On Labor Day we went to The Butterfly House in Chesterfield with the Whitlock's; our CES missionary friends.  It's a butterfly 'zoo' of around 2,000 butterflies with over 80 species from all over the world.  It is located in a greenhouse with unusual plants and exotic flowers.  Colorful butterflies are all around.  George went just because I was interested, but he really enjoyed it as well.  I could use the caterpillar/butterfly metamorphosis as an analogy for missionaries:  there are always changes and opportunities for growth and it isn't easy!  But the end result is amazing.

We then ate at Charlie Gitto's From The Hill; probably one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten at and the service was perfect.  Just saying, if you ever come to St Louis, this is the place to go.

The next three days we traveled almost a thousand miles going to Zone Conferences in the far corners of the mission.  We love being with the missionaries and they look forward to this time t…
Tuesday morning we gathered at the Frontenac Building for Transfer day.  What a great time to visit with missionaries we haven't seen in a while!  One couple (a recent convert and reactivation) love the missionaries!  They brought bottles of water, cookies, candy and chips for snacks for the missionaries.  It was a hit!  Lot's of new trainers were gathering as well in anticipation of getting a brand new missionary to teach the ropes.

Later in the day, twenty-two missionaries arrived at the mission office from the airport.  They received a little tour of important destinations in St Louis, including the St Louis Temple.  We arrived later at the mission home for dinner and interviews and enjoyed getting to know these tired travelers.

You wouldn't think flying here from Salt Lake City, Utah would be a big deal.  But to make their connections, they needed to be up around 1 am to catch a bus around 3 am.  Some decided why should we even go to bed?  Of course then there is a lay …
This morning we started our day by going to the airport.  Departures are always handled by President and Sister Bateman, the APs and the office Elders, but one missionary was leaving a couple of hours earlier than the rest, so George and I got to be the ones to make sure he made his flight.  We were able to extend farewell greetings to the seventeen missionaries preparing to return home.

Highlights from last week, included viewing the eclipse.  The greater St Louis area was in the path for many areas to have a total eclipse.  We viewed the eclipse from the mission office and it was approximately 99%.  As the sky turned twilight, the cicadas started their "singing".  But when it started getting light, I think the cicadas were a little confused, but eventually stopped making their curious noise only to start up hours later when it was truly dusk.  What a great experience!  We saw a star and all the outside lights turned on.  Many people traveled to the St Louis area to view t…
George and I walked over to our missionary friends apartment for dinner this afternoon and were greeted, "Hi Sister Mower and Sister Mower". George didn't look at his badge very well and was wearing one of mine.  Whoops ;-).

We are really enjoying this time of our lives!  But this experience, although we are thankful for this opportunity, it isn't anything like our last mission in the Philippines where every day was an adventure.  We have a wonderful Mission President and his wife and daughter.  We love the missionaries and are grateful for little snippets of time we have to be with them.  One missionary told me this week that I am "the bomb".  I had to ask the meaning, and was relieved to find out this is a compliment.

Friday we visited missionaries.  Why didn't I take pictures; not sure.  We were enjoying the beautiful rolling hills and green flora in several small towns north of St Louis.  The missionaries in this area all live about 20 miles from each…
Today at Sacrament Meeting, the announcement of a new baby in the ward was given.  Little Sophie, who is not so little was born late last night. This is the first baby born in a long time and members of the branch cheered the news!  We love being able to attend this small gathering every Sunday.

Later in the day we shared dinner with good friends and senior missionaries.  

Saturday we always get up early and meet at the St Louis Temple at 6:00 am for prayer meeting.  George and I especially treasure and love this time of our lives serving in the St Louis Temple.  We work with wonderful people from Illinois, Arkansas, Missouri and lots of other places who make it a priority in their lives to come to the Temple.

Friday, I got to help with the Missionary Leadership Council luncheon.  Sister Slagle, the mission secretary did an outstanding job organizing this meal.  The missionaries enjoyed this treat.  George stayed back at the mission office and held down the fort.  
The rest of the week wa…
It's a record: St Louis hit 108 degrees yesterday.  The previous record of 107 degrees was set a few years ago on July 22, 1901.  We had a storm in the night and the temperature is only 90 degrees today with humidity of only 42%; a pretty nice day.

Last Sunday we were witness to the changing of the presidency of the Pagedale Branch.  In the twenty six year history a president has been called to serve from their home ward.  Our new president lives within the boundaries of the branch and is a wonderful man. There was a strong spirit present in the meeting and the news was exciting to the members.  Many of us believe the change will help move the branch forward in growth and acceptance.

Every six weeks major change comes to the Mission.  Many missionaries completed their missions and returned home.  Then come transfers; they are always exciting for the Elders and Sisters.  They enjoy meeting old acquaintances and leave with new companions.  It was a warm day.  This week we have had sev…
Our favorite day this week was Tuesday the 4th of July.  We didn't go into the office but of course, we were accessible.  We spent the morning at the St Louis Zoo.  Who has ever been to a zoo that doesn't charge an entrance fee?  Okay we paid $20 to park, but it was well worth it.  We enjoyed the bird sanctuary; it was actually from the 1904 world's fair.  I especially liked the bird with the blue bill, which he was using to woo the female. 

We liked seeing the hippopotamuses; three of them laying on top of each other trying to keep cool in water full of fish (that didn't seem to be afraid of the big beasts).  Hippos were my favorite when I was a kid.

Later we met up with our Missionary friends who came out the same day we did for lunch and dessert at the famous Ted Drewes custard shop.  We did choose the wrong one and ended up in kind of a iffy part of town, but we enjoyed the rich treat anyway.

Today George and I spoke at Sacrament meeting.  When George told his 99 year…