Saturday, October 31, 2015

Baptisms Day

We were invited by the Sister Missionaries in Gibsonia to come to a baptism today.  They have been teaching the daughters of a returning member.  Renee has developed a close relationship with one of the Sisters, Sister Yellow, so we thought we should go.

President and Sister Healey were also at the baptism.  They invited us to join them for lunch and then to attend another baptism in Lakeland.  So we rushed to lunch, and then rushed to the Lakeland baptism, arriving only a couple of minutes late.  A sister and two of her children were baptized.

So even though we had a lot of driving, 1 hour + each way, it was a good day.

That being said, I (Renee) was hardly aware this was Halloween.  We were home in the evening and did not have any trick-or-treaters.  This was a first for us, especially after the 700+ we used to get in HI.  There were a few servers in costume in the restaurant where we had lunch with the Healeys.  Other than that, not much indication of the "holiday".  However, Christmas lights and decorations have been turned on in the shopping area a short distance from our apartment.  So Merry Halloween!

Sisters Conrad (l) and Yellow and the Carig sisters
Kylie and Isabelle, ages 10 and 9, following their baptism.  
The bears were given to them by the Primary President after she gave the talk on baptism.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Recovery Day

Renee's face is still swollen, and she has major bruises on her jaw and a black eye.  I'm not sure why she has either of those.  The black eye makes no sense.  The bruise is on her lower jaw, but the extracted tooth was from the upper jaw.  Whether it make sense or not, she is swollen and bruised.  So we spent the day in our apartment to hopefully allow her to recover somewhat.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Another Shopping Assignment

We took it easy today to allow Renee's mouth to start recovering from the tooth extraction.  She has some discomfort and swelling.

We did have one task to accomplish.  We were asked to take an Elder shopping to buy a new suit.  Unfortunately, it is about an hour drive to get to him.  We took him and his companion to a shopping mall to find a suit.  His companion is a relatively new Elder from Tahiti.  He had never seen or been in a shopping mall before.  He said that he had read about them but hadn't experienced one before.  He was absolutely wide-eyed.  We were successful in finding a suit, and it was even on sale.  After dinner at the food court, we took them back to their apartment in time for an evening teaching appointment.  This actually ended up being an enjoyable outing for all of us.

Elder Raoulx enjoying the Mall - note double decker Merry-go-round in background

Elder Raoulx wanted a selfie of the four of us
Elders Raoulx and Coleman after shopping trip

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dental Surgery Day

Renee had her tooth pulled today and a post implanted in preparation for installing an artificial tooth.  The extraction went well.  The root of the tooth was fractured, and the surgeon was surprised there wasn't any infection caused by that.  Since there was no infection, he was able to install the implant today.  Now Renee will need to wait 3 to 4 months for everything to heal and then the crown will be installed.

The challenge for the next few days will be to control the swelling and hopefully prevent any infection.

Icing the sore jaw

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Successful Day

Today was a good day.  We were able to participate in a district meeting, and our car kept running.

We drove to St. Petersburg to participate in the district meeting.  The topics for the meeting were to review the lessons from the last month.  They had role play exercises in introducing the Book of Mormon, teaching the restoration in 4 minutes, and finding answers to questions using the Book of Mormon.  They were going to role play teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ in 4 minutes, but they didn't have enough time.  So they just had Elders Brossa and Robertson demonstrate it.  They did an excellent job, and they didn't have any warning or special preparation. The lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ covers the first four principles and ordinances of the gospel plus enduring to the end.

Following the meeting, we took two Elders to buy brake pads for a bicycle.  Then we went to lunch with Elder and Sister Smith, a senior missionary couple who work in the district.  They suggested that we go to a Cuban restaurant.  Of course, I'm not exactly a food connoisseur, but I think that I enjoyed my Cuban sandwich more that Renee did.

Driving back to Sarasota was stressful, at least for me.  The wind was really blowing, and there were high wind cautions issued for the Skyway Bridge.  Fortunately, there was a car going slowly over the bridge, so I just followed that car.  We obviously made it safely.  And our car kept going.

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Different Kind of P-Day

We had our normal preparation day with our weekly cleaning chores.  However, since we continued to have car problems, I took our car in for service again.  They found the problem -- supposedly.  Unfortunately, they didn't have the parts to fix it.  They installed the parts that they had and ordered the other parts.  In the meantime, they installed some used parts.

