We've had a busy "week before transfer week". Monday I finally had all the information I needed to request flights for our October departing missionaries. At least I thought everything was in order. Tuesday their itineraries arrived. The two missionaries going home to the Philippines were only booked to Manila, not their home towns. Apparently SL only books to Manila and then requests the Philippine Area Office book the rest of the flight. So I'm still waiting on those. Another returning sister said she needed to go to Beijing, as her parents were moving to mainland China, but she didn't know exactly where or when. I felt really uneasy about it, so decided to give her one last call when I received the itinerary for Beijing. Sure enough she had communicated with her parents and now wanted to go to Hong Kong, where they are living. We were within the 24 hour window of booking, so the flight was easy to change. That's where her records are, so that's really where she should go. I'm just grateful for promptings and grateful that I listened. I have to admit that sometimes I bush them off - lesson learned!
Tuesday 8 new missionary recommendations came. I was relieved that they didn't add any new ones to our huge group coming on the 18th. But we did get some for next transfer, November, and even January. The number of Visitor Center missionaries is down, so we are getting a lot of sisters assigned to serve there. I prepared a lot of letters and mailing labels this week, and we did pad check for most of the missionaries on our list. They are so cute, and for the most part their pads look okay. The set of sisters that we do pad check for, called and asked to reschedule - they had a dead battery and were stuck! They had called the Zone Leaders to come give them a jump. What's really funny is that the battery was fine - they were out of gas! Gotta love the sisters! They're amazing missionaries, but not so good with cars.
Thursday night we did home visits with the ward because Sunday is going to be Ward Conference. About 30 members showed up, divided into pairs and headed out to visit less actives and ward members that were having difficult times. I was so impressed with the level of participation and genuine love they all have for each other. I thought it was wonderful!
Friday late afternoon I had a call from a sister flying home to Hong Kong next Thursday who said she had lost both her passports! Really?! I called the emergency line for SL and was told since she wasn't flying until Thursday, to just call on Monday. Well, in the meantime I told her to spend her weekend praying and searching. It worked!! She called on Saturday to say she found them.
I started walking in the morning before we go to the office. It's so wonderful, once I pull myself out of bed. The weather is cool and beautiful. I walk a couple of times around a large block and often enjoy talking on the telephone to family and friends at home while I walk. If I wait till the evening to call home it is too late (we are 4 hours behind) and I'm often too tired to walk. One morning it had just finished raining and I noticed this beautiful, delicate little flower with beads of rain still on it. The flower is a little bigger than an inch in diameter. The pedals are so delicate you can almost see through them. I thought it was really pretty. I admire it's strength and beauty - standing tall, bearing the weight placed on it's frail pedals. There it was just smiling at me and saying, if I can do it, so can you.
Saturday we decided to take it easy. I had my quarterly CT scan in the morning. Then we went to Costco and came home and had naps. After that we went to Safeway, fixed dinner, and then watched a movie we rented at Red Box. It was good to have a calm P-day.
Sunday was ward conference and it was wonderful - especially RS. We had a great lesson on preparing for the Sacrament that was given by the Stake RS President. I play the piano for RS, but this Sunday one of the Stake Counselors brought her violin and played prelude, postlude, and with the hymns that were sung. It was glorious!
Sunday evening our sweet Manoa Ward Elders came over for dinner. Elder Gale from Parowan, Utah is in the middle and Elder Hardy from Spring City, Utah is on the right. They are both such great missionaries and really enjoy having each other for companions.
I love being on this mission and learning from the amazing young men and women who are so totally devoted to serving the Lord and His children. One elder shared this thought: 2 Nephi 9:39 - Remember...to be spiritually minded is life eternal. If you take the first letter of each of the last 5 words (spiritually minded is life eternal) it spells out SMILE! The gospel certainly makes me smile and brings so much joy to my life.