Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a beautiful day it was this Thanksgiving morning! It was a balmy 80 degrees at 10:00 am, which by the way, the internet said it was 5 in Utah!!! No worries, by 7:00 pm it had dropped to 60 degrees, so our "cold front" had come through!

We love you all and are so grateful for you and for the love and support you give to us! We love serving the Lord in Houston, Texas and are so grateful at this time to be where we're at, doing what we're doing. We feel the Lord's blessings and His love in our lives and pray that you see and feel His tender mercies in your life also.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

2 Zone Conferences down 2 to go

I can't believe how fast all of this is going! I know I really need to savor the moments because who knows if I will get to do this again. I hope I will! This past week was a busy but very rewarding week. Zone conference is always a fun experience, seeing all of the missionaries, hearing wonderful words of spiritual encouragement, feeling the spirit of missionary work, having great lunches (prepared by lots of wonderful R.S. sisters!) and doing our job of keeping the missionaries well stocked in new cell phones! More about that in a few minutes. I want to share one of my favorite parts of Zone Conference. After lunch all the missionaries take down the tables and chairs and help clean up. It's amazing how fast they do that! Then they have all of the ladies who prepared us lunch come out, and all of us missionaries start singing "Called to Serve", both verses, proudly and loudly. I always feel the spirit so strong when that is going on. Then all 60-80 missionaries go and hug (the sister missionaries always hug) or shake the R.S. sisters hands and tell them Thank You. It's just cool!

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Here we are at the mission President's home honoring Sister Billingsly before she goes home. They invited some couples who live around here and once served with Sis. B, that's why there are so many of us.

Elder Stringfellow didn't think this picture of the phone was very blog-worthy but that's because he didn't have to activate and then change all of the information from one phone to the other 54 times! At least it was over 3 days. The first day it took me 45 minutes to do ONE PHONE. I was a bit worried but then I got the hang of it and did the next 16 phones in less than an hour and a half. All went well. So the next day I was pretty confident that I knew what I was doing. I think I had 18 phones to activate. Oh by the way the 2nd day I forgot the 2 papers that had the instructions on them. I totally had the bluetooth (where you exchange information) down and did that fine, but when I was trying to activate it was a little different but I thought I had done it. Well, we left a few hours before the missionaries for the College Station Zones because we had a 2 hour drive (maybe a little less) back to the office and we needed to get a little work done if possible. We were almost back when I started getting calls that their phones weren't activated. Being the novice that I am I had a major anxiety attack because I had all of the old cell phones with me and didn't know if we needed to have them to activate the new ones and now missionaries were spread out hours apart. I was just a little stressed to say the least. I found out that Sprint had not done their part in the activation process and were able to do it wireless and all was well, but I learned a great lesson. Don't think you know it all because you will find out that you don't!

Elder Stringfellow spends most of his time at Zone conference doing a long check list of things to inspect cars. Missionaries have to have a clean car, fill out their paper work properly, have their gas mileage & receipts filled out and turned in and now need to be within their allotted miles to win the golden hub cap award. It's a highly coveted award (in a very spiritual way of course, he,he)because not only do they get to sign the golden hub cap you see in the picture, but they also get a $20 gift card to Subway! So many cars were within just a few miles that he gave honorable mention awards as well! He's such an old softie! Elder Lindsay and Struthers won the award for the Houston Zone. Sisters Donkin & Maylett were runner-ups as well as 2 other Elders whose names are not coming to me at this moment!

This is the North Zone and the 4 missionaries on the bottom work close to the mission office. The two on the right, elder Sorenson and Austin decided to try bribing Elder Stringfellow with cookies they put under their paper work, they actually came in a close 2nd or 3rd. I think they got an honorable mention.

Sister Billingsly before she left. She lives in the Mesa area and was here for 16 months as an employment specialist. And here is Sister Marsh, the secretary to the President. She served 4 other missions with her husband, Washington DC temple, Korea temple, Philipine temple mission and then one to Africa! Her husband passed away about a year ago and she decided that's what she wanted to do, serve another mission!

Another beautiful Houston sunset as we were driving home from work. Oh I heard that Bounitful got 12 inches of snow last night! Tomorrow it's supposed to be 83 degrees here and I'm back to complaining (not really, hopefully) about how hot and humid our apartment feels at night! They keep saying it gets cold here in Houston but we are enjoying the warm weather while we can.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving

In the Spirit of Thanksgiving Be sure to click on this blue line to watch a short, very cool video!

I have so much to be grateful for! For each of you who read this blog because I know you are the people who love and care about me and Scott. I am so thankful for my faith in God and for every breath He gives me to live in this beautiful world he created for all of us. I acknowledge His hand in all that I do, in all that I have, and in all that I am. We are all so blessed!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Family is what it's all about - and you thought it was the okey pokey!

Yesterday we got to speak with each of our children through out the day! How grateful I am that as Senior missionaries we can talk with our family whenever we want. Sarah is doing well in the Ukraine - she got the birthday card from us AND she got the package that Joe sent her. It was quite the miracle since it wasn't the correct address. Pete is taking care of the homefront very well despite 2 very needy dogs! David is still trying to figure out how to manage his symptoms from 2 different ailments - ulcerative colitis and some kind of arthritis while he takes care of his sweet family. And Angie and BJ are getting settled in after managing a long trek across the country with a large Uhaul, 2 cars, a baby and a 2 1/2 year old! I think they all need a medal!

Elise Kristine Allen was blessed on Sunday, November 7th by her daddy BJ Allen. What a blessing she is in all of our lives. I can't wait to hold her and kiss her. Isn't she beautiful in her blessing dress?

Angie was trying to take a picture of Elise sitting up in her cute little chair and Quintin really wanted to be in on it too.

The Allen Family - Angie, BJ, Quintin and Elise

David, Angela, Eli, Abby, Lizzie and Jonah

What a blessing to have such wonderful children and grandchildren. I am truly grateful for all of them and the love and concern they show me. I know that it's the prayers of our families, that includes our parents, our brothers and sisters and our friends, that help us and sustain us in all that we go through. WE LOVE YOU AND ARE SO GRATEUL FOR YOU!

Here's a beautiful Houston sunset that one of the Sister missionaries took! I love sunsets because every time I see one I think of my Heavenly Father, how He knows my every need and how He gives me everything I need. The trials, the joys, the people, the sunsets, the tender mercies, the frustrations, the loving hand, the new baby. I have so much. thank you for that beautiful sunset.