This past weekend we had our mission "farewell." This is our worship service (called a "Sacrament Meeting") where Linda and I spoke about our feelings as we embark for our missionary service in South Africa. One of our leaders, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, called Sacrament meeting the most "sacred and important meeting in the church." That's because we renew our covenants with the Savior through a Sacrament of bread and water. As part of the service, Steven Sharp Nelson and Marshall McDonald played "If you could hie to Kolob" as a cello/piano duet. Admittedly that is our favorite hymn, but it was seriously the most beautiful rendition of it I have ever heard. All in all it was one of the most tender meetings we have ever experienced. Adding to that was the fact that so many families of current missionaries in ZA showed up to meet and greet us! But I have to admit, that was a long, lonely road on our walk to the church...
Our family at our home after the farewell includes Brady, Mindy, Madison, me, Linda, Emi, Chase, Whitney (holding little Zach) and Jeff.
Proudly flying the colors of ZA on our front porch.
|The night before the farewell we had an open house where neighbors and friends brought some of the best food we have ever had! Thanks to all including the Hogues, Cowans, Buehners, Clements, McCulloughs and Holdings who pulled it all together for us.|
|Holding my grandson Taggart and talking to my brother Jimmy, my mom Patty (...who came all the way from her home in Cannon Beach, OR with her husband Jim Logan—the guy taking the picture on the far right), and great friend Emily Utt.|
|Special thanks to Liz Cowan who made Malva Pudding—a South African treat.|
|My grandchildren Madison and Tagg danced until dawn (...almost).|
|Linda and our good friend and neighbor Sue Buehner fix their hair for the photo.|
|It was so wonderful to see so many old friends like Steve and Elaine Dalton.|
|Walking home from church with my junior companions...|
|...and can't wait to serve in South Africa with the best companion in the world.|