First off we got to see Layne play in his basketball game on Saturday. It was a beautiful day here in Paradise and he played in Balboa Park, a very beautiful area of this beautiful place. It was nice. He went with friends after the game and stayed with them that night, played more games on Sunday and then came to our house to hang out with us and sleep here. It was so nice to have him around. We love you Layne.
The news of day Saturday was the birth of Cory and Mandy's little girl Atlas. Words can't describe how it felt to be so far away when she was born. And to not be able to hold her now! Missing all of those baby days of her life. The mission president heard that she was born and I tried to explain the sacrifice I was feeling I was making and had made three other times when other grand babies were born. He just said, "Bless your heart. Lay this sacrifice at the feet of the Savior and work hard on your mission. You will be blessed many fold." So my aching heart continues as I try to focus on mission work.
But this transfer we had 19 missionaries go home. The first one left for Taiwan at 6:00 in the morning and we had missionaries leaving off and on all day long. Some actually have to stay in a hotel one night in the middle of their trip because they live so far away. It was quite a chore to get the flights all figured out so that the missionaries all get to the right place at the right time. I can only imagine how Salt Lake sorts all of that out and makes all of those arrangements! It is my job to get the flights ordered to the church and then to make sure that they are fine and what we ordered after they make them. It is a tedious job and scary at times.
The president asked me to take the last missionary, Sister Teanoa to the airport. She was flying to Kiribati and left on a red eye to Nadi at 6:00 pm. We first took her to lunch to say good bye along with her companion. We have watched Sister Teanoa grow and become a very confident young lady in the 18 months she has been here and will miss her tons. The odds are that we might not ever see her again and it was a very hard goodbye. She says she might come to visit and I have offered her a place to stay when and if she does come. You will love her.
They were getting her to Kiritati but 12 hours later than when she had arranged to have her uncle pick her up. Her uncle doesn't have a phone and only looks at email on Tuesdays when Sister Teanoa would email. There was no way to get in touch with him. I made a few phone calls but no one could help. I sent her off on the plane promising her that I would find a way to alert her uncle of the change. There is no way that my phone should have lasted through all of that but the second I didn't need it anymore it shut off! Miracle #2. I talked to the member lady behind the desk and we discussed how it was a miracle that Sister Teanoa actually got things put together to leave and I thanked her for being such a help though it all. She said that she had felt the spirit strongly as we worked though all the challenges and she realized that she wanted to get back to the temple. She hadn't been going to the temple for the last few years and she realized that the spirit she felt while helping us was the same spirit that she felt in the temple. I invited her to return and she committed that she would. Miracle #3. I still had to get in touch with the uncle and through a series of events and lots of prayer we finally got the word to him at the last moment and all was well. #4. God is in the details of this work!
Wednesday morning we still had missionaries to send off. I got to take the Temple Square Missionaries to the airport so they can fly back to Salt Lake and finish their mission there. What darling girls these ones are! Sister Melone is from Italy and is a professional dancer there. She left her career to serve the Lord. Sister Spichigar is from Chile and left medical school to come serve. It was fun spending time with them and kissing them goodbye!
The next day Wednesday is the meeting where all of the missionaries find out exactly where they will be and who will be their companion. Again, just like Christmas. It is quite a fun meeting actually. Then we get to come back with the notes from that meeting and put the mess all back together again. Make new phone lists, apartment lists, zone and district lists and get the mission running again. It really is at a stand still until all of the lists are done and correct. So it is a mad dash.
Roger then has the challenge of moving of missionaries out of apartments and closing them down and trying to find new apartments in new areas. It sounds fairly simple but isn't. He over and over again feels that he is being guided and helped to find and secure apartment where they need to be etc. It is a very humbling experience. We can not do what we need to do without the Lord's help and guidance. It is so great to be a part of this experience!
|Beautiful sunset on our way home from work!|
|I love this! Think about it - you will love it too!|