Saturday, January 29, 2011

Unexpected happenings!

This week has been a hard week! We saw 2 sister missionaries go home unexpectedly. Scott and I drove each of them to the airport, one Tuesday and the other one Wednesday. I learned a good lesson in why we shouldn't judge others. I have a saying on my wall in the mission office that says; "We should not judge, for we know little of what has been endured and nothing of what has been resisted" it's very loosely based on something Kipling wrote. Tuesday night when I heard that another sister was going home (the one had already left that day; they both came out together in July) I was very disappointed thinking she just wanted to leave because the other one had. But then the President called Wednesday morning to see if I would call her and make sure she was okay. (He and his wife were tied up with interviews all day) When I called I realized she was seriously not okay and told her if she needed me to come and help her with anything to let me know. Immediately her companion called and said 'please come'. This girl was having a serious meltdown. Spending the day with and then getting her on the plane I came to realize that missions really are not for everyone and she needed to be home getting the help that she was crying out for. She had really given it her best and it was good enough. I know it will be hard for her and perhaps others, to not feel like she failed, but I hope that doesn't happen! We really SHOULD NOT judge others because we don't have a clue what is going on in their lives or their heads or hearts!

A few months ago the Nagels, the CES missionaries in Huntsville at Sam Houston University asked Scott to speak at the Institutes Friday forum. They feed the students lunch and then have a short talk. Scott did such a great job. His topic was "Three Keys to a Successful Life"

1. The successful person has the habit of doing things failures don't like to do. They don't necessarily like doing them either, but their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose. (E.M. Gray) DO THOSE THINGS

2. The successful person has the discipline NOT to do things that failures like to do. They may be tempted to do them, too. But their discipline keeps them from self-defeating thoughts and actions. DON'T DO THOSE THINGS

3. The successful person commits to and keeps the covenants they make at baptism and in the temple. KEEP YOUR COVENANTS

He gave some stories and quotes that supported the 3 things that he thinks lead to a successful life and ended by saying that when he meets his maker at the judgment seat that if God says to him, "Well done thou good and faithful servant" he will know then that he was a success. He did a great job and we had a wonderful lunch as well. (I didn't dare eat too much of the spaghetti though because I was wearing my white jacket and I didn't want to get sauce on it! I got to introduce Elder Stringfellow and tell how we ended up in Houston, always an emotional story for me!)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Why people live in Houston Texas!!!

It was SUCH a gorgeous day in Houston yesterday and today! Freezing cold at night (for at least 2 hours!) but warms up nicely in the day. Seriously, the weatherman says a few nights ago: "Bundle up folks it's going to be a cold night, it will be down below freezing for 2 hours tonight." Scott and I just looked at each other and said; "did he just say for 2 hours?" we both busted out laughing. Oh if they were in Utah, especially Vernal where it's below zero for at least 3 months! Anyway, yesterday was so nice that we got Subway sandwiches and took them to a park and ate, and watched all the soccer players (the park has 28 soccer fields!) and walked around it's walking path for awhile. It was probably about 65, blue, blue skies and no wind. That's why people live here! I must say when it's cold here though, it really does feel cold to the bone!

How romantic is this? Scott fixed for dinner some sweet potatoe fries. He was putting them in a bread pan when I told him he was being a minimalist again, so he put the same amount of fries on the cookie sheet and wrote my name! I really need to stay out of the kitchen, especially after my failure tonight while attempting to make fudge. Have any of you made fudge that turned out like crushed cookies? Speaking of kitchen failures, this wasn't a failure but I was so happy when the smoke alarm went off when Scott was cooking our steaks for Sunday dinner because it's usually me (it's happened twice) that makes the smoke alarm go off. The bad thing is the kitchen one goes off, then the bedroom one and it is REALLY LOUD and the only way to get them to go off is open the doors and the window and it's very embarrassing because I'm sure the whole complex hears it! The Stringfellow's must be cooking dinner again.

Here's Sister Walker just going to give Sister Cramer a hug.

