Sunday, December 22, 2013

Our mission is over and we are home again

It is so hard to believe that we have finished our mission!

We have to say that in our particular case, we have never been so constantly busy, so exhausted or so happy for so long in our lives.  At times I have felt sheer joy just being in the office.  My best times have been when the missionaries were there for transfers or incoming times.  I have just loved being in their presence. 

I haven't written because I forgot how to get on my blog.  Does that show you how old I am?  Finally spent an hour and figured it out just now ;~)

Leaving our mission was extremely difficult.  We have an excellent couple to replace us, the Smedleys.  They have already served a year in our mission in Carson City as a 'Rescue' couple - working with less actives and non-members.  There are no seniors available to come and replace us so we imported them from their original call.  Senior missionaries are desperately needed. 
Even while we were training them we couldn't believe we were actually leaving.  And when we walked out of the mission office for the last time it still didn't seem to really be happening.  Even when I packed all the boxes and we went to the airport to get our son who would drive the U-Haul back for us, it still seemed like it would be a vacation or something.  We shed a LOT of tears.

Leaving our Wildcreek Ward was also very difficult.  They were wonderful to us and we loved so many people there.  

I have found it true that in every mission I have served I have met 'kindred spirits' - people I knew before in some way past time.  We become good friends that I will have forever.  That happened in this ward, and with one very special couple from the office, Will & Sophie Blankenship. Our mission President and his wife, the Hermansen's were a wonderful couple to work with and we will also always love and appreciate them. 

Now that we are home I am finally realizing it is really all over.  I guess it finally really hit home when we were in the Stake President's office and he read the words, "You are released."   Like so many callings in the past, the time comes to be released whether we love the calling we are in or not.

And as I've said before, for me going on a mission is in a way like dying.  You leave and go out to serve and then we get to come back and see what happened while we were gone.  It is always wonderful to see that our family did well without us - in fact better than if we'd been here.  They bond and care for each other.

So while we were gone these things happened at home:
1 great-grandson born - this brings our 'Greats' to 3.  Two little girls and now the Ggrandson!
Our last grandchild to be born in March-April - a little girl...
1 son-in-law married - we are all so thrilled with this!!!
6 'new' homes purchased and moved in to by various family members
3 grandchildren left on missions within 6 weeks last spring - to Australia, New Mexico, and Mexico (changed to Utah because of health reasons.)
1 grand-daughter prepared and sent in her papers and we are all waiting for her call.
1 grandson getting married in the temple to a fantastic girl this week!
Children and grandchildren advanced in school and work.
As always grandchildren grew taller - no matter how prepared you are for this, it is still a surprise.

Today we went back to our home ward, the River Ridge 8th ward.   What a wonderful feeling to feel so at home and what a wonderful reception.   And now I can say that despite missing our mission so much, we are happy to be home. 

We have loved seeing some of our family members and are looking forward to seeing the rest as soon as possible.
More about our mission later....