Sunday, December 6, 2015

Some People Crash Parties - We Crash Stake Conference!

December is always as swamped as it is joyful, but this December seems especially busy and is flying by way too fast.  One member of our companionship (who shall remain nameless) has grandiose ideas of dozens and dozens of notes, cards, goodies and gifts for the sad and lonely ward members here.  The other is a good sport and shakes his head at the unrealistic lists being created and added to daily.  There is so much true need and real sadness in this one ward, it is hard not to have the desire to assure each person that someone cares and that our Heavenly Father loves him/her.  

Since we don't have quite enough to do we decided to attend a neighboring Stake's Saturday night session of Stake Conference because we heard that Elder Neil L. Andersen was attending.  We didn't need to feel as guilty as we did for crashing, as it was as poorly attended as it was wonderful.  Because he had come from giving a blessing to our sweet Orlando Temple Matron, whom he had known having lived in Florida for years, losing loved ones was on Elder Andersen's mind.  So for the bulk of his talk he shared in great detail his perspective of losing Elder Perry, then touched as well on the passing of President Packer and Elder Scott.  Even though I cried so much I was too embarrassed to go up after and shake his hand with such red eyes, it was wonderful to hear of his deep love and admiration for Elder Perry, and to realize how much he is missed by so many.  It was an honor to be in the presence of an Apostle again!  (The angelic temple matron ended up passing last night.)

Friday night was our ward Christmas Party - sadly they held it outside in the Pavilion - I know the set up and clean up were easier, but it certainly didn't make for good visiting, and so many people didn't come because of the "cold."  It's awesome to see people bundled in furry boots, coats, mittens and hats because the temperature is all the way down to 60 degrees!  
The AWESOME Albas, with our Bishop photo-bombing!

Because the lease for this apartment is up and there are not going to be any new Senior Missionaries coming who can be assigned to this ward (TRAGIC!!!) we are needing to vacate next week and stay in temporary housing.  We were sad about leaving until Friday night.  Our upstairs neighbors have been "interesting."  The 2 a.m. washing machine each night is one thing, but from the other sounds we have wondered if they had serious weights that they were dropping on the floor or something.  Friday afternoon as we were preparing our many contributions for the ward dinner the sound escalated and I told Craig that we were hearing was non-friendly wrestling, or bodies being dropped or thrown or something.  Sure enough a few minutes later there was a HORRID screaming match on the stairs.  I ran to the door and Craig said, "Cindy don't go out there you are going to get shot."  I said, "I am not going out - I am making sure the door is locked!!!"  The noise continued for a while on the stairs, then back up above us.  We weren't over-reacting... a half hour later as we were making trips to the car with our goods, there were FIVE SHERIFF CARS at the foot of our stairs - one of them was a forensics van.  This will really shock those of you who know me well, but because I try to be a little more proper when wearing my beloved Missionary Badge, I didn't ask the police what was going on.  The curiosity to know what happened has driven me nuts ever since (not shocking) so I plan to ask the maintenance people when they return on Monday.  Suddenly, vacating doesn't sound so bad!  :)

We had our dear Livingston mother and daughters for dinner again today - such delightful ladies!  (Had to delete picture.  :(  )

Ok, my nature picture today will not be clouds, but something closer to earth.  I love what we see each morning on our walks!

Hard to tell the perspective, but this was HUGE!
The Church is true!  This is such a glorious time of year to share our testimonies with everyone - we hope you are doing that every day!  We love you all!!!

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