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!
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!