At least when I drove back to the apartment, the dashboard lights weren't on.  We will see what happens when we drive to St. Petersburg for a district meeting tomorrow.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Visit to Two Wards

We visited two wards today, actually a ward and a branch.  I had interviewed a sister who was to be baptized in the Largo Branch, the Spanish-speaking unit in the St. Petersburg Stake.  Since her baptism was this morning, we decided that we would attend.  She had a lot of family members who came to her baptism, so there was a large congregation.  The missionaries taught the restoration lesson during the service, and several people took copies of the Book of Mormon.

The Seminole Ward meets in the same building.  They have arranged the meeting schedule so the Sunday School and Priesthood/R.S. times overlap.  This allows the children in the Largo Branch and the youth to attend classes with the Seminole Ward.  The Largo Branch has adult classes in Spanish.  Since there were so many investigators in the Gospel Principles class, we decided to attend the Seminole Ward's Gospel Principles class.  There are six missionaries assigned to the Seminole Ward, and they may have all had investigators attending the class.  So we were able to at least understand what was being said for one meeting.

I attended the Largo Priesthood Meeting while Renee opted to attend the Seminole Relief Society.  We both attended the Spanish Sacrament Meeting.  Sis. Sandoval was confirmed a member (in Spanish) by Elder Robertson who has only been out about 7 weeks.  Several of Sis. Sandoval's children and grandchildren stayed for the 3 hour block of meetings.  After the meetings, Sis. Sandoval told me how happy she is to be a member of the Church.

On the way back, the dashboard lights came back on.  So I guess I have another trip to the repair shop.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A Different Baptism Service Experience

I started the day by taking my car into the Subaru dealer to find out what the problem is with the lights that showed up on the dashboard yesterday.  They said there is a malfunction in some controller and they were able to reset it.  However, as they were explaining to me what they had done, they didn't sound confident that it had resolved the problem.

We drove to a baptism in Bradenton.  This was a bit different because the person being baptized is the 9-year-old daughter of the couple who were baptized in Bradenton last week.  Bro. Soto was ordained a priest on Sunday, so he was able to baptize his daughter.  It was a good experience, especially for Elder Ware and Elder Bowden who have been teaching the family.

Before the baptismal service, I visited with one of the stake high councilors whom I have become friends with.  I asked him what he had heard about the Special Priesthood Leadership Meeting with Elder Soares last week.  He said that he hadn't heard too much but he was aware of at least one ward in the stake who didn't have anyone attend.  Both of us were shocked that there wouldn't have been anyone from the ward who could have attended.  I heard a report that the bishop of a ward in another stake had not heard about the meeting.  Maybe those are indications of the depth of the challenges in this area.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Two More Zone Training Meetings

The remaining four zones had zone training meetings today.  The Lakeland and Brandon Zones met at the Brandon Stake Center.  At the end of that meeting, we rushed to the Tampa Stake Center for the Tampa and St. Petersburg Zones training.  The topics for the training meetings were the same as yesterday's.

Following the last training meeting, President and Sister Cusick invited us along with the other senior missionaries at the meeting to join them for a meal.  I don't know if it was a late lunch or early dinner.

The exciting thing was on the way back to Sarasota, the "Check Engine" light came on in our car.  So I guess we will have another trip to the Subaru dealer.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Zone Training

Today we had a special zone training meeting for the Sarasota Zone.  This training was based on the training that Elder Soares presented to the MLC last week and especially from a Special Priesthood Leadership Meeting held for the Tampa and Orlando Mission Priesthood Leaders.  The gist of that presentation was that the priesthood leaders need to provide better support for the missionary work.  He also stressed that the missionaries are full members of the ward council.

The training for the missionaries was a summary of that training.  Then President Cusick explained how the missionaries can "earn" their positions on the ward council by studying the handbook, learning how ward councils are to work, and then leading by example.  As part of their finding, the missionaries are to stop by members' homes and teach the four-minute restoration lesson.  Each week they are to make these short visits to members, including and perhaps especially less-active and part member families.  Then they are to make short reports to the bishop on their visits.  The concept is that they will become important members of the ward councils because they will know the ward members.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Another Interview

We thought we would have an easy day completing the reading assignments that Pres. Cusick gave the missionaries as preparation for the zone training meetings.  However, we had an unexpected request for a special considerations interview.  I knew it needed to be conducted sometime this week, but I hadn't planned on it for this evening.  The interview was in Clearwater.  Since there wasn't really any function for Renee, she decided not to go.