What fun to be able to work with so many wonderful people! Sister Marsh, Sister Walker, Sister Radin and I are in this picture. Sister Radin is called to the Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission but they get to go work out in a mission field for 2 1/2 months to see how it feels to proselyte and baptize. She got to be a part of 2 baptisms on the 1st of January. Scott and I drove her to the airport Wednesday to go back to Salt Lake. Watch for her when you go to Temple Sqaure and tell her Hi from Elder and Sister Stringfellow. She goes back to the Philipines the middle of April. The gospel is TRUE, and life is wonderful. We are so grateful for our friends and family and their love and support.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY QUINTIN Grandma and Grandpa love you and hope you had a good one!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Just about HALF WAY!

We just can't believe how fast the time is going by. We are trying to relish and retain every memory of this unbelivable experience and just enjoy the moment. We're so glad that Pete got to come visit us and meet some of the people who are such a great influence and see what we do. We actually caught him, quite accidently by the way, with a great face on! Meaning, anytime he sees you take a picture of him he makes THE wierdest face!

Here we are at the Blue Bell Creameries to take a tour and have a fresh bowl of very yummy ice cream. What a crazy cowboy, I guess not only being in the state of Texas but also being born in the state of Texas will do that to you!
No really, I'm fine! I was just trying to make a point with Pete that you don't have to pull a face every time the camera's pointed your way. It's not always pretty, as you can well see! (he,he)

Don't do it, let's just have one picture of the 3 of us looking somewhat normal!

This is what you're supposed to do with a milk cow, not ride it! Oh the good 'ole days of milking cows back in Gooding Idaho! (Just to be accurate, I don't think I actually ever milked a cow, but I watched my dad and brothers do it, that almost counts, doesn't it?)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fun times with PETE!

This is true Texas barbecue from Huntsville, Texas at the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church. I guess they started doing this many years ago to get enough money to build there church. It looked like it was many years ago. Now it's famous for the barbecue and it was pretty good, if you like ribs, brisket and chicken!!! YUM. Looks like Pete and Elder Stringfellow liked it!

We visited the campus of Sam Houston State University. Pete's just kicking up his heels!

This statue of Sam Houston is over 60 feet tall. He was really a tall guy! Very big in Texas' state history. He was the President of Texas when it was its own country. 1836-1844.

We took Peter to the NASA Space Center!

Quick, take a picture! Peter's not making a silly face. See how cute you are Pete when you're not pulling a funny face?

A freezy transfer!

I know that none of you in Utah will feel any sympathy for us, but it was really FREEZY this week. And just to prove it, look at the sign! It got down to 29, yes 29, two nights in a row!!! They really did put this up at our apartment complex but I'm not sure why. Elder Walker said that several years ago it got this cold and pipes burst in a lot of complexes causing a lot of water damage, so now apartments do this. But we did get a kick out of it. Especially when we saw the next picture.

Yes! They actually put ice melt down, but wait, there was no snow, no rain, not even much humidity. Just very cold temperatures. I' sure glad that we didn't slip on the ice melt, that was slippery!

It was transfer week during all this cold weather. Sister Russon, on the right went home to Tooele, Utah. Sister Rodriguez, originally from Guatamala, came in and told me it was really freezy outside. She then told me it was more than chilly, it was freezy. I like that word, I think I will use that.

Hermana Stevenson and Porter. Hermana Stevenson, on the left was transfered into a 3-some, all 3 three sister missionaries are 6 feet tall! WOW! I will have to get a picture of them standing with me sometime!

Happy Birthday Elder Austin. (January 2nd)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

Happy New Year! I thought I would show you my attempt to take mine and Scott's picture to wish ya'll a prospero ano y felicidad! Last night we had 4 Elders over for dinner and 2 stayed to play Scrabble. Each word had to be used in a sentence with a religious connotation and you got double points for the word if it was a religious word! We had fun and of course Elder Stringfellow won because well, he always does! No worries, the Elders were gone before 9 and I was sound asleep by 10:00, a first on New Years Eve since 1977! Missionary work wears one out!!!

This morning we went and had sweet rolls at Sister Young and Sister Marsh's apartment and watched the Rose Parade. Sister Young and I then went to see the animated move "Despicable Me". It was a cute show and the popcorn was as good as the anticipation of it! Only Sister Young will know what I mean by that!

Here's a much better picture of us on 1/1/11. It definitely helps to be tall and have long arms! We are so grateful for a new year and for all of you who read this blog because we know that you are the ones who care about us and love us and WE LOVE YOU too. Thank you for all of the prayers this past year on our behalf, I know that the Lord has heard them because we have been greatly blessed through all of our trials.