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

Saturday, November 2, 2013

November 2, 2013 Hope you all had a great Halloween. We started the celebration on Monday with P-Day in the office for the missionaries. I have some pictures of our treats and decorations. My favorite was the Dracula teeth in the doughnuts - idea thanks to Lindsay and Connie. The missionaries loved wearing the teeth. Hope they didn't go tracting with them in. Then the celebration continued Thursday with an evening with the missionaries at the Church. The President wanted to make sure all the missionaries were safe and off the streets for the evening. They studied, ate, we were assigned doughnuts and then we watched Ephraim's Rescue. We all loved the movie. (I only had to tell them to close their eyes for the kissy moment.) They were all home by 9:00. I liked our thought on Monday's office meeting. Did you know the symbol of our Church is not the cross but two missionaries walking down the street. It sure is a meaningful symbol to me. We also found out that one of the Twelve will be here on the 23rd to meet with the missionaries. We missed Elder Holland at the MTC and now we'll miss another chance to learn from one of the Apostles. Our luck isn't going great in that direction. I will read an extra Conference talk and still come home. Nothing will keep me from home. Got to take sisters to lunch on Tuesday and then drive with Jerry to Port Orchard to do a lease on Wednesday. That helps the week go quickly. Then I also had a bummer of a missionary experience. Now I know how the missionaries feel when after all you can do you still get a negative response. A lady called asking for help to move. She said someone had told her the missionaries would help her. She wasn't a member and it sounded like some members were just pushing her off on the missionaries. Anyway the missionaries went over and helped. She didn't have a truck, so they could only do so much. Well, she had called on Monday, and Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday she called again and said the missionaries hadn't come back with a truck and she needed them to take stuff to the dump. Again, we don't have trucks, and secondly you have to be a Washington resident to go to the dump. She was so mad at me and the missionaries that she told me we only cared about ourselves and that Jesus didn't love us. I couldn't convince her that the missionaries had tried and did help, but she was too mad to listen. I really wanted to say that I knew that Jesus loved me and really loved His missionaries too. Believe it or not she called back again on Friday saying she had a U-Haul and wanted help again carrying boxes. I really wanted to say, "Does Jesus love me today?" I held my tongue, which you know is hard for me. The missionaries said she was really a different lady and they really didn't want to go back. They told me to stop answering the phone to her calls, but it's hard to do when you don't have caller ID. Come to find out there were drug problems involved. No wonder she was being evicted and the missionaries had such a bad feeling there. You can't help everyone and you can't let the missionaries be used. Saturday was a windy, windy day. Lots of waves, broken docks and power outages. Four of us (Sisters) went to the Tacoma Glass Museum to see a demonstration by Dale Chihuly. He is a native son and well known for his development of team glass blowing. It was very interesting. You may have seen some of his work. He did the flower ceiling at the Ballago in Las Vegas. We also walked to the Glass Bridge designed by him. See the fun pictures. Then we picked up the men and went to lunch in a unique part of town with quaint shops. Our new office couple went with us and got a taste of Tacoma. The other office couple arrived this afternoon and will go to Church with us tomorrow and then to a Fireside with the missionaries that evening. Monday they start their training and Jerry and I get to train them - blind leading the blind. That will be our last full week in the office. I'll end this entry with a neat quote from President Monson that should apply to everyone: "If you want to give a light to others - you have to glow yourself." Love to all our "glowing" friends. See you soon. Love, Carolyn and Jerry