Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 2014 Departures

Sisters Engman, Chappell, Lavrentyeva, Balls, Me and Aldridge
Elders Carrera and Alca with the President
Departure Dinner at the Mission Home…
… begins with each missionary creating a scrapbook page …

Elders Cannon and DeJesus (left corner and red sweater), who have been in our mission temporarily while awaiting their VISAs to Brazil, joined in the departure festivities (although not yet "coined" for completing their missions)

Sister Chappell

Elder Alca
Sister Lavrentyeva

Enjoying dinner - along with farewell toasts...

President giving a farewell toast to our Brazil-bound Elders

Sharing favorite mission stories…

Sister Balls, from Idaho, delighting everyone (including the APs, Elders Miyasaki and Giles,
who are both also from Idaho) with her mission war stories.

Sister Balls

                                   Sister Chappell

Elder Carrera

The pen was a pivotal part
 of Sister Lavrentyeva's story

Sister Engman

Elder Alca

Elder DeJesus

Elder Cannon

Presenting service coins to the departing missionaries... 

Closing with the mission song.

Our 14-yr-old daughter, Elizabeth, (right) LOVES her sister missionaries!

Departing Testimonies at Next Day's Transfer Meeting

Sister Engman

Elder Carrera

Sister Chappell

Sister Balls

Sister Aldridge

Elder Alca

Sisters Balls and Aldridge

Sisters Pirir and Engman

Sisters Pirir, Chappell, Stauffer, Owens, Saviano

Elder Carrera's parents on the left, and
Elder Alca's brother and parents in the center

Elder Carrera  with Elder Alca

Sister Balls with a special departure gift

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Farewell to a Record Winter in DC & MD

It's been a LONG, COLD, SNOWY, ICEY winter in the mission.

Here are a few statistics from the Washington Post:

* Both Reagan and Dulles Airports experienced twice as many days with at least 1″ of snow compared to normal
* Reagan National Airport received measurable snow on 16 days
* Reagan National’s 8 snow events (of at least 1″) tied for the most on record (since 1945)
* It was Reagan National’s 9th snowiest winter on record (since 1945) with 32.0 inches, and 18th snowiest in longer D.C. records dating to 1888
* It was Reagan National’s 2nd snowiest March on record (since 1945) with 12.7 inches, and 5th snowiest in longer D.C. records dating to 1888
* Many areas in D.C.’s north and west suburbs exceeded 50 inches of snow for the season.
There were several days when the roads were considered too dangerous for missionaries to  drive (especially since many of our missionaries have never driven in snow or ice before).
 The "no-car days" gave them the opportunity to do all kinds of creative things:
Elder Hunt doing some serious service in the snow!

Elder He (from Hong Kong) had never seen snow before

Elder Fisher barely arrived in the mission before he was shoveling the ward walks
Elder Gold, getting it done!
Elder Manning probably could have used some gloves

Sister Saviano knew from experience as a Utahn what to do
while Sister Sotilli (from Italy) dug into her first winter with snow.

Elders Redmond and Peterson

Making good use of their scouting skills
are Elders Loftus, Porter, Hunt and Shelton (L-R)

Elder Thornton and his fellow cabin-fevered roommates demonstrated boldly:
"Men are that they might have joy!"

No one but Elder Thornton

Elder Dickerson
Elder Loveless

Elder Tavana

See 'ya later to the snow, winter, and Sister Bullock!
Just this week, the first Spring flowers have started to appear!

The official Cherry Blossom Season runs this year from April 8th through 20th.
Meanwhile, daffodils, crocuses, pansies and tulips are just fine with us!