The Senior Couple that we replaced had their exit interview last Saturday and were to travel home on Monday. They wanted to attend one last District meeting with the young Missionaries on Monday morning so we arranged to hold the District meeting at our apartment (instead of theirs) to unburden their effort. When the meeting was over the Missionaries were invited to help the Wells’ carry down the items that they wanted to take home to the vehicle and Elder Howes packed their car. This was at about 1pm on Monday. We didn’t see them again for the rest of the day and assumed that they had departed, latter to see their car parked at their apartment. The next morning (Tuesday) we woke early to HEAR Elder Wells outside complaining (I’m being nice). Feeling his distress (if not anger) Elder Howes dressed quickly and went to help followed by Sister Howes. Together we spent the next 5 hours carrying and re-packing additional items into a small Subaru station wagon, adding a roof-top carrier and packing it with additional items. When the car was packed they along with us began to clean their apartment. At noon we told them to leave for home and that we would complete the cleaning. We spent the next three days working to have this apartment ready for full time Missionaries to take over the apartment next week. Just part of what you do as Member and Leader support Missionaries. But what we learned, besides service, was that you collect allot of “stuff” that is hard to leave behind. I think that all of the “stuff” reminds us of the cherished experiences and people that you encounter while out here trying to be the arms, legs, eyes and mouth for the Lord, to build his Kingdom. We have already collected a bunch of “stuff”. Stuff that is not in the list of things on the Missionary list. We’ve collected tools, some related to the “nesting” previously written about, others to accomplish assignments. We have hammers, screw drivers, saws, office supplies and electronics that we have gathered to be more affective in doing what’s been asked of us. At this point we think that we’ll have no problem leaving them behind to get home to visit with our Grandchildren, Children, Parents and friends but the next 15 months may change this attitude.
Well we got to take a break from cleaning to drive to Ossining New York to attend transfers. We believed that there would be significant changes since many of the missionaries had already been told that they would be moving on or that leadership would change. These meeting are awesome. You get to feel the great strength of the special young men and women and also to see that they are also still 18 to 20 something years olds. They meet in a parking lot where they visit and act like they are still in High School. The President shows up and invites them into the chapel and they turn into a spiritual army. AWESOME
Our Mission grew by another 37 this transfer with 11 new areas opened or expanded. We currently have 247 missionaries serving in the New York North Mission. However, our Zone was split and went from the largest to the smallest. We went from having the largest District to having only one District in the Zone. We also went from having 4 Senior Missionary couples in the Zone to being the only Senior Missionaries in the Zone. All is well, we’ll have another transfer in 6 weeks and things will change again.
We’re starting to understand why both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young led the Saints West. As we travel here in New York, when you travel North, South or East you pay a toll. But coincidentally not when you travel West. West is free. What’s that about?
We drove to the Manhattan Temple for our assignment again this Thursday, this time taking the Tappan Zee Bridge (east & $5 toll). Elder Howes again missed a turn and we ended up coming in on the same “thruway” as last week when we came in on the Taconic Freeway. Construction on the entrance to Manhattan keeps our GPS from guiding us the way it would normally and we ended up crossing back across the Hudson on the George Washington (west & free) but had to do a U turn back across the George Washington (east & $13). The 90 miles south to the Temple from New Paltz is $7 and the 90 miles north back home is $7 the two trips east added $18. The good news this week is that we learned how to park on the street which reduced the cost from last weeks visit from $40 parking to $7.50 but then there the extra $10 temptation yielded to for a street vendor Waffle ice cream sandwich (yum) and I think we’re destined for this weekly trip to be $100. We’re missing our assignment in the Draper Temple more and more. Sorry no pictures this week we’ve been running all week and haven’t thought to take the camera. We’ll make up for it next week.