Monday, May 18, 2015

A Mother's Joy on Mother's Day

May 10th, 2015

          We waited and waited to hear from our missionary son in Arizona.  He had emailed the time for us to be ready --- 3:30 pm on Mother's Day.  So we waited and wondered and wondered and waited some more UNTIL we realized that Arizona does not change to Daylight Savings Time.  Ahhhhh!  His 3:30 was really our Utah 4:30.  So we waited some more until just after 5:00 Utah time.  Then a call came from Elder Bailey.  "So," the voice said, "How are we going to do this? Skype, Google Hangout, or what?" We were ready with the Google Hangout, so with a few connections we got the video conference call started.  Cami and Greg promised to join us when we could add them later.  There he was --- Elder Mitchell Bailey --- looking healthy and happy and well groomed.  Awesome!

          Elder Bailey introduced us to his host family, also named Bailey.  The mother thanked us for sending such a wonderful missionary.  They have two sons getting about to missionary ages and were grateful to have an Elder Bailey to be such a great example and friend for them.  He also introduce us to his companion from France.  I tried out my limited conversational French and then stopped abruptly when I could not go further than "Good day" and "How are you?"

          Mostly we just wanted to hear him talk and tell us about anything and everything he is doing.  He described the areas they support, the wards and the neighborhoods.  He told about getting to drive a car for a transfer because his companion from Canada felt insecure driving in America after being on a bike only for so long.  He told about the low income housing projects where they have been fortunate to find some very humble people willing to listen.  He told of the incredible week when they had 20 teaching appointments.  Usually they only get 5-7 teaching appointments.  He talked of the many little miracles that happen day to day.

          One little miracle he shared he said has been the highlight of his mission.  He said that missionaries don't always recognize or acknowledge the Spirit they carry with them every day.  But after this experience, he has learned to recognize and acknowledge this wonderful gift.  The Bishop's wife took them to meet a neighbor who had been having a rough time.  She was going through a divorce.  When she answered the door, she said that she just did not have time right then to sit down and talk with the elders.  Her little dog had run out onto the porch and was curious about the missionaries, but did not bark.  Elder Bailey bent down and patted the dog and snapped his fingers to point commanding the dog to go back inside the house.  The dog instantly obeyed.  The lady was surprised at how well the dog obeyed and said that she would call when she had time to visit with the Elders.  The missionaries were rather surprised when the lady called back so soon.  She explained that while the missionaries were on her porch she felt a peace that she had not felt in quite some time.  And her little dog, that usually yaps loudly and bites "intruders" on the ankles, was uncharacteristically calm and obedient.  She just knew that she needed to feel that Spirit again.  So she called the missionaries right away.

          Yes, Elder Bailey said, we as missionaries need to recognize and be grateful for the Spirit we carry with us.  That was truly a miracle!

Lots of Rain

Dear Elder Bailey,

I got a photo of you from Sis. Zollinger last week.  She titled it "Transfers."  Did you get transferred last week?  Or was this an old photo?  You were standing with an Elder Carpenter.  Just wondering if that was your new companion.

We have had such a dry winter with hardly any snow.  And now in May, we are having some torrential rains.  I hope we are making up the rain deficits.  How about you?  Have you been getting rain in your area?

Last week felt like I was holed up in a dungeon.  Just the rain, and me at my computer struggling to learn how to use the video editing program.  I was going through footage from three different tapings of the show at the Provost Elementary School.  Finally after days and days of trial and error, I succeeded in editing a usable product.  My goal was to get them copied to take to school today.  Somehow, I made my goal.  Seems like I cannot reproduce the steps I used before to copy some more, though.  Oh well, at least I have 25 made and delivered.  Now to go back and try to learn the steps all over again.

Hope your week was good.  I so enjoyed hearing about your miracles last week.  It made me want to pay more close attention to recognizing the hand of the Lord in my day to day activities.  Getting that editing accomplished was one of those, certainly.  Now that the first wave is done, I realize that I must have had some divine intervention.

Have a great week,

Love, Mom

Elder Mitchell Bailey and Elder Carpenter at the May 2015 transfers meeting

From Elder Bailey:

There was a lot of rain this week and no I did not get transferred and Elder Carpenter is not my companion. He just happened to be standing near by when we took the picture. This week has been strange work wise but no stories. Riding my bike in the rain was fun. 

All of my previous companions are now zone leaders, even my MTC companion, so that's cool.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

What Elder Bailey Does Not Tell Us About

Gilbert Arizona Mission Choir performing at the "Because He Lives" Concert April 30th, 2015
       This photo was on a mission blog announcing the concert by the Mission Choir for the missionaries' efforts to promote the Church media presentation of "Because He Lives."  Don't know if our Elder Bailey was singing, but he should have been!

From Elder Bailey:

     This week has been long and hard.  We were teaching a lot this week but nobody we have been teaching has been progressing.  And that stinks.

     We learned that the number of missionaries in our mission will drop significantly in the next few transfers.  When I came in, we had 210 missionaries.  Now we have 150 and in August we will have 95.  Then it will probably go back up to around 150-ish, but the next 7 1/2 months will be super hard.  Most of our mission leadership will be going home in the next transfer or two.  Then it will be a whole new mission.  We are going to cover 4 to 6 wards each companionship, and that will be super hard.

Elder Mitchell Bailey (right) and companions. Photo sent by an anonymous text-er.