Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Season


At this Christmas season, we are so very grateful for having the freedom to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. To remember Him and all that He has done for us and given to us. To feel of His love and to be able to share that love with others.
We are happy to be able to serve Him in the Texas Lubbock Mission. It is a wonderful time in our lives. The time is passing quickly as we see the work roll on. We have indeed been blessed.
We want to wish each and everyone of you a heart felt Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.
We very much appreciate all of your love and support as we fulfill a lifelong dream.
We miss each of you, but are grateful to be here in Texas/New Mexico at this special time of the year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

HOLIDAYS - Thanksgiving and Pre Christmas

There are two things that we would classify as "hard" when you go on a mission.  The first thing is leaving your family behind.  But we know they will be blessed so it makes it a little easier.  The second thing is Holidays.  Of course that probably falls back to the family category because that is who we usually spend the holidays with.  So today, I thought we would share some of our holiday pics with you.

THANKSGIVING:   

We spent Wednesday with the missionaries at the Zone Leaders home.  Everyone brought a part of the meal.

We were quite surprised to find the table (That would be a table-tennis table!) was all set.  Potatoes were mashed, gravy was made (so what if it came from a package) and rolls were being removed from the bag.  

The Sisters were cooking the turkey and a pumpkin pie.  Should be arriving shortly.



 So some of the Elders entertained
themselves while we waited.











And waited...  and waited.  Of course it gave everyone a chance to hang upside down on the inversion table.  A new experience for most of them.








Finally the main course arrived and everyone ate, and ate and ate...





Until nothing was left but a little of the Carbine Red Jell-o Salad...
Which, I might add was loved by everyone and was polished off before nightfall!  And the recipe?  Well it was given out to several adventurous cooks.
 Nothin' left to do now but kick back and... BURP!  
Oops!  Excuse me!
********
On Thursday, all of the missionaries had been invited to eat dinner with investigators and church members.  Well, I refused to fix a big dinner for just the two of us.  So, we went out to dinner.  Most restaurants were providing a Thanksgiving Dinner.  It was yummy!  And there was no fixin' to do, no dishes to wash and no cleaning up afterwards!  But...  There was no left over turkey either and no left over dressing and NO LEFT OVER PUMPKIN PIE!  Hmmm.  Might have to re-think this next year!

PRE-CHRISTMAS

With Thanksgiving over, we went to the storage shed and found an old (and I mean old!) fake Christmas tree.  Took it to the apartment and - this has never happened before - we put the tree up.  THE DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING!  At home in Uintah, this didn't occure until at least December 1 at the earliest.

 
This tree is so old, the wires were all rusty and the color coded tags were all missing.  But hey!  It was free.  There were 3 strands of colored lights in the box and a lighted star for the top as well as some tinsel garland and a little Nativity set.  Then a quick trip to Walmart for $10. worth of Christmas balls and........






Wa La!

We have a Christmas Tree.

Add some sented candles and some music and "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas."


To add to the Christmas spirit, we have the Interfaith Nativity Display sponsored by the Lubbock Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Held in our stake center.  We wrote about it in our Family and Friends letter but we wanted to share some of the pictures we took of the Nativities - hundreds of them - couldn't include them all but here are a few:



There were homemade nativities & purchased nativities.  




There were ceramic nativities and nativities made from wood, paper & clay. 




Simple 3 piece nativities and nativities with multiple pieces


There was even a "live" nativity...

There were so many.  The whole thing was simply awesome!  Until next week...  Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Some Sights & Sounds of Texas / New Mexico

We designed this blog to share some of the many sights (and sounds if I can get it to work) that we have encountered since we arrived here. 



  video
This is a video of one of our lightning storms.  It was awesome to watch. You can see the lightning but you can hear the rain.

(Sidenote:  The picture of the bats were taken after we left the amphitheater and most of the bats had headed towards the river.  These were just a handful of bats that were lagging behind.  You cannot take pictures of them as they leave the cave entrance.)

video
Eugene took this video inside of Carlsbad Caverns.  There are birds - swallows - that fly around and nest just inside of the mouth of the cave.  This is what they sound like.

I know you have seen these pictures before in earlier blogs.  But I love them.  So you get to see them twice!

Of course, you can't forget the OIL DONKEY - It made Texas famous and many men RICH!
They are everywhere.  In the middle of cotton fields, next to houses, surrounded by pecan trees.  You name it and likely, you'll find a "donkey" there.  The first "gusher" was in Beaumont, TX.  But then it was discovered all over Texas and OIL became a household word!!!

And last but not least:

Side Trips

On occasion, when we have gone to a zone conference or had to speak in a ward or branch outside of Lubbock or run a mission errand to deliver furniture or pick up a missionary bike, we have had the opportunity to see some of the sights.  So this blog is one where we will share some of those sights with you.

Odessa, TX:
On our first Zone Conference to Odessa we went and saw the replica of the Stonehenge that is found in England.  Created by some students at the University there.  It is made to the exactness of the original.  Very fascinating.  Now I don't have to go to England to view it - unless I want to!