So I drove to Clearwater to conduct the interview.  Although I was driving at the beginning of afternoon rush hour, it wasn't too bad.  It was a good interview.  The sister has a sweet spirit and a testimony of the restoration.  She told me that she wants to be a good example so her family (4 children and 12 grandchildren) will accept the gospel.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

District Meeting in Bradenton

We participated in the Sarasota North District meeting today.  This is the largest district in the mission with 20 missionaries.  It has as many missionaries as the Lakeland Zone.  And since it meets in the Bradenton building, it is also the closest district meeting to our apartment which is nice.  As we have been doing for the past few district meetings, we took some Halloween candy for the missionaries.  They get quickly excited about that.  Maybe they can't afford to buy any candy for themselves, which is not a bad thing.

In the afternoon, we worked on a project for President Cusick.  The Church is starting a new service initiative, Just Serve.  It is being slowly rolled out across the North American units.  We are supposed to start the program next month.  The concept is a website where service opportunities will be posted.  Then Church members, including missionaries, can go to the website and find these service opportunities.  The St. Petersburg Stake has sort of jumped the gun and is already training members on the program.  As a result, the missionaries are asking if they should be involved.  President Cusick asked us to look at the website to see what has been posted for our mission areas.  I searched for each of the cities in our mission where we have missionaries and didn't find much posted.  There are more service opportunities listed in the St. Petersburg Stake cities but still not a lot.  And particular not much that would be appropriate for missionaries.  So my recommendation was to not accelerate the implementation for our missionaries.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dental Day

We did our normal P-Day cleaning and then drove to Brandon for a dental appointment.  Renee is scheduled to have a tooth extracted and replaced by an implant.  Today was the consultation with the oral surgeon who will pull the tooth.  His opinion was that indeed the tooth needs to be extracted because the root is fractured.  The surgery is scheduled for next week.  If all goes well, the surgeon will be able to insert the implant immediately following the extraction of the tooth.

The weather has definitely changed.  The hot weather and rains of summer have ended.  The highs now are in the 80s and overnight lows in the 60s.  That still seems warm based on Utah, but it is a welcome cooling from the past couple of months.  This morning when I was jogging there was a light breeze, and it actually felt almost crisp.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cortez Branch

We visited the Cortez Branch, a Spanish-speaking unit.  They meet in the Bradenton building, which is probably the closest one to us.  Even better, their branch council meets at noon followed by the block of meetings.  The not so great part is everything is in Spanish.  So we only understand what someone translates for us.  Most of the branch leadership speaks English, so they can ask us questions and understand our responses.

Between the meetings, one of the Elders stopped me in the hallway and asked if I could assist with blessing one of the Sister Missionaries.  She has been suffering with a form of arthritis.

Following the meetings, we drove to Gulfport where I had another special considerations interview.  This one was easier than most.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Hectic Day with Training and A Baptism

We arose early to drive to the Brandon Stake Center for a special Mission Leadership Council with Elder Ulisses Soares, one of the Presidents of the Seventy.  It was an excellent training session.  He taught on the purpose of missionary work.  Then he taught on how the leaders have additional responsibilities.  Elder Thompson, our area authority seventy, taught on how to work with ward leaders and gently correct them.  I wish all of the missionaries could have participated in the training meeting.  Hopefully the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders will carry the messages to the rest of the missionaries.

After the completion of that training, we had to hurry to get to a baptism in Bradenton.  The couple who were married last week were baptized.  Bro. Soto is solidly built, so it was a challenge finding a baptismal jumpsuit to fit him.  Fortunately, they were able to find something that would work.  It was a nice baptismal service.  I think the Palmetto Ward will be good at fellowshipping them and helping them grow in the gospel.

The Special MLC with Elder Soares in the middle and Elder Thompson to his right.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Senior Missionary Meeting

We met three other senior missionary couples for lunch and then moved to our apartment for discussion.  Elder and Sister Smith who have been working in the Gulfport Branch shared what they have learned over the past year with the newly arrived senior missionaries, the Alexanders and Hardy's.

