I know...this blog makes it sound like every day is filled with wonderful and inspiring events. But we've learned that a senior mission is much like a 'young' mission: you have peaks and valleys. Someone comes to church for the first time in years - peak! Someone decides their family is going 'on holiday' from church because it's too demanding - valley. Fortunately, it seems every time you're feeling a bit down, the next week brings good news and you're totally renewed. Here are some things that have made us feel especially wonderful this week:
President Preston has heard our pleas for another companionship for Preston Ward. As of yesterday, we have FOUR wonderful, solid Elders with firm handshakes and a desire to help move the ward forward. Just look at them! I could have cried when I saw them all show up at Book of Mormon class the first night they were in town. Good things are about to break forth in Preston Ward!
The other wonderful part of that picture is Jason, our continuingly-amazing young convert whose testimony only gets brighter. He has asked to do a 'mini-mission' in a few months, and would love to leave on a real one right now!
Okay, cool thing #2: We have felt the need for a larger living area, so that we could host FHE meetings with our wonderful young adults. They have a hard time finding many places that can accommodate the ten to fifteen who are there each week. We've also wanted a ground floor level abode to humor my knees in winter, and a covered garage. This week,....we found them all!
The living room is actually only 25 percent larger than our current flat, but it 'feels' so much roomier and very warm and inviting.
All three things we'd hoped for, plus a lovely small backyard - peak! Today, we went back to do some measurements and Elder Meese got into the shower to try moving about - not possible to move his arms without knocking the shower guard open - valley!
But...Sunday held a major bright spot - an absolutely inspiring testimony meeting in South Ribble Ward and the calling of a new WARD MISSION LEADER - Super Peak! We've been without one since ours moved out of the ward several weeks ago. Our new leader held a meeting with the six of us (South Ribble has two Elders, two Sisters); he (in right of photo) wants to have a ward Mission Statement formulated by next week. He's totally into this calling! South Ribble Ward is seeming more unified and energized every week.
So, I'll leave you with some fun 'random' bits as always. First, here are two wonderful missionaries. On the left is Elder Walker, who won the 'George Watt' race (first Englishman baptized) across the River Ribble at Zone Conference. To the right is Elder Thomas, a great Assistant who headed for home this week. He's a convert of only three years, having been contacted while he was playing professional 'football'. He's humble and sincere and will make a great leader back home in Belgium.
Someone asked if there were things I'd miss from England when we went back home. Here's one brilliant idea supermarkets thought up. When you put your pound (or this token a friend gifted me) in the slot on the cart, it releases it from the others. On returning it and pushing the chain from the other carts back in, you get your coin back Carts always back in the stall...Ta da!
Okay, so to end on the highest peak of the post, let me show you a picture of a young woman (on the right) who just went through the temple last night and will enter the mission field for Paraguay in October. And, she happens to be our granddaughter. She is the first of the family's 'next generation' to serve. We are so happy for you, Jasmine, and send a long distance shout out to you: "Hurrah for Israel"! We love you.