Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Arrival in Mesa for Mission #2

Our week at the MTC as part of the Seminar for Visitors' Center directors ended with a lovely dinner at the Joseph Smith Memorial building on Thursday evening.  We have been well fed spiritually and physically - now there is nothing left to do but go to work.

The first sight that greeted us as we drove onto Lesueur in Mesa was a lemon tree full of ripe fruit.  It was 19 degrees when we left Bountiful.  Could it be possible that there's this much difference in just a day's drive south?

The limes on this tree are still small, but they are growing quickly.  We took this picture in the back yard of our new home.

Seen from the temple complex parking lot - this is the temple president's home, which will be our home for the next two years.  What a privilege to live right on the temple grounds.

 I will never get tired of looking at the majestic Mesa Temple - what a magnificent edifice.  We walk in front of it every day as we make our way to the visitors' center, just a 4 minute walk from our back door.

Along the way we pass these lovely spring flowers that are already thriving in the almost 70 degree weather.  I can't believe it's only January.

A cactus garden reminds us that we are now living in the desert.

This is the Mesa Temple Visitors' Center - our home away from home for the next two years.  It is located just a few hundred feet from the temple across a pretty reflecting pool.

Inside the visitors' center the first thing that guests see is this beautiful statue of the Savior, known as the Christus.

Grapefruit trees line the walkways between the visitors' center and the temple.  Guests on the temple grounds are welcome to pick the fruit.  It is ripe and very delicious.

  We are standing just outside the south doors of the Visitors' Center.  The beautiful reflecting pool provides a gorgeous setting for the temple behind.  This temple was patterned after Solomon's temple of ancient times.

Elder and Sister White, the outgoing director and his wife, welcomed us warmly to our new assignment.  They had prepared a mountain of material for us to study as we get oriented to our new responsibilities.

We're definitely not in Holland anymore.  These palm trees are only a few of the beautiful trees that dot the landscape on the temple complex.

We're going to love our new living quarters.  This is the beautiful, spacious living room.  The fireplace on the right won't be needed from what I can tell so far.  When will it ever get cold enough to need a fire?  Although it's only January 15th, the weather is in the upper '60's.

The kitchen is spacious with granite countertops and beautiful tile flooring.  There is plenty of room to spread out in this work area.

This is the master bedroom.  The bed is king-size and so is the room.  I'm sure there'll be room for my quilt frames in here.  (Some things are nice, but some things are NECESSARY.)

The guest bedroom has two matching twin beds.  There is also room for a blow-up mattress on the floor for any 'young-uns' that might accompany the grown-ups. 

This is the 'dressing' area off the master bedroom.  I've never had a make-up stool and mirror before.  I'm not sure I'm high-class enough for all this luxury.

Our office contains a large desk, a computer desk, and a sofa on the side wall that has a fold-out bed inside.  We're hoping to use it often - (hint, hint).

This is the main bathroom.  Guests can have their own bathroom since there is another bathroom off the master bedroom.  The house was painted the week before we arrived, and all the carpets were cleaned just the day before we reached Mesa.  Talk about rolling out the red carpet.......
We feel very spoiled, and very grateful to have the privilege of being here.  We've got a lot to learn, but we're excited to get started.

Christmas 2012 with Our Family

We enjoyed spending Christmas in Kanosh with Dwight's family.  Christmas Eve in this community has ended with a visit from Santa since I was a child (about 100 years ago).  The Primary children entertained us with a fun video of their activities during the year before Santa arrived.

Annika and Mia display some of their 'booty' from Santa.

Brooks reminds Santa about the telescope he's hoping to find under the tree tomorrow.

Christmas morning at the Dwight Beckstrand home found all participants in brand new p.j's.

Mylee is super excited about her new camera!

And Brooks is delighted to examine his new telescope.  Santa came through!!

With so much happening, the family Christmas party needed to wait until December 26th.   Traci's family were the gracious hosts again this year.   Jeff and his dad pair off in a game of pool.

This group enjoyed playing 'hand and foot' canasta.  Candice showed everyone how to win with one hand tied behind her back. That's quite the stylish headgear that Anna is wearing.

I always get a big smile from Amy.

Now we see the other side of the canasta table - is everyone having fun?

Nobody has cuter grandkids than I do!  NO ONE!

Even these guys!  (Crazy faces notwithstanding.)

Our next party was held in Logan on New Year's Eve with Cherie's family.  Megan and Heather lasted until about 8:00 pm, but their friends' parties eventually pulled them away.

Tyler decorated all of the light switches with pretzels.  Very creative!

Sunday afternoon we made up for the lost time on Saturday night.  And a good time was had by all!

Skyler blew out his birthday candles to celebrate a belated birthday on December 30th.  He's our newest grandson!  Candice did well......

Alyssa and grandma had a 'play-dough' party back at the house in Bountiful.  This is one of my favorite activities with the grandkids.

A new arrival!  Beautiful Quinn Taea Beckstrand was born Thursday, Jan. 5th in Provo.  She had lots of dark hair and chubby cheeks.  A first for Dwight and Melanie's babies.

All of the family is soooo excited to welcome their new sister.

To help pass the time while mom and baby were in the hospital, the rest of us went to the Aquarium in Sandy.  What a fun outing.

Our very favorite exhibit was the penguins - by a mile.  They were totally delightful.

All of the girls in our group tried to pile onto this frog.  It was a tight fit.

Back in Bountiful we had a pizza party with Jared's boys. 

Coen found out that he LOVES pizza!  This was his first time trying it.  Mmmmm.

Just one more thing to do before heading to Mesa for our new mission assignment.  I HAD to hold little Quinn while she's still tiny and new.  What a precious baby.