Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mission Life Goes On...

Well, we're in the balmy days of English Spring/Summer.   As one local comment goes, "I just love Summer.   Last year it was on a Tuesday."   But we have enjoyed several days here and there of 'mostly' blue sky...for which everyone is grateful.   Strangers even comment on it with you in passing!

And mission life goes on.   Here are a few recent activities:

In our tiny chapel, storage is premium!
I wish I'd taken a 'before' picture of this cupboard near the kitchen.   You can't imagine the exhilaration of sorting this space!    Sister A: "Why are these Christmas bits in here all year instead of out in the shed?"  Sister B: "How long have these things been here?   They should be binned or given to a charity shop!"   Aah, the sweet satisfaction of organization.

I don't know if I've mentioned lately how well Siti is doing in the ward.   It's hard to believe our Gospel Essentials teacher is only a year old in the gospel and was previously so quiet and introverted it was difficult to hear him speak.

Now he goes out with the missionaries all the time as a member fellowshipper.

Here's a pretty phenomenal young man we've recently met.   Jacob had just turned in his mission papers a year ago when he contracted meningitis.   He was hospitalized Jan. of 2013, eventually losing his toes.   After a year in there with Drs. trying to get the feet to heal, he eventually went ahead with the amputation, and is now ready to 'get on with life'.

He's got a charming personality and bright testimony.   And being quite computer-savvy, he may still do a related mission.   He's attending our ward for a while, since it's near the hospital where he's still in-house for physical therapy.   But he's close to being fitted with prosthetics and looking toward going home!

By the way, the ward member he's next to here is our newly called Primary President, having recently returned from a mission in Greece!

We just had a multi-zone barbecue and activity day this week.   Can you tell these Elders were ready for it?

Boy, there was a lot of energy expended that day...along with a ton of foot-long Costco hot dogs and hamburgers consumed!  

And what were the Senior Couples
doing that day?   (the wives got the cooler job cutting up tomatoes and lettuce)

I think this was sort of a 'last hurrah' for the missionaries to enjoy being with Pres. and Sis. Preston.   They'll hand over the reins in July.   It was really great to have such a sunny day to be together!   (Manchester zones had 'no such luck' the following day)      : (

Well, Elder Meese and I traveled down to Manchester to help with their day, also.   And it was worth the trip down just to hear the 'departing testimonies' at the end of the day.   After the Elders and Sisters redressed, transforming into 'real missionaries' once again, they had closing remarks in the chapel.   Elder Chong's testimony on leaving the mission field totally took me by surprise.

Sure we've known Elder C. for a while.   It would be hard NOT to know him.   He's a very outgoing 'presence' in the mission.   He's also an accomplished pianist, all around musician, composer and arranger, and funny man.    But what I didn't know until this day was the depth he also had, beneath his almost 'caricature' appearance.

In an extremely articulate and thoughtful manner, he told of coming on his mission knowing his mother had a terminal illness.   They had talked about the possibility of her passing away while he was here, and her wish was for him to stay and continue in his work in the mission.   She died five months after he arrived.    In a not-so-amazing "coincidence",  he was in a regular interview with President Preston as the family called, and he got to speak with his mother before she passed away.

His testimony was about the sacrifices the Elders and Sisters had all made to be there and serve.   And how it was all worth it.   I wish I could remember all he said.   I remember the spirit and the silence in the chapel.

So many of our 'favourite' Elders and Sisters are now leaving for home.   It makes sense...we're getting old in the mission.

This Elder was a great zone leader.   But even if he finds us on Facebook later on, he will then be speaking Spanish!

Another great Elder.   But he'll be speaking 'Australian'!    Okay, okay, we'll still understand him.   He can also do a perfect American accent!

One more.   I commented on how fluent this Elder's English had become.   "What a shame to leave just when you can speak it so well!"   He assured me he would still use it, because he is already four years into flight training to be a commercial pilot!   Another Pres. Uchtdorf?

I notice I seldom use names in the blog to respect their privacy.   I must have picked it up from the English!   It's difficult for missionaries to even get an investigator to give their surname!  

Well, time to close.   One more, though..... two of my adopted granddaughters.
We met up at the activity day and had such a great time talking.   They're no longer companions, but we'll always be fast friends....even though one of us will speak Canadian!   : )

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