Sunday, June 2, 2013

Miracle May

For our May 17th Prep. Meeting we continued the tradition of having birthday cake for breakfast (I know, moms at home, it's not the most nutritional choice, but it only happens once a month).  Sister Avila and Elder Andrus celebrated their birthdays jointly on May 19th, and Sister Younce on May 21st.  Happy, happy birthday!

The upkeep and maintenance of the Visitors' Center is managed very ably by the temple engineers.  I was VERY impressed at the amount of effort it took to change a light that had gone out in front of God's Plan For His Family.  Yes, he first had to remove a ceiling tile.  Then....

He literally had to crawl up into the ceiling to get to the problem.  How's that for being willing and able to do whatever it takes to keep our center running smoothly?

Unfortunately, not all of our sisters' health runs smoothly.  Sister Vargas-Barrick has had trouble with her stomach for about a month.  Continual pain and inability to eat has kept her at home most days. This sweet sister has stumped the doctors and after a miserable month the President has made the decision that she should return to St. George, Utah and get well at home.  We hope she'll be able to rejoin us very soon.  We love you, Sister Vargas - we're praying for you!

Last week this is the sight that met our eyes when these sisters came on shift.  Did I miss the memo?  I guess we were supposed to choose turquoise or purple with black. 
The very next morning Sister Hamstead and I both wore identical lace shells.  What's with the mental telepathy that is invading our center?

We have loved the art exhibit that has been in Theater 1 since before Easter Pageant, but alas, it had to come down to make way for a new exhibit.  Sister Fuller, pictured taking down the stands, has been our exhibit specialist and does a beautiful job gathering art work from local artists.

Elder Beckstrand and Mr. Fuller disassemble a sculpture of the Savior.

Thank goodness for a dolly to help move it - it's HEAVY!

The main artist for the exhibit was Liz Lemon Swindle whose sketches of 'The Redeemer' were beautiful.  These pictures will go next to the Mormon Battalion Historic Site in California.

Fast forward to Friday, May 31st and you see the three senior sisters, aprons in place, preparing a pancake breakfast for the sisters.  Sister Jenkins (left) is a pancake flipper extraordinaire.  And Sister Andrus (right) is quickly showing her expertise in the kitchen.  These sisters are such a big help.

Come and get it!  Sisters Noble, Slater, and Aquino are first in line.
Everyone seems to be happy to help us get rid of this food.  Pancakes, scrambled eggs, link sausages, and juice round out the menu.  Sister Weber asks:  "Can we have two?"

A room full of sister missionaries is such a beautiful sight! 

Even at 7:00 am they all have big smiles on their faces.  They love being together (and the hot breakfast is a big draw).

The departing sisters each bear their testimonies at this final prep. meeting.  Sister Lewis will be returning to Salt Lake City, Utah.  She is amazingly bold when testifying of the truths of the gospel.

Sister Cottrell will be going back to Layton, Utah.  How will we get along without her?  She has been such a dedicated, hard-working sister.

Sister Larson will be returning briefly to Houston, Texas but plans to join Sister Cottrell in Provo next fall to continue school.  She has learned to really love the Spanish people.
Sister Avila is not exactly sure where she will be going home's kind of a mystery.  It could be Wisconsin, or Texas, or France, or.....  Sister Avila has been a VC Trainer, and Elder Beckstrand and I have really appreciated her hard work.

The sisters congregate at the Christus for a final picture and the traditional "God Be With You".  We're always so sorry to see these beautiful young sisters finish their 18 month assignment and have to leave us to return to the "real" world.

Sisters Cottrell, Avila, Lewis, and Larson -  Goodbye!  WE LOVE YOU!

Neither wind nor rain, nor sleet (nor farewells) prevent our VC choir from completing their weekly rehearsal.  What lovely voices these girls have!  I'm in heaven during the too-brief time we sing together each week.  I think the Lord knows that all Visitors' Center sisters who come to Mesa MUST have beautiful voices so that Sister Beckstrand can get her weekly 'music fix'!  Hearing these young women sing is one of my greatest pleasures!

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