Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas 2015

Oh, Holy Night--this beautiful white Nativity is on the Orlando Temple Grounds.

The Sister Missionaries and recent converts outside the Orlando Temple on this lovely 72* evening: left to right--Sister Rivera, Christopher Mera, Mariel Mera, Sister Fiefiia, Sister Bronson. Such a joy to be in the temple just before Christmas.

Orlando Temple-- Christopher and Mariel Mera--They were married and he was baptized a week ago. Tonight they came to be baptized by proxy for some of their ancestors who didn't have the chance in their life time. Peaceful and Beautiful.

A Savior is Born. Discover Why!

Our simple Christmas Decorations. We had a progressive Dinner on Christmas Day.Appetizers--Elder and Sister Dale Johnson, Tomato Bisque Soup--Sister Toni Walker and Sister Ellie Johnson, Main Course, Ham and Potatoes--Elders and Sister Bird, Dessert--cranberry cake, ice cream, bananas and toppings--Elder and Sister Bean. We sat around and talked until 10pm. 

The beautiful Poinsettia on our porch. 

Our three foot tree had ornaments we have collected this past 19 months. Elder Bean got a unique pizza cutter. After we opened our presents to each other we did face-time with Wade, Suzanne, David, and talked to Kat. Mary had just moved into a new home in Portland and we got a tour of her home. Later in the evening we talked to Nathaniel.

Thank you to our many friends and family that sent us Christmas Cards.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sister Tilton's Memorial Service, Senior District Family Home Evening

President and Sister Tilton--the President and Matron of the Orlando Temple are the very best people that Palatka. FL has to offer--she is "sweet as pie" and he is truly a Southern Gentleman. So sad--Sister Tilton had a heart attack the day after Thanksgiving and died on her 75th birthday December 5th. We went to her memorial service 14 December 2015 with hundreds of other temple workers.. So glad we were able to pay tribute to this great lady and learn more about her inspiring life. After the memorial service we went to Senior District Family Home Evening.

At Family Home Evening 14 December 2015 we said good-bye to Elder and Sister Evans who depart the Florida Orlando Mission in the morning. We are just like them only opposite (her words)--She has bright eyes and a passionate personality and He is kind and gentle. We have enjoyed getting to know them. They have another mission call to Preston England--(That is Sister Bean's dream mission and would love to visit the places where our ancestors were born and lived.) 

Sister Cheryl Johnson had a birthday. (Silly way to sing "Happy Birthday" to the Senior Missionaries)
Sister Johnson is an efficient secretary and keeps the mission office running smoothly.

Another Senior Missionary with a birthday.So thankful for this guy.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Jennings baptism and Conway Ward Christmas party--12 December 2015

Jimmy Jennings Jr. was baptized by Elder Garcia with Elder Rowley as one of the witnesses. His story: Jimmy had been taught by missionaries 2 years ago but there were some things he had to clear up in his life so he wasn't baptized at that time. Then he moved to the Conway Ward area and lost track of the missionaries. A few weeks ago Jimmy saw Rowley/Garcia biking--he stopped his truck by the side of the road to talk to them. Of course they were thrilled when he told them he wanted to be baptized. He was so excited and so ready to commit to living the commandments of the Lord. He told me Sunday that he does not ever want to go back to his previous life. He loves to read his scriptures--a great way to stay close to the Lord.

Conway ward had their Christmas Party at the Primrose Center. It is a school for the Mentally Handicapped. Our Relief Society President, Liz Courson is the director of the Center.. Approximately 50 of the Handicapped Students came to the party, were served dinner, and  then given a gift sack that was provided by ward members.  
Here are some of the Ward Members mingling with the Primrose Center students/residents. 

We served a turkey dinner for the students/residence of Primrose Center, then Santa Came and passed out their gifts.
They were so excited to get their $10.00 package.

Elder Gale, Elder Goff, Elder Rowley, Elder Garcia served the plates of food
at the Ward Party. These are the best young men the world has to offer--we have enjoyed
serving with them in the Conway Ward.

Dinner with College Park North Sisters and a Visit from The Nielsons.

Sister Rowley, Sister Prows (of Kaysville, UT), and Sister Lafebvre the College Park North Sisters had dinner with us at Bento--an Asian Restaurant in Ovieto (West Orlando). The association we have with Missionaries is priceless.

This is an Anhinga Bird (rhymes with Elzinga) drying his wings--also know as the water snake
because of its long snake like neck or a water turkey..These birds are common in 
the warm waters of Florida. This picture was taken just outside the front door of our apartment.

Look who came to visit the Florida Orlando Mission--our house guests for 4 nights. They and the Clares (who stayed at the mission home) went on a cruise that embarked from Fort Lauderdale. When they returned they helped Sister Berry with the food for the Christmas Devotional on Friday, 18 December 2015.. Janice was the mission nurse and Kirk the i-pad doctor for their 2 year (July 2013-June 2015) FOM mission.Janice never stops giggling.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Cracker Christmas Festival in Fort Christmas Florida 5 Dec 2015

Dressed in our pioneer attire we spent the day with the Booth at Fort Christmas, Florida. It is a wonderful
opportunity to talk to others about Family History, The Restored Gospel of Jesus
Christ, and answer questions that they might have. We placed about 6 Book of Mormons.

Sister Gibson and Sister Ackley--Titusville North Sisters passed out "A Savior is Born" cards--inviting others to discover WHY WE NEED A SAVIOR. The 2 minute video reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. The Church is True.
Elder Demille and Elder Larsen pulling Sisters Gibson and Ackley with the handcart.
They gave over 100 youngsters a ride in the Pioneer Handcart at the Cracker Christmas Festival.
We demonstrated The Mormon Pioneer Handcart at Fort Christmas. This handcart comes from The Deseret Youth and Family Camp--handcarts are used there for youth and family groups to go on Trek--to walk the walk of pioneers, We pulled it from Deseret Ranch early the morning and walked all the way to the Ft. Christmasl. Actually it loads into the back of the FOM Chevy truck and that is how we pulled it.. We always want to remember the sacrifice the early Pioneers made to gather to Zion.. 
A great ride--pulled by human hands--After Elder DeMille and Elder Larsen were worn out
the senior Elders started pulling. There was one lady that wanted to try the pulled so I did it with her.

The children loved riding in the handcart. We pulled over 100 children.

Elders taking a ride in the handcart. It was a warm 82* day in Christmas Florida.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Mary Elizabeth comes to visit Thanksgiving Day until 2 December 2015

Key Largo--Stopped into shop at "Key Lime Products" We had a delicious fish taco and Key Lime Pie.
A gator relaxing in the bushes--Anhinga trail in Everglades National Park
These pictures are out of order. Key Largo
The Anhinga Trail is 1 1/2 miles of boardwalk and blacktop. We enjoyed the wildlife and swamp on this easy trial.
To our big surprise 2 feet from the Anhinga Trail look what came out of the water. 
Sunset in Naples, Florida--Gulf of Mexico.
Naples, Florida Beach--we stopped here after going to Key Largo and the Everglades.
Not many people on Naples Beach at Sunset. I got a cup full of with fine white sand.

This was outside our hotel in Key Largo looking at the boats that would soon take us on a SCUBA diving excursion.

Hotel breakfast by the boat dock in Key Largo. 

Panorama view--Key Largo--Boat dock--Hotel breakfast.

We went to visit Sister Bonnemort, the mission nurse in the Winter Park Florida Hospital. She got pnemonia and spent Thanksgiving week end in the hospital. It is a Seventh Day Adventist Hospital--she saw about 10 doctors during her stay.

Sister Bonnemort has a supply of her favorite beverage.

Kennedy Space Center--Mary Elizabeth Bean--The Atlantis

-Elder and Sister Bean standing in front of the huge Christmas tree in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge-
We enjoyed a delicious African Themed buffet dinner at Bomas

Mary Elizabeth and Sister Bean (mother-daughter look alike). This zebra seat in Wild Florida looks so real.

Elder Bean watching the alligators in the river at Wild Florida.

Wild Florida--Mary Elizabeth Bean--fun day to see the many an

Thanksgiving dinner in our apartment after Mary Elizabeth arrived.

We were so excited to see Mary when we picked her up at the airport we parked the car and waited by baggage claim. This darling tug boat suitcase caught our eye. They have the cutest roller bags for kids these days.

Everglades National Park, Anhinga Trail, Lazy Alligator, (these pictures are so out of order)

Thanksgiving night just outside our apartmant--full moon. It was a balmy 72*