Well this week has been a little less busy, unfortunately. We are still living in Goshen, NY awaiting our move to our assigned area in New Paltz. The office couples who oversee so many different things, including cars, apartments and their furnishings have been very busy preparing for so many new missionaries that Sister & Elder Howes’s move has been put on the back burner. We are kind of in limbo living this far from our assigned area that it is frustrating for our Branch and for us. We have spent a good deal of time just driving back and forth (here a toll booth and there a toll booth).
We, like all of the church, had our Fast and Testimony meeting this past Sunday. We discovered that the start time for meetings here is more like a suggestion. All of the meetings begin late and end early. Elder and Sister Howes, the couple we are replacing, Elder and Sister Wells, and the full time Missionaries were literally the only ones in the “chapel” at 10am. The Branch Presidency came in at about 10 minutes after the hour and promptly began the meeting with 12 others. By half past the hour we had another dozen or so come into the meeting and probably that many more before the meeting ended. (We’re told that is the norm). We were asked to meet with our Branch President during Sunday School and were promised that within the next few weeks they would consider callings for us in the Branch.
On Monday we attended our Zone Conference in Newburgh where the Zone leaders announced the upcoming transfers, assignment changes and new areas within the Zone. We have 18 full time missionaries, all young men, with 4 full time missionary couples in the Zone. Below shows a picture of the Elders currently in the Zone. The other Senior couples had already slipped out to make lunch.
Our Zone leaders, Elders Fife and Foley, are to the left rear of this picture, both standing one with his arm around the other. Sister Howes and I work closely with the four Elders on the far right side of this picture, both stand and sitting. The two on the far right are the Missionaries here in Middletown/Goshen (Elders Stokes, standing & Elder Zander, sitting) and the two left and next to them are the two Missionaries from New Paltz (Elders Poulsen, standing & Elder Scott, sitting).
About half of these young men were transferred or changed. We also found that at our next Zone meeting, the number of full time Missionaries will go from 18 to 32. Our little Branch will have two sets of Sister Missionaries, Sister & Elder Howes and the two full time Elders.
On Wednesday we traveled to Ossining for the transfer meeting. It was announced by our Mission President that this was an Historic transfer meeting because never in the churches history has there ever been as many new missionaries enter any mission as had come during this past week (47) to the New York North Mission. He made introductions of new missionaries and gave each an assignment. He then counseled all in our duties and responsibilities to the Lord for this Mission.
On our way home from the Transfer meeting Elder Howes made a wrong turn and we ended up on a road that overlooks West Point Academy, pictured below:
Well, as usual, as we have taken our walk each morning we find interesting things that amuse us. The store pictured below must be a relative of Jennifer Johnson:
And finally, as we traveled to Transfers, we saw this sign at a traffic signal: