Well, we have good news and bad news. Sister Taylor's visa has finally come thru after 44 days here in the Arizona, Mesa Mission. That's the good news. The bad news - she has to leave us.
We gathered the sisters on shift Monday night to say a final goodbye. Have fun in Taiwan, Sister Taylor. Don't forget us!
On Thursday, June 28th, all of the sisters in the mission were invited to the Visitors' Center for Sisters' Training. Some of the young sisters who arrived early got out their scriptures to study while we waited for the other to arrive. In all, we have 40 sisters serving in the Arizona, Mesa Mission.
Sister Slater plays some beautiful prelude hymns while we wait for the President to arrive. It was a wonderful meeting and we enjoyed cinnamon rolls and fresh fruit following the training. Yum!
Our next activity was a gardening service project on Monday morning, July 2nd. These early birds got up at 5:30 am to be here by 6:00 to start working. I'm impressed!
Our assignment was to remove all of the ground cover that had turned yellow from the excessive heat. Sister Shurtz and Javed go right to work.
Sisters Hollady and Larson are excited to be here - really.....
With this big crew we'll be done in no time.
I'm sure you're earning lots of blessings in heaven.
Sister MacKenzie - Is that you?
Elder and Sister Jenkins worked right along with the 'youngsters.'
Sister Dashjav volunteers to distribute shovels and rakes.
Ah, our fearless leader - Christine- from the temple gardening staff.
"I can't work with this hair falling in my eyes," complains Sister Noble. Sister Falcon already had hers taken care of. Good idea.
Sister Dashjav - did you really have to bring this cart up the stairs? Going over on the lawn would be MUCH easier. ( Or did you want to see if Elder Beckstrand and Sister Noble had enough muscle to push it up the steps?) "Ready? Push!!" calls Sister Slater.
I had sister Kranendonk take a picture to prove that Sister Beckstrand was also there, but I'm usually behind the camera, not out in front. Our Sister Avila came looking gorgeous enough to enter a beauty pageant, but it didn't stop her from working just as hard as the others.
You're doing a great job, girls!
Sister Pen from the Temple Square Mission shows us she knows how to handle a shovel.
Sister Fors and Sister Schwartz do their best work sitting down.
Keep up the pace - we've only got an hour to get the job done.
Sister Anderson works steadily on the back half.
Sisters Solorzano and Lewis have to dig out the roots of some of the bigger plants.
Introducing Hercules Noble! (Just how well do you think she could heft those garbage cans if they were full?) Fill 'em up, Sister Sordes.
Sisters Avila and Cottrell ride with Christine to empty the cans.
"Bye", waves Sister Larson.
"We shall return," they cheerfully call back.
Elder Beckstrand looks a little different today in his jeans and cowboy shirt. The young sisters don't usually see him without a white shirt and tie. As a matter of fact, neither do I!
Oh, Oh. Our first casualty. Sister Burton has given her life's blood for this project.
"It's okay - no sacrifice is too great," she says.
We're about through, girls. All that remains to be done is to sweep the cement and clean up the dirt. Wow, you've worked fast and accomplished a lot.
We called everyone together for one last 'group' shot, but a few of our young women had already escaped. It has been such fun to start our week doing service for the temple gardeners. We also appreciated the overcast skies which kept the temperatures cooler than usual.
All in all - a great beginning for this new week and new month. To all you Americans out there - Happy Independence Day on Wednesday!