Friday, May 4, 2012

Faith Factor, another year older and the loss of a very special couple...

There are SO many advantages to being a friend to Sister Carlos!!  She is, without any competition in MY lifetime, the most creative, energetic, and enthusiastic person I have EVER met.  Together we have pulled off many amazing feats..and had many laughs in the meantime.  Last week was another of her brainchildren that all of us senior missionaries helped her to accomplish with Faith Factor.  
Back in her other life, she was a reality show junkie...she is the one who got me addicted to The Amazing Race and Survivor along with The Apprentice, Project Runway....etc.  Well, remember Fear Factor????  That was the basis for our activity/training day with our elders and sisters.  Because of the numbers, she divided the mission into three 'groups' of Zones and they gathered in the building closest to their area.  They self divided into four groups, Omni, Himni, Aaron and Ammon.  Those of you who are Latter-day Saints will recognize those names as the four son's of Mosiah.  Sister gave a little background on those four young warriors and then the activities began. 
We didn't invite them to come until after lunch but were finished by 3:30, allowing them to return to their areas and get 'back to work!'  We [us Senior Couples] planned and executed the challenges and also helped with the questions that were like a scripture chase...Sister Carlos called it 'Preach My Gospel Chase' and she is correct...I was amazed at the speed some of these missionaries could locate things in that book!  It was amazing!!

Sister Carlos explaining the rules..

Elder Jackson and Elder Cajumbun [the Assistant's to the President] were the emcees of the day.

They are trying to devour a pie plate of whipped cream..

Elder Griffin trying to balance a tub, bowl and rag.

Elder Smith did a great job-a little cockeyed but he accomplished the task

Elder Lundy is concentrating so hard and being cheered on by his team

Elder Oliver and Elder McGuffin trying to eat soda crackers FAST!!
Get chewing Elder Oliver!! Elder Dixon is ahead of you in the bubble challenge..

Elder Hamblin and Elder Fry trying to eat the can of sardines and the rice...yuck!!
 The day was so fun and I think all of the missionaries learned more about how they can use their PMG..after all, we are a Preach My Gospel Mission!!!

Elder and Sister Laker arrived in the mission the middle of February and have not missed a beat in their training.  When the Breeses were leaving, President needed to find a replacement for them in the office.  Randy and I were actually trained in the MTC to be the office couple our last year here but President decided he didn't want to change our assignment, giving us more time to work with members, leaders and complete the training in the Roxas District that we have started.  When the Lakers arrived, he interviewed them and after considering their backgrounds and experience, decided to have the Breeses train them to take over the office responsibilities for their 23 month mission.  Being the intelligent people that they are, they picked up the tasks in record time and have just stepped in.  Well, Sister Laker celebrated her birthday last Sunday and we had a little party for her-Sister Carlos had Sweet Nothin's [you remember the Cookie Monster cake for Elder Shaner's birthday?] design a cake for her-she LOVES flowers and they did a great job in making the perfect cake for this sweet lady.
Sister Laker and her basket of flowers cake

With the imminent departure of our Sister Breese, and her birthday not until December, us senior sisters decided to have a 'Happy UnBirthday Luncheon'.  Sister Breese had gotten special purses for each of us and wanted to give them before she left so we gathered at our favorite local restaurant, Hotel Andrea for a girl's lunch.  It was SO funny-we opened our purses from Sister Breese and all of us had gotten something for Sister Laker [whose birthday was the day before] and because Sister Carlos birthday is May 7th, we shared with her also and in all, we got NINE purses!!  It must have been the purse exchange day... 
Sister Breese, Laker, Russell, me and Carlos showing our new bags.
After 23 months of dedicated service, the Breeses returned to their families this past week.  There were tears, memories, laughter and in all, many accolades for a job well done.  It gives me hope that we actually DO return home eventually..we bid them farewell, wishing the very best for this great couple...
The Breeses at the airport, just minutes before boarding their final leg of their mission.
I have been battling a virus this week and am laying low today.  Randy is off training all day and I will just chat with you, listen to music and maybe read a little...what a rough mission this is!!


  1. Prayers for your speedy recovery...Hope tomorrow is a better day.

  2. A woman can never have too many purses!
    Hope you feel better soon.

  3. You look really wonderful, Sister Shaner! Hope you feel better soon and again, it's always wonderful to hear from you.

  4. Does that mean the Breese's are coming home?!! Oh, I hope so!! Your loss is definitely our gain! What a fun blog post to read!

  5. Yes Elaine, they are home in Grand Junction with their family. I think they will 'settle' there but will be in Omaha for an extended visit sometime this summer. They still have family there and of course, the Salkelds...then they plan to go to Texas where her mom lives for her mom's 90th birthday. You will get a chance to see them for sure...

  6. Hi there, I have lost your email address, thus the reason for the comment on your blog. I do read your blog every once in a while. What an awesome time you are having. I would love to know more about the games you played. I have wanted to do a PMG (like the New Era bowl) Bowl with our missionaries. Sounds like something similar to what you did. If you have any kind of an outline that would be awesome. I am jealous that you have other couples to hang out with. I miss that in my life. Missionaries are great, but friends are fun too. Take care...........Trisha Call