Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Look into Arizona's Past

I neglected to put a picture of our new greenie with her trainer on my last post.  Sister Longshore has had the great good-fortune to get Sister Valladares (right) as her trainer.  The interesting thing about these sisters is that they are both very talented singers.  I'd like to be a mouse in the corner when they occasionally break into song during the course of their days.

We learned on Sunday, February 17th, that Sister Mendoza was going to have to go home to Eagle Mountain, Utah for health reasons.  We were so sorry that the doctors here couldn't give her the help she needed.  Sister Noble looks on as Sister Mendoza cleans out her cubby.  Hurry back as quickly as you can, sweet sister.

Sister Hamstead is all smiles at the new addition of phones which connect to the computers in the work room.  Our new VC schedule, which has five companionships in the VC at a time, made it necessary to have more computers (and phones) available for their use.  These new work stations will be a big blessing to our center.

Outside the Easter Pageant preparations continue.  Today the light standards were raised.  The huge spots that hang from these poles can be seen from miles away.

The stage is almost finished being erected.  The cosmetic additions of rocks, trees, shrubs, etc. will be added soon because rehearsals begin on stage this coming Saturday.
 We have P-Day on Thursdays, and we decided to take advantage of our day off to visit the Phoenix Temple building site.  We were surprised at how much of the outisde was finished. 
It looks like only the steeple has yet to be covered.
This is an artist's rendition of how the temple will look when it is completed.  Another beautiful temple will be very welcome in this valley.
Spring is finally starting to appear in Mesa.  I was delighted to see daffodils dotting the temple grounds.   Pansies and other spring flowers are beginning to take hold, although they are about a month behind where they were last year at this time.

Elder Beckstrand enjoys a moment with some of the sisters who have gathered in his office.  It looks like it's black and white day - how come I didn't get the memo?

Whoops, I bragged about spring too soon.  We were surprised to look out the windows of the VC last week and see hail coming down quite heavily.

Sister Noble stood on the steps and tried to catch some of the pieces in her hand.

The hail eventually left a white layer on the grass, planting areas, and concrete walks.  The weather has been a very changeable this month - from freezing to temperatures in the 70's.  At least this white stuff melted quickly and we didn't have to shovel it.  (Utahns, eat your heart out.)

 I've been wanting to learn more about Arizona's history, so we spent our most recent P-Day at the old state capitol building in Phoenix.  This building was used in the early years of Arizona's statehood, but has been turned into a museum since the legislative bodies are now housed in newer, larger facilities. 

The grounds have many statues depicting important events in the state's military history.  This statue represents the Navajo code-talkers who served in WWII.  The Navajo language was used to prevent the enemy from understanding messages being sent and received.

Statues to soldiers who served in every major conflict were evident on the capitol grounds.

This one was interesting because it paid tribute to the peace officers who tried to bring law and order to a territory that was known for its notorious outlaws. (Think Wyatt Earp and the like.)

This was a depiction of the suffering that was endured in the Vietnam conflict.  Many other statues and monuments paid homage to the soldiers who had fought and died for this state and our country.

 The inside of the capitol building was beautiful - carved wood and old-fashioned chandeliers graced every level.
 This was the former meeting room of the state senate.  A guide pointed out that there would not have been any women in this room during the early years of statehood.  Women weren't allowed to run for public office until much later in the state's history.

Looking down upon the former meeting place of the House of Representatives.
The flag in the front of the room was used during the Cuban conflict and was carried by the "Rough Riders" of which Teddy Roosevelt was a member.

Back at the VC we're experiencing an unusual situation.  Seven of our VC sisters have full-field sisters as companions.  That is the largest number of full field sisters we have had under our 'umbrella' since we came last January.  The sudden increase of sisters coming into the mission has necessitated using VC sisters as trainers and full-field companions.  These lovely young ladies are Sisters Winn (full-field) and Brownell.

Sister Hamstead (left) is training this cute 'greenie' during her first transfer in the Arizona Mesa Mission.  Sister Remington and Hamstead are enjoying yogurt parfaits following our weekly prep. meeting.

Here we have Sister Cottrell (left) with her full-field companion, Sister Newton.   I've wondered if Sister Noble might be a tiny bit jealous - she and Sister Newton are first cousins and would love to serve together while they're here.

But Sister Noble is all smiles at the pleasure of training Sister Arevalo, a new sister who just arrived from El Salvador.  Sister Arevalo is quickly learning English and is picking up the responsibilities of the VC very quickly.  She will be a great asset during Easter Pageant for our Spanish guests.

Sister Gordon (left) is sharing her experience in the mission as she trains Sister Hollist, who is our first 19 year old sister at the VC.  Welcome to Arizona!
Sister Shurtz and Sister Crawford are back together after a year of separation.  Sister Shurtz trained Sister Crawford when she first arrived in the mission, then Sister Crawford went full field until last transfer.  She is back with us, and loves being back with her mission 'mom'. 

And our final full-field greenie is Sister Homer (left) who is being trained by Sister Miller.  We have enjoyed getting to know these enthusiastic new sisters in our mission and hope they'll get to stay with us for a while.
Just one final note -  this post wouldn't be complete without a comment on the announcement of last Friday (February 22nd) that the Arizona Mesa Mission will be divided this July.  We will lose the northern section of our mission when it becomes the new Scottsdale Mission.  Many questions are circulating regarding who will serve in which mission, but since our Visitors' Center is firmly in the center of Mesa,  we feel sure that we'll continue as missionaries in the Arizona Mesa Mission.  We're glad about that, since this is the BEST MISSION in the church.   No question....

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