Monday, July 26, 2010


Sunday we were in the Spanish Branch and then went to a Baptism for a young girl named Kelly who knew a family that was LDS and wanted the life style that they have. She is attending college in Orlando and would really like to go to BYU-Idaho. She is a very strong young lady, her parents are very anti-mormon but her mother and brother did attend the baptism. An interesting side note: The sister missionaries taught her and one afternoon they were tracting some apartments and just happened to knock on her brother's door! (randomly)

Thirty some years ago when we were in North Carolina the missionaries found a golden couple and we fellowshipped them and became very close friends. Jim and Bambi Council are now living in Virginia and were in town for a convention. So, we got together with them for dinner and to catch up on our lives. We scouted things out and found a delightful little community called Celebration, Florida just 10 or 15 minutes away and a great restaurant.

Well, another week has flown by and we're still surviving! Hope everyone had a great Pioneer Day. We thought about our pioneer heritage and reflected on those who came out West for religious freedom.

Last week was another killer with three days straight of Leadership Training from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This is part of the new simplified curriculum that the Church is putting into place to help our missionaries to be better teacher. This was part of our training at the MTC. It will really help the missionaries. President let the missionaries unwind a bit by letting them have some skits at the end of the training - very enlightening! So creative. Check out Joseph Smith.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

We received a new sister missionary last Monday, she is an ASL sister (American Sign Language), we now have three.

We have been in Leadership Training for the last two days and will wind things up tomorrow. It is the new Simplified Curriculum that goes hand in hand with Preach My Gospel, the new program that we learned at the MTC. It is to train the missionaries to be better teachers.
We are always busy and on the go, hopefully we can spend some time this weekend trying to get things caught up. Our missionaries amaze us, they are so good, their missionary skills are the best and the work is moving along.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

We have been very busy interviewing all our Elders in their apartments. We have such good obedient Elders. Here are a few pictures of some of our Elders in their areas. Also, note the rooster. It was by a Popeye's Restaurant in the parking lot. Notice the pictures of Daytona Speedway. We passed it on our way to one of our missionary apartments. Couldn't believe how huge it is.

One of the first baptisms since we came. Carolyn and Troy were baptized. Carolyn is a single woman who was looking for something in her life and I don't know Troy's circumstances but I have never seen two people so excited to be baptized. They wept through the whole baptism, it was very special.

Florida Orlando Mission Zone Conference

Things in our backyard!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Our New Missionaries - first batch of missionaries

There were two sets of brothers at the MTC. Garth and Gordon and the Prieto brothers who are serving in Brazil.

Garth was set apart on June 22, 2010 by Elder Bednar, and I was set apart by Elder Gonzales. Ryan and Pam, Curtis and Tiff, Scott and Kristi, and Sean and Melissa were able to be with us, as well as Gordon and Janis.

We went into the MTC on Wednesday, June 23, 2010. Got another photo, got situated and got ready to receive all our instructions. We met with Elder Gonzalez along with the other couples assigned to serve in our area. The Holzapfel's - Alabama Birmingham, the Barry's - Florida Jacksonville, the Jensen's - Florida Tallahassee, and Summerhays' - Florida Tampa.

Thursday, morning President Eyring gave us the First Presidency Message, the "Lord will aid those whom He calls". You are never alone in the Lord's work and then we received training. Also Elder Russell M. Nelson gave a message on becoming what we can become. He told us that helping missionaries to become disciples of Jesus Christ will "bless you and your families forever".

Friday, morning President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave the First Presidency Message on "Christlike Attributes", the Savior Himself has set the standard, and President Uchtdorf said faith is like the muscles of the arm: "If we exercise them, they grow strong. In the evening there was a MTC Devotional by Elder Dallin H. Oaks. He taught about what our first responsibility and purpose is to teach of Jesus Christ. The three features of the true and living church; fullness of His doctrine, power of the Priesthood and testimony of Jesus Christ. We then met with our missionaries going to our mission, 17 of them.

Saturday, President Boyd K. Packer talked to us on Revelation. He promised us that our families would be all right, to keep our senses going, and he invoked the choicest blessings and power of heaven to bless us that we would go and come in peace, with health and be free from disease. That our property and families, homes, would be blessed and that we would not be fruitless in our efforts and that we will be all right. Bishop Edgley spoke about the "rescue".
Elder Neil L. Andersen spoke on the Atonement. He said, "As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will grow. Salvation comes in and through the atoning sacrifice and there is no other way." Then everyone had an opportunity to eat dinner with a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. We were assigned to Elder David A. Bednar.

Sunday morning, June 27, 2010 Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave the Seminar Conclusion, trust God and believe in good things to come and we will be blessed in miraculous ways. He talked about the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum. President Thomas S. Monson gave counsel, instruction, encouragement and assurance to us in a sacrament meeting. "I know that you are dedicated to the work of the Lord and to the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I also know that the missionaries who will serve under your direction will be loved and guided by you."

It was a wonderful experience and we met so many wonderful people. We were very well feed.

Friday, July 16, 2010