching that "cleanliness is next to Godliness."

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

St. Petersburg South District Meeting

We drove to St. Petersburg to participate in the south district meeting.  The topic for the meeting was obedience.  Elder Marsden conducted the meeting, and he did a nice job of asking questions and then if no one volunteered a response to call on someone.  He started his lesson by asking everyone to stand and then playing a version of the "Simon Says" game.  As he asked about some of the mission "rules," those who were not regularly following them were to sit down.  He started with the statement about arising at 6 am every morning.  We along with the other senior couple at the meeting sat down.  He seemed surprised, and all of the other missionaries were laughing.  We were better at his other statements such as being back in the apartments at 9.

Following the meeting, we took two Elders clothes shopping.  One of the Elders just arrived, and he does not have all of the clothing that he needs.  I commented to Renee that this shopping trip would be shorter than when we took Sisters clothes shopping a week or so ago.  I was wrong.  The Elder has specific likes and dislikes, and we had trouble finding things that he likes.  So we will have to make at least one more trip.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Unusual P-day

It has rained on and off all day today.  That is unfortunate for the local residents who probably had planned outside activities for Labor Day, such as going to the beach.  We had thought about perhaps doing that, but President Cusick sent as a document to edit (17 pages).  We have two senior couples coming at the end of the month, so he is preparing a Senior Missionary Guide for them.  Both of them will be assigned to work with individual wards.  So we spent most of the day editing the Guide.

This is a note that was given to Renee by Sis. Johnson, one of the missionaries who was in Venice, and then was transferred to another zone.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Visit to Sarasota Ward

Today we visited the Sarasota Ward.  This was an easy visit for us.  The chapel isn't too far from us and the ward council began at 11:45 am.  This is a well-established ward.  But as is typical of the units here, there are a lot of less-active members, and there are not many younger married families with youth.

There are four missionaries assigned to the ward.  However, with the transfer last week, two Elders were swapped for two Sisters.  That will probably be good for Renee because the Sisters will have her go on teaching appointments with them, as they have already done.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Another Day, Another Road Trip

We drove to Port Charlotte, about an hour south of us, for two purposes today.  We needed to do three apartment inspections, including the apartment in Venice which has now been closed.  We also looked for an apartment for a senior missionary couple who will be assigned to the Port Charlotte Ward.

There don't seem to be a lot of apartment complexes in Port Charlotte.  There is a nice apartment in the complex where the Sister Missionaries live.  We think that would be a good choice for the senior couple, but President Cusick would like them to be located closer to the church building.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Mission Leadership Council

Another day, another trip to Tampa.  The purpose of today's trip was to participate in the monthly Mission Leadership Council.  Among other items, the council prepares the agenda for the district meetings for the next month.

President Cusick started the meeting by expressing his concerns about whether the missionaries are being obedient and following the mission guidelines.  Apparently he has "discovered" some inappropriate behavior from some of the missionaries.  He explained to the zone leaders and sister training leaders in attendance at the meeting that their responsibility is to correct problems when they see them.

He also proposed a trial program of having missionaries visit members in the late evening hours to teach lessons -- either the restoration lesson or how to read and study the Book of Mormon.  The missionaries are to schedule these visits and only if they do not have any lessons with investigators.  The idea is build relationships with members and also to practice teaching.  If it works well with the leadership group, then other missionaries will be allowed to do it.

The Sister Missionaries, who have just been assigned to the Sarasota Ward, had asked Renee to participate in a lesson with them this evening.  They were teaching a new member lesson to a recently baptized brother.  The sisters are not to teach a brother without someone else present.  So Renee helped teach a lesson on the Plan of Salvation to a brother whose baptism we attended last week.

We returned back to our apartment at 9 after a 14 hour day.  Just another missionary day!

Thursday, September 3, 2015


This was an easier day for us.  We did some shopping in the morning and then Renee had a hair appointment.  Following that, we drove to the Bradenton Chapel to attend a baptismal service in the Cortez Branch which is Spanish speaking.  This is the third baptism we have attended in that branch in the past month.  Even though we don't understand Spanish, we appreciate being able to participate.  This baptism was for a mother and three children.

The Cortez Branch now has four full-time missionaries.  The two newly assigned Elders both participated in the service.  The branch leadership seem excited to have the additional missionaries assigned to the branch.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Transfer Day

Because of the 19 new missionaries, this was a large transfer.  My guess is that 3/4 of the mission was affected.  Because so many would be coming to the transfer meeting, President Cusick decided to do more training than usual.  He has received the videos from the New Mission Presidents Seminar held in June.  He mentioned to me that the training was impressive, and he would be using it with the missionaries.  For this meeting, he focused on teaching.  The message was to simplify the message and keep the lessons short -- what we have termed simplify and intensify.

Following the meeting, we had the sad task of driving Elder Nordin to the airport.  He has some health challenges, and the missionary department decided that he should return home to hopefully have them resolved.  This was sad because he is a good missionary and really didn't want to return home.  But I think he realizes it is the best course for him.  He has a good attitude and is hoping to be able to return and complete his mission.  He has lived in our apartment complex for all of his mission, so we have gotten to know him better than the other missionaries.  His flight was cancelled because of mechanical problem, so he had been rescheduled on a flight leaving tomorrow morning.  The airline had arranged for a room for him in the airport hotel.  After getting him settled in the room, we were both emotional as we left him.

We then drove to Bradenton for a special consideration interview.  Following the interview, I texted Pres. Cusick who immediately gave his permission for the baptism.  It is great to be able to help in a small way as people are striving to change their lives.

Elder Nordin in our car headed to the airport.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Arriving Missionaries

Normally on the Tuesday of transfer week, we attend a district meeting in the St. Petersburg Zone.  This is because we stay overnight in Tampa.  However, President Cusick decided not to hold district meetings this week.  Instead, he will conduct training at the transfer meeting tomorrow.

So Renee wondered what we would do in Tampa with the unscheduled time.  As it turned out, we didn't need to worry about filling the time.  Renee has an additional assignment now to help with the medical issues for the missionaries.  Our mission nurse was recently released, and our new nurse has not yet arrived.  Renee spent much of the morning and afternoon working to arrange for some medical treatment for two missionaries with health challenges.

We drove to the mission home to meet with the 19 arriving missionaries.  We received two who are waiting for visas to the U.K., so they may not be here long.  One of the arriving missionaries is the son of one of my good friends from the Marriott School, Jim Brau.  This seems like a good group of missionaries.  A couple of them talked about how they had spoken with their seatmates about the gospel.  Most new missionaries aren't that bold.