Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Coming Home

Our farewell celebration from the Mission Office staff
Goodbye Relief Society board - St Johns Branch
Christmas celebration at our apartment with President & Sister Jones, Assistants, Sister Rogers,
Sister Fredline, Sister Nelson, Elder & Sister Davis
Christmas at the Mission Home
Great missionaries going home in December
Missionaries to the resuce
Our helping crew to get us out of MI before the huge storm hits
More of our missionary help crew
Saying goodbye to Russ and Tammy Lincoln
On the way home - Carthage Jail
Remnants of the ice storm that recently hit the area
Headed home on streets of ice
Nauvoo Temple
Ice that took us off the road in Wyoming
Miracles: we were not hit by the truck flying past us as we hit black ice and jack-knifed going off the road, we went off the road at a point of gradual, gentle sloping and not a drop-off, we were not hit by other vehicles who hit the same black ice and slid all over the road, the car and trailer did not roll as we spun 180 degrees around and ended up going the wrong direction alongside the freeway, tires pulled off from the force of the impact, we were uninjured, our car and trailer both could be repaired enough to continue traveling the next day, we convinced our children NOT to come out in the storm to rescue us that night, the storm abated overnight and the next day was clear allowing us to drive home in safety.
Towing our damaged car and trailer back to Rawlings, WY

Kids waiting on the front porch for our arrival, December 23, 2008.

There is no way to put into words our feelings as we conclude our mission. It's been the best of times and the worst of times....thankfully the best has won out in the end. We've gone about saying our goodbyes these last days and weeks, not knowing if we will ever see many of these amazing missionaries and dear friends again. We feel we are leaving part of our hearts here and know that we will never forget the impact these nearly two years have had on our lives. We've said it before and will say it again now, we will never be the same because of the experiences we've had, the incredible missionaries we've rubbed shoulders with and the marvelous people we now call our friends. Serving a senior couple mission is a life changing experience. How blessed we have been to have had it in our lives.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Changing of the Guard - Step 2

We just completed the final Zone Conferences of our mission. We traveled to three different locations on three different days. Each conference was wonderful, each was sad.
We were asked to bear our testimonies and we cried as each of these opportunities came. And now, zone conferences are done for another transfer period. We will have returned home when they meet again in January 2009.
We will never again see many of these amazing young, and senior, missionaries. We may never again have the opportunity to learn and be taught in such a setting.
It's hard to have such times come to an end.
It's hard to say goodbye.

We received many letters and notes expressing kindness and love. That's what our mission has been filled with, kindness and love from so many. We don't feel worthy of the love they have so generously expressed. It seems we have not done enough to deserve such kindness. What can one ever do to deserve kindness? Our missionaries are just good to the core, and it shows in every aspect of their lives. How blessed we are to have it overflow onto us.

They will be forever in our hearts. I suppose that we will never be the same. I hope that we will never be the same.
Our gratitude knows no bounds.