Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Week of Learning and Feeling the Spirit

I haven't had a chance to take any pictures of the Mission office yet but I'll try to get some this week. It's a busy place with missionaries in and out all the time. I love it! They just bring enthusiasm and energy and love where ever they go and it's a joy to be around them!

The Mission Office is located in the first chapel built in Charlotte. It was built in early 1950’s and I don’t think it’s ever been remodeled!  FM spent all last week fixing the antiquated heater in the chapel and in the building. The building has been freezing but in our little area we can keep the heat in if we keep the doors closed from the rest of the building. I have to wear a coat to the bathroom! Hopefully everything is warmer tomorrow. The YSA ward meets in the building for evening activities and Institute and church services on Sunday.

This is our Harrisburg Ward building. We're one of three wards meeting in the building.

We found a Family History Center here and immediately felt right at home.

GETALONG ROAD is a block from our church. Had to get a picture of that!

Food Lion is the first grocery store we went to last Saturday. It's close to our chapel.

Elder Frost (one of two APs), Elder Fajardo and Elder Lino hanging out at the Mission Office
Elder Lino is holding a reflective "taillyte" worn by missionaries when biking.

Every day we look out our window of the Mission Office and see this beautiful cardinal. It's great entertainment watching the different birds that live around us and enjoy the big trees. We've also seen a gorgeous blue bird but no photos yet. I do miss the Quail in our American Fork back yard. No quail here just squirrels!

Elder Andrus, Elder Urban and Elder Cornelius at the mission storage shed
 where assorted supplies and furnishings for apartments are stored. 

The Senior elders borrowed the mission's brand new 2014 Chevy Silverado from the APs to tow the mission trailer which they loaded with furniture and household items to take to the apartments.

Getting ready to eat our first care package of homemade raspberry jam and wheat bread we received from Annette last week. Everyone at the office was jealous! Nummy good! I think I cried!

Saturday, which was our first PD, we spent most of the day of moving furniture and taking bicycles to Concord to be repaired. We also picked up 9 new bikes for new missionaries coming on February 4th. Elder and Sister Andrus, Elder and Sister Cornelius and Elder and Sister Urban shared a delicious dinner at Ming Fu in Matthews, on the outskirts of Charlotte.

Today, Sunday January 26th we attended the first baptisms in our new Harrisburg Ward. Sisters Pace and Lambert taught these two investigators the gospel and it was a very special event. The room was full of ward members, missionaries and also others who are not members of the church. The Spirit in the room was warm even though we heard the water was not!

Carlos Moronchel

Lucy James

I’ve been learning many aspects of Missionary referrals. Our missionaries were among the first group testing Ipads as tools using social media and it’s been a great success. All the young missionaries now have Ipads and each companionship has an Iphone also.
Keeping 260 missionaries housed is an ever changing job and I’m learning all about setting up new apartment leases, extending the leases, connecting utilities, maintaining and changing all of the above including closing the apartments as needs change. I’m learning how to furnish apartments, replace broken or missing items for the missionaries and basically anything else that comes up at the moment.
There were 3 Zone Conferences this past week and Tom has been leaving our apartment as early as 5:30 AM. Even though “early” is not his favorite time of day, 
he’s been on his best Eeyore behavior!

At Zone Conference the Senior Elders work outside for hours checking out each car in the zone. The weather here has been in the low teens every morning and even the gloves and hat we bought him aren’t keeping him warm enough. Yesterday as he was carrying a bed down a flight of stairs, he fell down the last four stairs and landed in the rocks. Miraculously he was not badly injured. So grateful for that.
We’ve been eating dinner between 8:30 and 10 PM each night and going to bed right after dinner. Not so good for the waisteline J

Sundays have been a day of spiritual renewal for us and we love our new ward. There is much diversity here and everyone is great. During Sunday School we attended the Gospel Principles class and I was surprised that over 30 people were in attendance. The teacher asked each one of us to tell the year we were baptized. There were 3 of us baptized in 1956, 1 in 1952 and a few others baptized when they were 8 years old. Most were converts and most of those were recently baptized. There were 2 who were baptized later today and one non member. The lesson was on the Second Coming of Christ and I would encourage you to go to this link to study it if you'd like.

I'd like to share one last experience we had this past week that touched my heart. Tuesday night we were eating dinner about 8:30 PM at Panera Bread and as we finished, I stood up to clear our dishes from the table. A young woman who'd also been eating there,came up and said she'd be happy to take the dishes for us. I was tired and very appreciative but a little stunned. I don't remember that happening before. I studied her face and thanked her and after we left I had wished that I had gotten her name. Thursday night, as we were leaving the mission office, it was dark and as I walked out the door, a young woman was coming in to attend Institute and she looked familiar to me. I said hello to her and continued walking. Then I realized why I remembered her so I hurried back up the stairs and asked her if she was in Panera Bread on Tuesday.  Guess what? Yep, it was her! I was able to thank her again and it helped me remember that kindness is a great attribute to have!

We send our love to you.....

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