Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Smorgasbord of pictures from phone-(Volume VI)

April was a busy month indeed! Here are some random snapshots from my phone from the month of April....

I found this random picture on my phone....Jacob wearing my ceramic Texas flower vases (very funny Jacob)

When I received this group text picture from Isaac at college, I had no idea what it meant.  After many "too cool" and "awesome" I had to ask....should have known it was from sponge bob square pants- pretty sure my kids can quote every show word for word 
Managed to capture a quick selfie on Easter Sunday.  President Ames was attending a Stake Conference in Waco.  The kids had assignments at church so it was just the three of us.

A new daddy daughter hobby-pleasant surprise on my phone

Had some dear friends (the Duncans) visit from Missouri

With Elder Lee and Elder Mann assistants to President Ames,  they are always assisting me as well, which includes instructions to take pictures of missionaries, (or selfies of themselves)
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter, life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured". President Hinkley

Found this on the kitchen counter, (Jacob is working on family life  and had filled this form out at scouts the night before)found it very enlightening

 Every six months we have the opportunity to attend a "Mission President Seminar" with other Mission Presidents from the Southwest region.  We love the comrade and strength we feel from this group of amazing people.  Also in attendance for the full two days of training and instruction was Elder Bednar.  We went away from the seminar very uplifted, inspired and aware. 
 This is a random shot of President Ames but captures a lot of what he handles and experiences everyday of the mission.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Meanwhile...back home at the ranch

Meanwhile....Alex and Chelsea are doing what they do in Utah...(working, studying, playing....becoming) and are planning a visit in May- can't wait!
Alex had a layover in DFW Airport for a couple of hours so we picked him up, grabbed some lunch and hugs!

Isaac is still at school, studying, working hard (and hopefully eating healthy~)  He was able to attend his mission farewell that was held around Conference time.  He too is going to be able to visit in May and we are so excited!

Jacob is keeping busy with school, scouts, and other activities. He is in the process of earning his rock climbing merit badge-
Jacob # 32
Jessica had the opportunity to sing with a live symphony at the Dallas Symphony Center.  It was a phenomenal show and we are so proud of her. 

It was also Jessica's 17th birthday!! She truly does add sugar and spice to our family!!
Though miles and states away, Alex, Chelsea and Isaac were able to join with us in singing happy birthday to her.

She also got her wisdom teeth pulled....below is the conversation via text between Alex, Isaac, Jacob, Chels and myself.  (A note of explanation when it refers to g-ma's future grave....with Jessica and her G-ma Dee Dee's so very close, it is THE solemn promise of all promises and holds all credibility that one is bound to act or not act in the name of G-ma dee dee) 
AA=Alex Ames
IA= Isaac Ames
 JA= Jacob Ames
     CA=  Chelsea Ames

 (small insert/note that Jacob keeps changing his contact info to "most favorite child" in case one was wondering) 

I love that we have so many ways in which we are able to keep in touch with each other.  Although we are constantly busy with all these great 285 missionaries, our children are constantly in our thoughts.  They are so supportive and continually amaze us. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Transfers #7- Departing Missionaries

 When the time comes for when missionaries leave to go home, it is a very bitter sweet experience.  Its so very hard to have to say good-bye, but so very sweet to see how strong, confident and aware they are.  They seem to see life as it really is with their values and beliefs rooted deep inside them, ready to take on new challenges and experiences.  
Love attending the Temple together
After we have sent the arriving missionaries off with their new trainers, have helped the other missionaries (who have been transferred to a new area and/or new companion) get to where they need to be, its off to the Temple we go.  After a quick lunch and a full day of worship in the Temple, we meet back at the Mission Home where they are served a departing barb-e-que meal, complete with brisket, rolls, baked beans, potato salad, etc. and blue bell ice cream.  After dinner, we meet back together to share thoughts and testimonies, along with their binders.  Included in their binders are all the weekly letters that they have written their mission president along with letters their Mission President wrote them.  Then slowly but surely comes the bitter part....when they have to leave.  

Some of Jacob's "other" older brothers....
Will sure miss these awesome missionaries
Departing Senior Couple
How we love and will miss the Wrigley's!!  They have had an enormous impact on the area they have served in.  We are constantly amazed at their level of love and sacrifices made.  We will forever treasure them and their friendship.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Transfers #7-Arriving Missionaries

On a bright but chilly Wednesday, 361 new missionaries were scheduled to arrive at the Provo MTC.  Some traveling
alone came in early on international or domestic flights, shuttled in from the Salt Lake International Airport. Others arrive by car with missionaries scheduled alphabetically by last name. Vehicles lined up 25 at a time in two queues from the 900 East entrance, directed to the campus' south end.

Each carload is given several minutes to unload the missionary, snap a photo and say a last goodbye. The MTC accommodates 100 cars every 15 minutes — but could handle as many as 600 on a single Wednesday.
Greeting each arriving missionary is a pair of "host" missionaries, themselves having arrived only weeks earlier.
As host missionaries,  they remind new arrivals of the rules upon entering: leave your personal keys and cell phones with your family, bring your updated list of immunizations, and don't forget your luggage.
Moms and sisters leaned out open windows to shout a final farewell as their cars drove off and their missionaries walked the opposite direction. "No cryin', Mom," a new elder will shout back.
The hosts then accompanied the new missionaries to the administration building, taking their luggage to the exit and waiting for them to complete the initial processing.
Assisted by scores of volunteers at the check-in, newcomers confirm their identities and assignments; have their photo taken; receive a packet containing their name tag, room key and other information; collect a padlock for a secure drawer; and acknowledge they have previously attended an LDS temple, and possess a church-issued ministerial certificate.
New missionaries also receive a blue electronic card that is used to enter the cafeteria or to log onto MTC computers to write home. The card also carries monetary credit: elders receive $6 a week and sisters $8 to pay for laundry, haircuts, extra supplies, bookstore purchases and vending.
New arrivals receive a red-dot sticker on their name tags, so faculty, staff or tenured missionaries can offer to help if they spot a bewildered "red-dotted" missionary.
After the processing, host missionaries deliver the new elders and luggage to their residence rooms, where they are paired up with a companion. Then it's on to classrooms to meet teachers, followed by an orientation session with the MTC presidency and their wives.
The rest of the day is given to dinner, unpacking and then returning to the classroom for the first of many sessions — three weeks for English or native-language missionaries and eight to 12 weeks for those learning a new language.
Upon concluding their MTC tenure, they'll depart for their assigned missions — in airport-destined groups as small as a solo missionary to as large as 160 at time, bound for their missions.
Usually 300 or so missionaries depart the MTC weekly, altough more leave in the summer months when MTC attendance is higher.
A weekly average of 45 to 55 groups leave the MTC. 
MTC buses make between 15 to 20 trips a week; some days, several buses make three runs each.
Here are our English Speaking missionaries arriving to their mission...The Texas Fort Worth Mission...where the worth of souls is great!! We wanted to welcome our Spanish missionaries as well but they arrived from the Mexico MTC at a different terminal near the same time where the assistants were there to welcome them.

After we welcome and load up the trailer with suitcases (gotta love the hot pink ones) we drive to the church for a quick lunch, orientation, photo to send home to let parents know they made it, training and some tracting, then meet back at the mission home for a welcome to texas barb-e-que dinner.

The entire group-English and Spanish speaking...
Another AWESOME group of missionaries~!
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured". President Hinkley