Sunday, June 19, 2016

Short time - finish strong

We love being with other missionaries.  During the past couple of weeks, we've had the opportunity to return to the Orlando Temple with a large group of missionaries from throughout our mission.  For several, the temple trip came less than a week before they finished their mission and left for home.

The temple is always special but there is something extra about being in an endowment session that is packed with full-time missionaries.  We also enjoy being together in the temple.

During the last couple of weeks we had an opportunity to feed the Elders serving in our ward.  They bring a special spirit with them.  On this occasion, one set of Elders knocked on the wrong door and spent some time introducing one of our neighbors to the Gospel.

Our experiences working with the sisters in our ward always proves to be "interesting".  A couple of weeks ago we accompanied them on an assignment to track down a referral.  We found the individual who proved to be not interested.  When we returned to where we had parked our van, it was missing!  As we were trying to figure out what to do, it came around the corner on a tow truck!  We rescued the van - paid the fee- and were shown where the "Do Not Park" signs were located, which weren't in a normal position in
the parking strip beside the street, but behind a cement wall and in a parking lot, which lead us to believe
they were for that lot. oh well, live and learn and never park on a street in Gainesville, Florida. Always use
a pay lot.

Cedar Key

We have a short list of things that we wanted to see/do before we headed for home.  One of those was to spend some time in Cedar Key, a small fishing village on the Gulf Coast.  We had visited there once before but wanted to make a return trip to enjoy the community again.  

Cedar Key is known for three things: fishing, food and sunsets.  Although we didn't do any fishing, we did enjoy the "products of the sea" as we visited a couple of the community's restaurants. 

One of Elder Wolff's all time favorites!

One of several businesses located right on the Gulf of Mexico. Steamers is a restaurant. 

Elder Wolff wanted to rent a kayak to venture out into the Gulf but decided against it when the water was choppy and there were no signs of life preservers.  We settled for renting two bicycles and spent much of the afternoon and evening exploring the community.

Then there was the sunset!  The major reason for coming to the Gulf coast!

Where ever we've traveled, the beauty of God's creation has surrounded us.  We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful world.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

58 Days Left to Make a Difference

Our mission in Florida ends on August 1, 2016.  We've had many great experiences and we look forward to finishing strong.  Although our last blog posting was a short time ago, we have some exciting things to share with you at this time..

Our missionary calling is to digitize published materials from the University of Florida's collection so that the results can be uploaded on the websites of Family Search, Internet Archive, and the University of Florida.  We continue to make substantial progress with this endeavor. 

Sister Wolff on Scribe 1 - "her machine"

Elder Wolff on Scribe 2 - "his machine"

When we're working on the scribe, this is our view from the "driver's seat".

We also "republish" the work that has been digitized by the scribes.  We share this station with Lynda Preston.  On a typical day, all three of us will spend some time republishing.

May was our most productive month!

The total number of items uploaded in May was 1,161 bringing our grand total to 4,246.
The total number of images captured in May was 88,766 bringing our grand total to 781,485.

We also enjoy being involved in traditional missionary work.

During the last few weeks, we had an opportunity to feed the two sister missionaries that serve in our ward.  Afterwards, we spent the evening with them trying to locate less active members.  It is always a treat to spend time with our "junior" missionaries.

Today, we witnessed the 10th convert baptism in our ward since we moved here 13 months ago.  We also witnessed two convert baptisms in the previous ward we lived in.  In each case, we've been involved in the support system for the new members both before and after baptism.  It is great to watch people progress in the Gospel. The Gospel does change lives!

Florida is a great place for those who love nature.

You never know what you might encounter when you're outside of your apartment.

There are many ponds surrounding our apartment complex.  One in particular, has a large population of fish and turtles.  We like to throw bread into the pond and watch the feeding frenzy.  The ripples are fish. If you look close you will also see at least one turtle.

One day last week, a Blue Heron kept coming closer and closer to us while we were feeding the fish and turtles.  As we threw bread in his direction, the fish flocked to the bread and he grabbed a fish.  This went on until he ate seven fish.  We even got to see them go down his throat!

During one of his extended walks, Elder Wolff ran across this plant.  One of our son's identified it as the flower from a Button Bush.  It was both unique and beautiful.

The most common animal "type" we see is the Anole. They are small lizards.  Anoles are all over the place during the warm months. We try to dodge them when we are walking on the sidewalks, but we're not always successful.

One afternoon last week, we were in the swimming pool. Elder Wolff picked up a small bug that had just flown into the water and flipped it onto the pool deck.  Two Anoles raced onto the deck.  The winner ate the bug!  The two just stayed there waiting for him to provide them with another meal!  He found a dead beetle in the water and flipped it to them.  Again, there was a race.  This time the winner chewed on the beetle for awhile and then spit it out - too hard!  Our grandchildren would absolutely love chasing an Anole.