These three couples are assigned to work with specific units with an important part of their work to locate members.  The Smith's have developed an effective process for doing this which they shared.  They have some software they have purchased that basically scours the web for information on specified individuals.  The availability of this software emphasized to me again that there is no privacy on the web.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Catch Up Day

We were able to catch up on several "to do" items today.  Nothing critically important but needed to be done, such as packaging and mailing the Halloween gifts to our grandkids.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Transfer Meeting

We met with the new missionaries for some administrative items and training.  We were able to complete all of the administrative items fairly quickly.  And President Cusick completed his initial interviews with the arriving missionaries last evening.  So it was not as rushed and fast paced as in the past.

With only four departing missionaries (one left on Saturday) and six arriving missionaries, this was a small transfer.  In some ways, I enjoyed this more because I had time to visit with the missionaries who were there.

Following the transfer meeting, we drove to Haines City so I could conduct a special considerations interview.  President Healey, the other counselor, is assigned to conduct these interviews for the Lakeland Zone, which is where the investigator lives.  However, because of a conflict, I was asked to do it.  One of the missionaries who has been teaching the investigator is Elder Brau, the son of my BYU faculty colleague and friend.  I was happy to learn that he will be having some baptisms.

After the interview, it took us 2 hours to drive back to our apartment.  Another long day, but a good one.

Senior missionaries at the transfer meeting; Alexanders, Hardy's, Smiths, and us.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Arrival Day

We decided to go to the Lakeland South district meeting this morning.  The missionaries in the Lakeland Zone don't have many visitors at their district meetings.  Since we stayed in Tampa overnight, it wasn't as far for us to drive as it would have been from Sarasota.

This is a small district.  They also don't have a district leader, so the zone leaders function as the district leader.  We were more involved in the discussions.  I don't know whether that was because we thought they needed more help or we were just more talkative.  Again the focus of the meeting was on teaching the restoration lesson in 4 minutes and finding answers using the Book of Mormon.

I discovered that the paperback Books of Mormon that the missionaries distribute have an index at the back but not the topical guide.  I discovered that when during a role play, I suggested using the topical guide to find Book of Mormon passages.  Oops, no topical guide.  But the missionary who was role playing the member said he had the Gospel Library app, so we went to the topical guide there.

We returned to the Mission Home in time to greet the 6 arriving missionaries -- 4 Sisters and 2 Elders.  They seem like a good group.

The Lakeland South District
Front row:  Elders Goodrich, Terry, Malcolm
Back row:  Elders Reynolds, Settle, Davis, Sisters Coon, Conrad, Yellow

Monday, October 12, 2015

Departure Day

We drove to the mission home to have dinner with the departing missionaries.  Transfers occur every six weeks, but it seems like such a short time ago that a group of missionaries departed.  This time only three are returning home, Elder Curtis and Sister Schaumkel and Vanderhoff.  But these are three good missionaries. We have been able to work with all of them.  All of them have taught investigators whom I interviewed or whose baptisms we were able to attend, and all of them are becoming strong members of the Church

Renee has developed an especially good relationship with Sis. Schaumkel.  For whatever reason, the two of them clicked.  (Renee:  It's the Polynesian connection and we both grew up in Hawthorne, CA.  Who would have thought....)  She has not received a lot of support from home, so Renee told her she would email her each Monday until she returned home.  That way she would get some mail!

These departures are part sad because they are good missionaries but also part excitement to see how they put their missionary training to work in their "non-missionary" lives.

Renee and Sister Schaumkel

Renee, Sister Vanderhoff, Sister Cusick, and Sister Schaumkel

Elder Curtis and me

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Very Long Day

We left about 8:30 am for the 90+ minute drive to Sebring.  We met with the Lake Place Branch which meets in the church building in Sebring.  Before attending any meetings, we inspected the apartments of the two sets of Sister Missionaries in Sebring.  Both were a bit cluttered which is somewhat understandable because one sister in each companionship is being transferred on Wednesday.

We then attended the branch council and the regular block of meetings.  President Swift, when I emailed him that we would be attending the branch, asked if we would speak in Sacrament Meeting.  Although the assigned topic was "Becoming Christlike," not surprisingly we both put a missionary slant to our talks.

