We had a wonderful final week in the mission as we said good-by to 21 elders and sisters and then welcomed in 16 new missionaries--14 sisters and 2 elders! These missionaries were actually able to meet President and Sister Keung in the MTC, which was a real treat for all of them! So, when they arrived at the airport, we really felt like we were welcoming them on behalf of the Keung's. But, we immediately grew to love them, even though we would not serve with them at all! We were excited for them to be in the great Canada Calgary Mission and to move the work along.
On Friday afternoon we were able to pick up President and Sister Keung from the airport, and it was so great to welcome them here! We just felt an instant love for each other as we met and hugged each other. We know they will be such a blessing for this mission, and they are exactly what the missionaries and the mission needs at this time. We are so excited for them to have this experience and have the blessing of being with these great missionaries. There really is nothing that compares to this calling and serving in this capacity. My testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ has been strengthened in ways I never imagined as I have come to rely on Him and trust in Him as never before. My testimony that this is the Lord's work has also been strengthened...I have seen His hand on almost a daily basis, in so many small ways, with not only our missionaries but with Steve and I. I have felt of His goodness and love in abundance as I have seen Him bless our family in our absence, and have seen Him bless His missionaries as they go out to declare His gospel. It is truly an incredibly remarkable, spiritual, grueling, demanding, rewarding experience!
Anyway, after we picked up the Keung's, we took them to the mission office to meet the couples serving there, and then we took them back to the mission home for a quick tour of it, and then Steve sat down with President Keung, and I sat down with Sister Keung to go over the few administrative items we each needed to cover. We then took them to an early dinner at a nice little bistro, and went back to the mission home for them to meet with the assistants and two of our sister trainer leaders to go out teaching with them. We all had a prayer together and hugged and said our good-byes. It was such a strange feeling! But good, too.
We then went to the Marriott Hotel at the airport for our final night in Canada. We flew home at 2:00 on Saturday afternoon June 30 and were greeted by our 9 grandchildren, our 8 children, and our extended family! It was such a thrill to come down that escalator and hear our little grandchildren screaming and waving their home-made signs! I couldn't get enough hugs from each of them! It was the best!
Three years is a long time to be away, but we are so grateful for the privilege and blessing it was to serve. We are still humbled that we were asked to do it. We have a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We love Him. We know He lives. We know the Book of Mormon is truly a second witness of Him, and was translated through divine means by the prophet, Joseph Smith. We know He was the prophet of the restoration, and that we are led by a living prophet today, President Russell M. Nelson. We LOVE the gospel of Jesus Christ! Living it has brought so much happiness into our lives. It gives us the peace, direction and hope that we need. We wish everyone could know of it--and that is why God calls His missionaries to go out and teach everyone! Our desire now is to be good member missionaries while we are back home!
|Picking up President and Sister Keung at the airport!|
|Oldest grandson Miles with his sign-check out the line through the Canada flag!|
|Finn with his sign!|
|Wy with his sign!|
|Wy and Beck! Our 3 year olds!|
|Steve looking at all the signs from the grandkids!|
|Loving hugs from our boys!|
|Hugging our only granddaughter, Nina!|
|Hugging my mom!|
|All of our family together again!|
|Steve with his older brother Dick! Happy reunion!|