Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hello Mississippi!

Hello Mississippi!

We arrived in Jackson, Mississippi, on June 30, 2012, after two and a half days of driving through beautiful states, some we hadn't visited or seen before.  We were surprised and delighted by the beauty all along the way.  After Utah and Wyoming, what we saw in daylight hours of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi was very green and lush.  It was sunny and very warm when we pulled into the parking lot of the Mississippi Jackson Mission Office.  We were met by friends and neighbors from our past, Elder and Sister Miles along with President and Sister Tucker and the other office couples:  Elder and Sister Miller, Elder and Sister Scott and the Assistants to the President, Elder Garrett and Elder Nykamp.  It was wonderful to meet President and Sister Tucker!  I know the missionaries love them!  After a delicious lunch prepared by Sister Tucker and the office staff and served in the mission office, President Tucker took President McDonough into his office and Sister Tucker took me to the Mission Home about ten minutes away.
The Mission Home is beautiful!  It feels like it was meant to be a mission home from the very beginning.  Upstairs it is spacious with a total of eleven beds in four large bedrooms, three bathrooms and two hide-a-bed couches in a nice family room with a ping pong/pool table.  There are six blow up mattresses in one of the large closets and sufficient floor space to accommodate them.  There is also enough bedding to make all the beds twice and cover the blow-ups and couches.  The new arriving missionaries stay in the mission home the first night they're here in Mississippi.

The few hours we spent with the Tuckers flew by and before we knew it, they handed each of us their phones (please don't ring, please don't ring) and we drove them to the Jackson-Evers Airport.  The Assistants accompanied us and at that time we didn't know anything, let alone how much we would depend on those two capable, young missionaries for every minute in the next few weeks.  We watched as the Tuckers went through security, turned and waved.

Well, here we are in Mississippi.  We've said that quite a few times in the beginning weeks and not so much in the past few months.  But, here we are, and happy to be here!

Fourth of July with the Steadman Family

Jackson Missionaries
Every July 4th, the Steadman Family hosts a barbecue at their beautiful home for the missionaries of the Jackson Zone.  For us, it was our first event in Mississippi.  They were very gracious and kind and we found some new friends.  Their children are impressive, full of personality and friendliness.

First Zone Leader Council

On the evening of July 5th, eighteen missionaries came to the mission home for snacks, interviews with the President and a sleepover.  How did Sister Tucker say she did this?  The next morning they made beds, brought down sheets and towels, ate breakfast prepared by Elder Garrett and Elder Nykamp, loaded the dishwasher, and left for the church.
The Zone Leaders, the assistants and the president meet in the high council room where they are taught, trained, and strengthened.
With the help of Elder and Sister Miles, a nice lunch was prepared, served, and cleaned up.  I said it then and I've said quite a few times since, I couldn't do this without them.


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