We then drove back to Bradenton where I had a special considerations interview.  It was a good interview.  The brother I was interviewing had questions about the priesthood and its organization.  So we probably spent more time talking about that than the interview questions.

We then drove back to our apartment, arriving about 8:40, just in time for me to make my weekly phone call to my father.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Baptism

The Elders in the Seffner Ward which is about an hour north of us in the Brandon Stake invited us to come to a baptism for a brother they have been teaching.  This was the first time we have been in that building/ward.

The new member is an engineer who designed nuclear power facilities. He is now on disability because of genetic condition that makes it difficult for him to remember things as he speaks.  He has a friend who is a member of the Church, and he has been reading and investigating on his own for the past year.  He came to church a month ago and asked if he could be baptized.  The Elders have been teaching him since then.  They told us that he has a very strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Wedding

Today was a first for us -- the first wedding that we have attended on our mission.  The Elders in the Palmetto Ward have been teaching a family.  Although living together and have a child together, they are not married.  They would like to be baptized.  However, before they can be baptized, they must be married (or at least not be living together).

This evening we attended their wedding in the Palmetto/Bradenton building.  Bishop Ririe of the Palmetto Ward performed the ceremony.  The Soto's were surprised at how many of their relatives came.  None of their relatives are members of the Church, and I noticed that the Elders were talking with several of them.

The couple seem really happy, the husband especially.  I will be conducting his baptismal interview tomorrow.

Elders Bowden and Ware and Bro. and Sis. Soto

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Special Consideration Interview

I had another special consideration interview this afternoon.  The sister has an interesting story about meeting the missionaries.  She felt that she needed to make some changes and had prayed for the first time in a long time for Heavenly Father's help.  She then put her 4 month old daughter in a stroller and decided to go for a walk, the first walk since her daughter was born.  While walking with her daughter, she met the missionaries.

After talking with them, she told her boyfriend that evening that they needed to make some changes.  They have been meeting with the missionaries along with her two older children.  Tomorrow they will be married by the Palmetto Ward bishop.  The entire family, except the baby, is scheduled for baptism next week.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dental Day

Renee's tooth has continued to bother her.  So having made an appointment, we drove to Brandon to see another LDS dentist, Bro. Anderson.  He took additional x-rays of her tooth, but he couldn't identify a problem.  So they made an appointment to see an endodontist (root canal specialist) in the area.  He did some additional investigation and decided that she has a fractured root on the problem tooth and it needs to be extracted.  So we drove back to the first dentist to discuss alternatives.  Enroute, Renee called our dentist in Provo to explain the situation to him.

The next step will be to make an appointment with an oral surgeon to have the tooth pulled.  The plan is to replace the tooth with an implant.  They may be able to start the implant when they pull the tooth.  If not, they will need to allow the extraction to heal and then start the implant.  In the best case, it will be a 3+ month process.

Not exactly good news, but at least we now know what the problem is.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

District and Presidency Meetings

We drove north to the St. Petersbury North District Meeting this morning.  The training was on the mission standards of excellence, teaching the restoration lesson in 4 minutes, and finding answers to questions using the Book of Mormon.  There was some pushback on the standards of excellence - 20 lessons per week, 5 investigators with baptismal dates at all times, 7 new investigators each week, and 2 investigators in Church meetings each week.  There were concerns that the expectations are too high, even though some missionaries are far exceeding them.  Other missionaries think they are unattainable, at least for them.  We had some discussion about them but not all of the missionaries were willing to commit to them.  I was reminded of the old adage, "It is better to shoot for the moon and miss, than to shoot for nothing and hit."  But I didn't tell them that.

Following the district meeting, we drove to the mission office for a presidency meeting.  In the meeting, President Cusick presented a program that has been used by stakes in southern Idaho.  They identified the part-member families, prospective Elders, and children of record over the age of 9.  Then, they had ward members and missionaries go to visit these people.  It was quite successful in reactivating some members and baptisms.

They tried a pilot program of this in one of the strong wards in our mission.  Unfortunately, the members accepted the assignments to make visits, but then they did not actually make the visits.  So President Cusick wants us to have some of our missionaries visit those on the lists as part of their contacting.  They can go to an area, attempt to find the member, and then tract in the area.  Some missionaries will not have much time to do this because they are too busy teaching.  Others will have time -- the ones who are not meeting the standards of excellence.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Boring P-Day

We didn't do anything exciting, or even interesting, today.  In the morning, we did our normal weekly cleaning.  Renee had a package to mail, so in the afternoon we drove to the post office and then to Costco.  We completed our shopping and then returned back to our apartment.

