Another new task for Sister Connors is to edit the photos that we take of the new missionaries at the mission home on arrival night. We print them and post them on a large board in the Mission Office. It's a favorite stop for all visiting missionaries to see the faces that go with the names of missionaries they hear about but rarely or never meet. The editing process was a bit stressful since I'm not an expert and had to learn new software, but next time will be easier. After editing the photos, I then take down, add, and re-arrange all the photos on the board in alphabetical order. Followed by that, I add the photos and baptisms into the Southern Star newsletter, publish it, mail it, and email it. The final step with the photos is to print two passport size photos of each new missionary and create index-sized magnetic transfer cards for each missionary to go on the transfer boards at the mission office and mission home.
Last Sunday was the baptism of Aeriel Chase and 11-year old Victoria and 9-year old Matthew. Dad, Tyler, prepared his worthiness to do the baptisms. Mom and dad were nervous, but there were few corrections and all went well. Elder Casey Williams gave a talk before the baptism and did a great job. He bears a strong, yet quiet testimony in a confident and assured way. You could tell that this family had really touched him. His mission will be over in November. "I've never been happier than I am at this moment," he said. And he was sincere. He had us in tears.
We enjoyed another spiritual treat connected with the spreading of the Gospel today. With the Presidential election now just 9 days away, the Mormon Moment continues to gain momentum. We get invitations to talk about politics everywhere we turn. We politely listen but hold back engaged opinion (we are missionaries), but it is everywhere. My Visiting Teacher is a Public Affairs Coordinator for the Southeast Region. She has been very busy helping the Priesthood Leaders to organize public affairs callings over the area, train leaders, and screen requests. In just the past two years, the Public Affairs assignment has grown from a newly created calling to become a major responsibility and opportunity.
The Bolts had a family vacation planned for early October because they thought they would be released, so we held down the office solo that week. Sister Connors has a big spike in tasks and correspondence associated with the week of transfer and the week after. We added some new assignments, had a routine medical screening, flu shots, and much more! Last week we had four new cars to pick up and more fun with vehicles and bicycles. Elder Connors phone rings constantly. We drove to Athens last Saturday to deliver a new bicycle to a missionary.We were treated to the most beautiful week of fall weather. Temperatures are in the 70's, with clear skies, and colorful, falling leaves. Friday night we enjoyed the Lilburn Ward and Stone Mountain Spanish Branch (Halloween) dinner and trunk or treat. It was great fun and a well-attended traditional event! And for a change, my chili was a big hit; it was an on-the-fly recipe I'll need to save.