We are finally finding a little rhythm to life in the Mission field. While everything certainly is not scripted day to day, we’re figuring out how to be effective. Our last week was busy.
Apartment: We received a dresser and night stands from the Mission office and Sister Howes and I went into a random furniture clearance center in Poughkeepsie we past on the way to an assignment and finally got box springs for our bed. Did I mention that we have had a bed (mattress) that sets on a bed frame with slates spaces about every 18″. Every morning when we got up we had to un-coil. We can now unpack. Sister Howes got creative and created blown-up pictures of our children, grandchildren and a post card from Elizabeth Finlinson (not sure that was legal) to decorate the walls of our apartment:
Tomorrow is P-day and we’re going to look at several table and chairs we’ve located on Craig’s list and we’ll be fully functional. Although I’m sure Sister Howes won’t stop looking for “stuff”, part of the “nesting” instinct that makes our apartment into a home.
Another 200 Miles
The past week we really got to know the boundaries of our “little” Branch. As we decided that we would begin the process of trying to locate and contact the less active members. We were told that the most difficult group would be those that live on the other side of the “mountain”. We set out early in the morning and headed north across the mountain and traveled nearly 120 miles through beautiful little country roads and towns stopping with our Branch list to visit at the homes of those who no-one knows in the Branch. We spent the entire day driving through and making these stops and not one person answered the door. However, we knew that some folks were home and saw us. The interesting thing about this is that on Sunday three of the homes where we stopped came to church for the first time (in a long time by the introductions we heard going on).
The Stake held it’s version of the Relief Society birthday this past Saturday. Sister Howes along with many of the Sister in the Branch car-pooled to Newburgh early in the morning and from the pictures she took it looked to be quite a crowd. I was surprised to learn the most of the presentations made for the theme of Women’s Health, were sisters from our Branch:
Gym full of sisters Sandy Hekking/Young Women’s President – Nurse Jeanne Cooper/Branch Relief Society President – Nutrient Specialist
Sister Howes and I have been going out regularly with the Missionaries throughout our Zone. Many of the Missionaries have found out that we can help them as they teach about Family History, others are using us to teach family home evening. (Don’t worry girls, I’m leaving most of this task to someone with less of a desire to have complete order and structure, your Mom).
Sister Howes received two callings in the Branch. She is a Relief Society Teacher and the Family History Specialist. Elder Howes was called to be the Sunday School President which really means that they want me to train everyone in their duties and to them how to do them (dangerous). Sister Howes and I both spoke in Sacrament meeting this past week and she also taught R.S.. What we are finding is that the most important quality of our Mission is to be flexible in what you can expect from day to day and even hour to hour. Some of you can imagine that this is the hardest thing for Elder Howes.