They are re-roofing our apartment complex and have been working on our building for a couple of days.  We will be glad when it is completed because it is a noisy process.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

General Conference

We had 10 missionaries come to watch conference sessions in our apartment.  Fortunately, they did not all come at once.  It was interesting watching them all quietly taking notes.  At the conclusion of the afternoon session, one of the sisters commented that general conference is like Christmas.  We look forward to it for so long, and then it is quickly over.  These are the missionaries who watched the last session of conference with us.

Sisters Tawzer, Torres, Phillips, and McGee and Elders Salinas, Casperson, Hedin, and Bischoff (l-r)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

General Conference and More

Before the General Conference broadcast, I traveled to Plant City for a special considerations interview.  This is about an hour drive.  Renee was not feeling well, so I made the trip by myself.  The interview was originally scheduled for yesterday evening, but the Elders called a couple of days ago to make the change.

Then I raced back to our apartment to get everything set for the broadcast.  I used the BYUtv app on my iPad to Chromecast the feed to our TV.  It worked well.

We had invited the missionaries who live relatively close to us to come to our apartment to watch if they didn't have investigators or others to watch with.  All of them came for one or two of the sessions.  We learned that the internet was not working in the Sarasota building, so we invited those missionaries to join us on Sunday.

Of course, since they were in our apartment, we needed to feed them.  We had purchased some bread and meats for sandwiches.  As we were setting it out, one of the Sister Missionaries exclaimed, "Beef.  I haven't had beef for 14 months!"  She has been on her mission for 14 months.  I guess beef doesn't fit in her monthly food budget.  I'm glad that we were able to provide her with a roast beef sandwich.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mission Leadership Council

We drove to Tampa to the mission office to participate in the monthly Mission Leadership Council.  The purpose for this meeting is to provide instruction for the missionary leaders and also to help set the agendas for the district meetings this month.

President Cusick assigned each companionship of Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders to prepare a short role play/training on a specific topic, such as teaching missionaries about obedience, sharing a Book of Mormon with an investigator, teaching the Plan of Salvation, and so forth.  He recorded each of the presentations with the intent of distributing some of them to be shown in district meetings.  He thought the missionaries would be more likely to critique a presentation if the presenters are not in the meeting.  Even if that doesn't work, it will still have been beneficial for the the ZLs and STLs to have seen how other missionaries presented on the topics.

Toward the end of the meeting, President Cusick asked about our Standards of Excellence for missionary work.  Following a request from the Area Authority, the standards were set.  However, they have not been emphasized.  The standards include teaching 20 lessons per week, finding 3 new investigators a week, and others.  They have not been emphasized in the mission because of a concern that missionaries would focus too much on the numbers and those who fall short would be despondent.  After a good discussion, the missionaries suggested that we slightly increase the expectations and emphasize them more.  I proposed calling them Acceptable Quality Standards rather than Standards of Excellence.  The missionaries seemed to like this.  There is still a concern about the missionaries who regularly fall short of the standard, especially the Sister Missionaries.

A new missionary couple arrived today, Elder and Sister Hardy.  They will be living in Port Charlotte and working with the ward there.  I expect we will see them regularly.  Another couple arrived yesterday, the Alexanders.  Sister Alexander will be our mission nurse.  Hopefully she will take some of the health duties that Renee has had for the past two months.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

More Inspections

We drove to the far northern part of our mission to conduct inspections today.  It took us 2 hours to get to the first apartment in Spring Hill, which is 75 miles as the crow flies.  We then went to Brooksville and lastly to Zephyrhills.  In total about 5 hours of driving for the three inspections.

It was probably good that we went to Zephyrhills because one of the Sister Missionaries there has the flu.  Her companion was pleased to have someone to talk with while the sick sister was sleeping.  We think she has the flu.  Even though the missionaries have been told to get flu shots, not many have done so.

We got our flu shots last evening at WalMart.  I didn't know that one could get flu shots at WalMart, so I learned something new.