Next stop... Roswell, NM.  
We finished up our conference there at 4:30pm.  Changed our clothes and went down town.  Got there 20 minutes before everything closed.  Walked through the museum fast.  Bought a little green alien and a T-shirt.  Took our pictures "outside" of the stores - they had already closed.  They "roll up the streets at 5:00pm" in Roswell.

Also in Odessa, TX we went through the Presidential Museum.  
They have a section dedicated to every president of the United States.  Personal items are on display of each president and newsworthy things that happened during each administration.  Very interesting.  They also had the home of President George Bush (both father and son) there.  They lived in Midland for a short while and so the original home was moved to Odessa and set up next to the museum.  The first, George H. W. Bush, came from a wealthy family but he wanted to make it on his own and not on daddy's money.  So he started at the bottom - just like many of us do - and worked his way up.  They lived in this house when George W. Bush was only about 4 years old.  Some of the furnishings in it were just like some our parents had when we were children.

Next:
We were invited to speak in Sacrament meeting at a Spanish Branch and also at the English Ward in Carlsbad, NM.  So we decided to make a weekend of it.  We went to visit the caves on Saturday.  Spent all day there.  Walked over 4 1/2 miles during both a guided tour and also a self guided tour.  Amazing.  Then that evening we stayed for the "flying of the bats".  Wow.  Thousands and thousands of bats flying out.  It was almost orchestrated.  Took over a 45 minutes to get most of them out.  You're not allowed to take pictures or I would show you some.  You'll have to google it.

Back home in Lubbock:
We discovered this place on our way back from taking a missionary to the airport.  The following Sunday, after church, we packed a picnic lunch and went back to check it out.

Who'd a thunk it?

After making a run up to Amarillo on some mission errands, we came home via the Palo Duro Canyon.  You are driving along.  Nothing but flat land as far as the eye can see.  All of a sudden, the ground just opens up and you have a little "Grand Canyon".  It is actually longer than the Grand Canyon" in Arizona but it is not as deep or as wide.  It kind of reminds me of Bryce Canyon in southern Utah.  Only you don't go up into the mountains to see it.  And you can actually drive down into it.  When you are in the bottom, you can look up and think you are in the mountains.  Looks very much like Zions, St. George etc.



Met some really nice "cowboys" there.  They were out punchin' cows the night before.  There was grandpa, 3 sons and 1 grandson. 




     And we saw some long horn steers.  One was named "Biscuits" and one was named "Gravy"  Don't know what the others were called. 







We ran across the dugout cabin of one of the early settlers there.  Colonal Goodfellow.  How would you like to live in one of these.  Good thing the people back then were short.  Eugene would probably wack his head every time he went through the door.  And when you're bald, that hurts.  Of course, it hurts even when you're not bald.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lubbock, TX

Greetings from Texas

I was trying to put together pictures of our first few months in Lubbock using my scrapbook program - OK I admit it.  I like fluff.  Well, my scrapbook program went funky on me so some of this post will be in scrapbook form and some will not.

We arrived in Lubbock on July 18, 2010.   Our first day in the office was on Monday, July 19.  We met President and Sister Robison and Elder and Sister Hansen.  We also met the Assistants to the President (Elder King and Elder Larson) and the Office Elders (Elder Willson, Elder Makin and Elder Rymer)
We made the necessary arrangements for our apartment.  We would be living in the Oakridge Apartments.  However, it would be a week before the furniture would be available for our apartment.
Soooo...
 This was our bedroom, the dining room and the front room fire place.  I didn't take a picture of the outside of the Mission Home until the other day.  After the leaves started falling off the trees out front. 
Finally, We are ready to set up house.  Of course it is nothing compared to the Mission Home, but while we are on our mission, it will be home.

We knew we would need lots of help.  But with a bribe of Pizza and Soda... mission accomplished!
We felt like we were newlyweds setting up our first apartment.  It was actually kinda fun.  I must warn you though... Our whole apartment could fit into our master bedroom back home.

Nothing fancy, just cozy.

After a week of training, we said "Good-bye" to the Hansens at a little gathering at the Mission Home.

Then we were on our own -
And the best way to do that is with FOOD!

Next stop, the office
Sister Carbine working...  
Always lots to do but loving every minute of it.  We go into the office on Monday morning and turn around and it is Friday!  Time just flys!  First time in my life that I love getting up in the morning and going to work.   Imagine that.  We have 124 missionaries to keep track of.  New files to be made.  Correspondence to send out.  Records to transmit into SLC.  Baptisms to record.  
Orientations to prepare.  Flights home to set up. etc etc etc

Elder Carbine... working?
Just kidding!
He is really quite busy.  No time for golf.  The office elders set up the putting green in his office as a joke one morning.  They had found it in one of the vans that was being transported back to SLC.  
Elder Carbine is in charge of all the Finances, Cell Phones and Housing for the missionaries.  Like I said, no time for golf!

Sorry about the misspelled word.  Didn't do my spell check.  That last word should be "feat".  duh!

The hardest part of our mission has been getting close to the young missionaries, getting to know them and love them and then having to say "Good-bye" to them.  However, we know their families back home are anxious to have them home so that makes it a little easier.

And last but not least, The Lubbock Temple.  One of our favorite places in town.
So until next week - Good Night and may God bless each of you.