Sunday, September 29, 2013

Where Did September Go?

This silver knight met Elder Beckstrand when we went inside the new Mesa Mission Office.  This is a very effective reminder to all of the missionaries that we need to put on the Armor of God to be successful here.

And being successful is what we're all about.  This transfer there were so many new sisters that 8 of our Visitors' Center sisters have been recruited to train new full-field sisters.  This is the highest number of VC trainers with full-field greenies in the 20 months we have been here.  We're up to 36 under the Visitors' Center umbrella!  Wow!

Preparation Meetings on Friday morning give us the perfect opportunity to bring everyone together.  This morning's training was focused on teaching the sisters how to use the Armor of God costume that we have here at the center.
Sister Duffin was our model - she's not much bigger than most of the children we teach! 
Sometimes we need an excuse to be girls.  Today is Sister Hourrutiner's birthday, and the sisters dressed in purple - her favorite color.
Not to be outdone, just a week later Elder Ballard celebrated his birthday.  We all wore some shade of blue to help commemorate his special day.  The color blue - boy birthday, makes sense, right?
The temple gardeners have already removed the summer flowers from around the temple retaining wall.  It seemed quite early in the fall to take them out, but they explained that the retaining wall needed painting before the 'spring' flowers were planted.  Yes, I agree - it seems weird to think of planting spring flowers in October. 

Many hands make the work lighter.  They should have asked our sisters to help pull out the flowers - they love that kind of work.

I love this pretty bush on the lawn outside the Visitors' Center.  It has sprouted pretty white 'feather dusters' at the top of its greenery.

On Thursday, September 19th, Elder Beckstrand and I boarded the new metro light-rail train to go into Phoenix for the day.  We decided to enjoy our P-day (and celebrate our recent anniversary) by attending a Diamondbacks' baseball game.

Chase Field - the home of the Diamondbacks.  Never been here before.

Inside the stadium the temperature is 73 degrees, even though it's close to 100 degrees outside.  In Arizona you don't watch outdoor sports in the outdoors during the summer.  Thank goodness for air conditioning!   The Stars Spangled Banner is being sung, then we hear the call:  "Play Ball!"

I enjoyed these 'booble-head' players walking through the audience.  The heads on those costumes look heavy.  They were about 10 times normal head size.

Game over - Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 6.  With this win, the Dodgers clinch their division.  (Secretly, Elder Beckstrand was cheering for the Dodgers.  Not a popular choice in this stadium, however, so he kept his preference low-key.)  It was a fun day and a therapeutic escape for a few hours from our many duties at the Visitors' Center.

After many months of work and teaching, Rodney accepted the invitation to be baptized.  All of the Visitors' Center missionaries felt that they had contributed to his conversion.  Elder Andrus was asked by Rodney to baptize him, and these Visitors' Center sisters came to lend their love and support.

It was a busy week during September 24th-26th when Zone Conferences and temple excursions were held.  Following the Liahona and Citrus Heights Zone Conference the sister enjoyed a lovely lunch prepared by Relief Society Sisters in the Mesa Central Stake.

We have 9 VC companionships in these two zones!  It was like old home week for us. 
On the north side of the Visitors' Center this sight met our eyes when we came to Prep. Meeting on Saturday, September 28th.  These volunteers are placing Christmas lights in the palm trees already!

 The temple gardeners insist that the lights be hung before the Bermuda grass is shaved and the rye grass planted.  Once that transition takes place in October, no machines are allowed on the grass.

As you can see, it is a precarious job to get these lights installed.  We will be watching with great interest as more crews and more lights begin to appear.  Bring them on!!! 

The sky was unbelievably pretty when we walked from the VC after the Women's Conference on Saturday evening.  A bright blue layer near the ground was followed by a pretty pink layer about tree height, then the regular dusk color above the camera level.  SOOOO PRETTY!

One more view  -  I have never seen colors like these before.  This is a beautiful place!

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