Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Last Transfer

No, really??  Unbelievably, we just experienced our last transfer in the mission.   And it was quite the day.   But let me back up...

Until yesterday, this was our district.   Small, but it had a great spirit.   We really felt unified as a missionary team, and it was hard to say good-bye to 'half of us'.
Sister King (center in green) finished her mission in a blaze of glory (two baptisms in the South Ribble Ward) and returned to Australia.   I dearly love her understated, humble manner.   People were drawn to her.

We also lost our sweet Sister Klemm (left, here six months!) and Elder Smith (back left) who will now be a Zone Leader in Newcastle Zone.

Well, we saw Sister Klemm off at the Preston Train Station.  She was having some real trepidation on leaving and heading into another unknown.  We felt like we were sending our child off to college but she'll be great in Wales. !

And it wouldn't be a real transfer, would it, without a companionship forgetting their flat key in their car at the repair shop the day before?   From what we hear, the mission is notorious for locking themselves out of their flats!   We're in favour of a new rule that every companionship leaves an extra key with either the senior couple or their ward mission leader.   Anyway, I had to get these shots for their posterity!

Okay, so by last night, who did we have in Preston?  A sweet little Sister from Madagascar and two new Elders!!  We have not had Elders in Preston for six weeks, and I can't believe how blessed I feel to have them back!   We also changed two South Ribble missionaries, who we will meet Sunday!

Elder Ramsey (left) will be our new District Leader while he trains his new son (straight from the MTC) Elder Candland.

And you have to love these two new granddaughters.   Madagascar and the Philippines... they make my 5'3" look tall!  

I have really good feelings about miracles this new group will see.  

And this is one of the reasons:   Fifteen minutes into Book of Mormon study class last night, three of these men walked in asking to join us.   Sister Once (say 'own-say') and Sister Klemm had met them about two weeks ago and invited them to come to class.   They haven't had contact since.   We were all totally taken by surprise when these three friends arrived.  

Although they were originally from Afghanistan, they are Christian.   The Elders and Sisters are getting them copies of the Book of Mormon in Farsi.   You really never can tell who will come to these Wednesday classes.  Two weeks ago, our two French sisters came:

This is a picture I took Sunday with their mother because she looked especially beautiful in her traditional African dress.   But here's the miracle - guess who speaks French as her second language?   Our new Sister, Sister Fitia! (English is her third)  Good times ahead to help these sisters feel more at home.  

Here's a side note from last P-day.  We invited two of our wonderful senior couples to lunch as we talked, and shared ideas, and laughed over adjustments to English life.   It was just so relaxing and satisfying to be together.   I honestly think seniors need these times with their peers as much as the young missionaries need 'sport days' and conferences.  

And speaking of 'entertaining' friends, we are trying to make the most of our short time remaining!   Siti cooked Thai dinner for the Sisters here on Sunday; we had our senior friends Monday.   Tuesday we had the South Ribble Sisters over, and Wednesday we welcomed our new Elders for tea along with our new ward mission leader, Bro. Smith.   Elder Meese has talked with our close neighbours about getting together for lunch here, and we're hosting our Sunday School class for a picnic in the back garden in a couple of weeks.   I sure hope we continue to have these feelings of wanting to 'connect' with people when we're home.  We could all use more 'fellowshipping' with each other.

Here's a great blessing.   Using the church keyboard course, Siti is surging ahead in piano!   Last lesson he was assigned 'We Thank Thee, O God, For A Prophet' from the simplified hymns book!  I told him he has an obligation to learn piano quickly - he's Asian!  

And here is a sight I love each Sunday.   Every Sunday, without fail, a beautiful bouquet is in front of the pulpit.   These days, although she is home most weeks recovering after chemotherapy treatments, her husband is busy arranging fresh flowers in the vase for the chapel...before anyone arrives.   Her presence is still felt each week.  

And so, I'll close for another few days with a couple of pictures of this beautiful English Summer.   We love you all, and we love the Saviour.  

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