Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013 We are now home. We were greeted by friends and family and there was a huge welcome sign on the garage and front window from the Rudders and dinner on the table from the Pools. Kyle, Melissa, and Avery came to help unpack the car and Greg went to the airport to pick up Connie, Lindsay, Camden and Grayson. What a welcome home. I'll post the wonderful greeting. It was a perfect ending to a series of last times. Monday at the last office meeting we had great words from the President. Quoting the scripture in Moses 1:39, he said we were to add our name at the end so that it read: "For behold this is my work and my glory - to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of CAROLYN and JERRY." This would make it personal. God is the organizer and even with our free agency, what happens is not random. Then the President had a great Janpanese story. The elders called him one night as they had tracted out a Janpanese couple who only spoke Janpanese (they said). So the elders asked the President on the phone to talk to the couple in Japanesne and tell them who they were and why they were there. Then the wife got on the phone and said in perfect English, "We speak English, we just wanted to get rid of them" and then she hung up. We had to laugh at those polite Japanese and as my grandson, McKay, says from Sendai, "Even when they slam the door in your face, the Japanese do it politely." Later that day we had our President's final interview. He gave us a $2 bill and said that the two on the bill meants both us and the Savior. If we ripped the bill in half it would not be worth $2. Only when it is together will it work. We are to keep it as a remberance of our mission. We need always to have the Savior with us. Sister Weaver gave us a CD of the mission songs in a "Return with Honor" case. We learned to love those songs and now we can continue to hear our missionaries singing to us. Tuesday was the day of our official release and it was transfer day. We heard great testimonies from 11 departing missionaries. Here are some of their messages: "Let the mission change you. It is the best training ground for the rest of your life. I owe the Church my life. Helaman 5 - Remember, Remember this moment. And President Weaver ending it with: Preparing the world - one soul at a time. God loves you for doing it for Him." The Trotters had us to breakfast Wednesday morning so that we would have a nourishing start to our trip and as we drove out of the parking lot the Quillons stood with signs saying: Hurrah, Hurrah, Hurrah for Israel! Safe Journey. What a way to leave. Here are also a few pictures of the hugs and best wishes from our wonderful missionaires who we truly came to love. They will be in our prayers every morning and night, praying for their safety, success and future happiness. We can now say: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013 This definitely will be the last post from Washington Tacoma Mission as we lose our internet tomorrow. I'll wrap it up in Nampa some day when everything gets calm and hooked up again. Friday the office all got together and went out to dinner to say good bye, even the President and Sister Weaver were able to join us. That made it extra special. Then to top it off, Greg and DaNel made it just in time to order dinner. We were able to introduce them to all the people here who have helped us so much and made such a difference. Saturday we went Christmas shopping to the coolest Mall I hadn't discovered (to Jerry's thankfulness.) DaNel was thrilled to find things that weren't in Boise and especially to get items for a box to McKay for Christmas in Japan. That was so fun. She even had a list of items for friends at Trader Joe's. I will really missed that place. I think I've bought everything they have there in pumpkin flavors to get home to share with all. Then we tried to go to the movies but we bought the wrong tickets and were sitting in the very front row and Greg said we'd kill our necks and miss half the view so we got our money back and came back to the apartment and packed their car with all my boxes. I was so glad for the help. He got lots in, TV included and not the bike as the Harwoods decided they wanted to keep it here. Greg thought it was a great idea as he thinks I need to get rid of lots of stuff at home anyway. So what is left are clothes, groceries and cleaning supplies for us to pack in our car and we'll be on our way Wednesday morning. Then we have our interview with President Weaver and release on Monday, Transfer Day on Tuesday with incoming and departing missionaries and testimonies and then the last cleaning and packing. I'll post some pictures from our dinner and you can see the office staff. Such great people - the work will continue in the best hands!!! Love, Carolyn and Jerry

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday, November 7, 2013 Not sure when I will post or how often this ending week. Greg and DaNel arrive tomorrow evening to help us load the cars. That evening the office staff is taking us out to dinner. Not sure what Greg and DaNel want to do on Saturday. The weather is terrible. They will go home on Sunday and we will be living out of a suitcase with just cleaning left. This week has been a week of training. The mission will be left in good hands. Both the Hadlocks and Harwoods are very efficient and sharp. They get one instruction and they go with it. Hopefully all our good work of organizing has helped this turn over. We keep having highlights all week. I am posting pictures of the office to show you where we have been this last year. It has become a home away from home with good people becoming good friends. Sunday started out with highlights of the week. We took Hardwoods to church and then Harwoods, Hadlocks and Quillons came over to dinner before we left for a fireside. It was a fireside with the southern zone down in Centralia. Very well attended and the missionaries did awesome with their music and testimonies. We took the Steilacoom sisters with us and they are darling, so the hour drive down and back was enjoyable. We had the office meeting Monday morning. Weavers reported on their training with Elders Ballad and Rasband. The whole focus was teaching and finding. Everyone was to be out doing missionary work. The mission needs to run, but the focus is finding those looking for the Gospel and everyone doing it from President down to members. The President said they discussed the song "Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd." Look at the line that says "saved at such infinite cost." It really reflects our times and all the money it costs to run a mission what with 58 new missions and 30,000 new missionaries. We were told we would see the Twelve out more with this new emphasis and we will see this on the 23rd with a member of the Twelve talking to our missionaries. Strange things are still happening. Got a letter returned in the mail to the mission office from a Sister whose name no one recognized addressed to people no one recognized either. As we pondered the problem I looked at the post mark and it was stamped - February, 2008. Where had this letter been? It was a Valentine to a family this sister had taught. Records that far back were buried up in the loft of the office. I guess someone missed a Valentine. This could be a movie in the making. I think I've watched one like it on the Hallmark Channel. We got two new Cambodian speaking sisters on Tuesday. They were thrilled I had two cases of Cambodian Books of Mormon for them to get started with. They were cute sisters and eager to get started. Went out to dinner with Trotters that evening to celebrate her birthday and good bye to us. They have been fun to do things with and help us in the office. They say they will come to Idaho and we may finally get to see Mt Rushmore when we go visit them in South Dakota on the way. Harwoods want to buy Jerry's exercise bike. Now I don't have an excuse for Greg coming to help us get home, just my over shopping. Hey, I'm ready for Christmas. Well I will have more pictures of saying good bye to missionaries, but I may have to post it at home as they will turn off our internet soon. Keep posted on the final days to come and know that we made it - with lots of help. Love, Carolyn and Jerry