After President Monson's announcement about the age option of missionaries at General Conference last month, a lot has been happening here in New England. President Wilkey told us that we will be getting ready for about 80 to 90 new missionaries after the first of the year. Now I know why I have been organizing and streamlining all the paperwork for incoming missionaries. There will not be one dull moment in our office! Elder Benjamin will be finding new apartments and furnishing them. Elder Davis will be dealing with new cars and cell phones. And Sister Davis will be stocking more supplies and filling more orders. She also takes care of new referrals and baptism records. I really like my job cause I get in with the new and out with the old!!!! I'm also happy to tell all of you that my 66-year old brain works just great!
Zone Conferences are Nov 12 and 14. Elder Nash of the Seventy will be visiting. You may remember that he spoke in the October General Conference. There are lots of grooming protocols for the missionaries when a General Authority visits. Everyone will be all polished and shined. We decided on sack lunches for the zone conferences and we have to stick to 30 minutes from start to cleanup. Zone Conference is very nice for all the missionaries including the seniors. The two wards take care of everything so we don't have to prep and serve and cleanup. We get to eat and partake of the spirit and not worry about how everything is coming along in the kitchen.
Six really good missionaries went home last month. We loved them all and will miss them here, but we already know that they are moving on in their lives. We sure wish them the best!
We weathered Hurricane Sandy without any problems. The electricity stayed on here in our apartment and in the office. We put in some extra food in case we lost power, but thank goodness we didn't lose the power. Thursday we visited a sister with the Elders. She is inactive and has to work on Sundays so she can't come to church. She was baptized in 2006 in the other ward here and the church just lost her. We see that a lot here. The RS pres made out the visiting teaching routes a couple of weeks ago. This is how it went: An active sister gets a route with 2 active sisters on it and about 6 to 8 inactive sisters. The VTer visits the 2 active ones every month and then has to play detective to find out what has happened to the inactive sisters. The ward is so spread out-probably about like Woodland Ward. Last Sunday Sacrament Meeting started with about 10 people in the chapel and that included the bishopric, pianist, and chorister! The meetings here always start about 5 to 10 minutes late. The mission is stressing "real growth." Baptizing people who will stay active. It's a challenge here, but we're working on it.
We are so happy for Lexie! She got her mission call to Australia Sydney! She is so excited. She checks into the MTC on Wed., March 13. That will be a switch for her. She works in the MTC cafeteria and has been serving the missionaries for about a year. So now they get to serve her!!!!! There were about 30 of us on FaceTime and Skype and the telephone watching her open her call letter. Here is a picture of her call letter.
We love you all and miss you. We are half way done with our mission and from what we understand and knowing that we will be busier than ever, the next half will fly by and we will be home before you know it. Be happy and safe and stay true!