Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wheewww !!

July 4, 2011

Wheewww! The first deep breath I’ve taken. It has been quite a week. President Holm is having us take our p-day today. Happy fourth! We woke up this morning, went to the mission home and had a quick planning session with breakfast and now we are gonna have p-day.

I guess to catch up... I’ll start from where I left last Saturday

The mission office move. It was intense. The church hired a moving company to come and move all of our stuff. There were three guys who came. The look on their faces when they saw the mountains of boxes and furniture was hilarious. They could not believe how much we had. I couldn't believe it either. I overheard the boss on a phone call early in the move say.... "There’s a lot of boxes... bring another dolly!!!" hahahaha. It took all day and at the end I was able to chat with the movers for a little bit and give them each a copy of the Book of Mormon. One of them asked earlier "Where do ya'll want these.... uh... blue bibles?"

New office address:
110 Oak Park Drive
Irmo, SC 29063

At Fort Jackson there was a miracle baptism. Brother B was very prepared and willing to except the gospel. He had been to church before. I sat down with him for quite a while. He is an older soldier who has a family. He grew up pretty rough - a part of a rock band... and he turned his life around. He married a woman from Brazil. They’ve been married for 14 years. They have two children. He is awesome. He’s been looking for something for his family. He noticed the incredible maturity and spirituality in some return missionaries in his platoon who have been teaching him. He was baptized and is excited to return home to bring this to his family.

Later Sunday night we had the Greenville fireside. President’s last meeting. We had some missionaries from other parts of the mission come and sing because President loved their performance so much at other firesides. So bus driver Elder Stoneman loaded them all up (including the McConkies) in the shuttle and drove them to Greenville. Hahaha it was a fun ride. The fireside was amazing. There was a great spirit there and a wonderful turnout. President said that is was the best one he'd been to. It was a good note to end on for him. I drove everyone back. Hahah that was a late night. We pulled into the mission home at 11:45. I ran over a toad when we pulled in. President said the next morning when I was cleaning it up. "I recorded in my journal - the crowning event of all the road kill we've seen and hit in our time here in the south... is Elder Stoneman running over a toad in my driveway!" hahahaha

Monday and Tuesday we spent trying to get the office in order. Yes we were moved in but not unpacked or organized at all.

President Holm flew in Tuesday in the afternoon. I was pretty nervous. We went with the McConkies to the airport and waited. Suddenly we saw him. He had a big smile on his face and his hand was raised waving to us. My face went numb. We picked up their luggage exchanged a few words at the airport and then Elder Douglas and I took the van and their bags back to the office. The McConkies and the Holms rode together. When they arrived at the new office... it looked great! The office staff had finished up the cleaning, etc and was anxiously waiting to meet the new president. They all walked in together. President Mcconkie had taken his nametag off. After introductions, we had dinner and then we all went to the mission home. It was time for goodbye. The goodbye was good. The hard part was leaving. Driving the stupid van away from the mission home back to our apartment with just Elder Douglas and I was one of the most difficult things I’ve done on my mission. I’m not totally sure why either. I love the McConkies and I’ll see them soon. It was just a hard thing.

Wednesday we were off and running. We had a meeting with President Holm to begin to coordinate things. With the new Pres and the merge of the two missions - there is a LOT to do and to consider. We planned and prepped mostly for the Meet the Mission President Tour. Then a few other scheduling items.

Meet the president tour - 7 zones. 3 days. Hahahahaha. We traveled the whole mission in 3 days. It was so fun. The missionaries love him.

I really like President Holm. He is a successful business man. He’s a great public speaker. He really got the missionaries excited. It was a blast. Sister Holm is great. Super nice.

We went to the Augusta zone on Friday. We are holding quite a few meetings this upcoming week to discuss how to best merge the missions. President Holm has experience in this in merging companies. So he knows what he's doing. Zone leader council will be held on Wednesday to make those decisions.

We also have the Augusta missionaries coming up to the mission home for interviews and to get to know them better. We also have a leadership training meeting this week to make all of the announcements about changes in the mission. Also to offer training.

Things are crazy busy and exciting. Love ya

Elder Stoneman

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