President and Sister Dunn

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hello's and Goodbye's

A week of Hello and Good-bye as we say bid farewell to missionaries and welcome new ones.

On Sunday August 24, 2014, Lloyd K. Newell shared this universal message as part of the Music and the Spoken Word, broadcasted weekly from Temple Square.  I felt it is appropriate to start this posting with this and I am grateful to my son, Brady, who kindly heard it and sent it to his sentimental mom!

Above are pictured our Elders going home and below, those that just arrived!
"If it’s true, as Shakespeare wrote, that “parting is such sweet sorrow,” then perhaps we could say that reuniting is the sweetest joy. While saying goodbye can be heart-wrenching at times, reconnecting with loved ones we haven’t seen in a while can be among life’s greatest moments.

For this reason, airports can be the happiest and the saddest of places-full of goodbyes and hellos that bring a tear to the eye and a lump to the throat. Soldiers returning from active service are joyously embraced. Loved ones away for a season are welcomed into open arms. And weary travelers are almost instantly rejuvenated by the sight of their family or friends. It matters not if they’ve been away for a few days or a few years-welcome-homes are moments to cherish.

In reality, we are continually saying goodbye and hello. And because life is short, we must make the most of each homecoming. Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, we can be constantly looking forward to such homecomings, even if they seem to be “a great way off.”

One grandmother will never forget the day her daughter’s family, who lived across the country, knocked on her door for a surprise visit. She didn’t know they were coming, but she could not have been more thrilled to see them. They were home! She welcomed them into her loving arms; she prepared their favorite foods; she made sure they were warm and comfortable and happy. She could not stop hugging them-especially the grandchildren. It had been too long since she was able to hold them close, so she did not let an opportunity pass to wrap her arms around them. The family felt like they belonged-like they had never been away. They were welcomed home.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone, prodigal or not, could return home and find kind words, warm hearts, and a loving embrace? Is it possible that all those away from home could someday, somehow find the open arms of welcome- homes?"

We will miss our Madagascar brothers and missionaries. They are brothers, just from different mothers.  These two young men couldn't stand taller in the gospel. Both Elder "Rako's" as they are both known throughout the mission, will be sorely missed!
So happy to finally meet the Allred's. They join our ranks form Lindon, Utah. They have 3 children and 4.5 grandchildren.  They are going to add so much to our mission and we are so excited to get them safely here.
As we wait for Elders or Senior to DE-plane, we always get comments and friends because of our sign. This young mother is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and came to say hello while she was waiting for her sister to arrive!

First sighting of Elder Heaps

A BBQ was a nice way to come home from the airport and gather with our new arriving missionaries and their trainers and host a meal and also a bit of an Orientation.

Before we took the Elders tot he airport, we stopped at the Apartheid Museum and reflected on the history of this country and shared time together discussing the blessings the gospel has brought to this land.  The gospel has been a catalyst for many South Africans to come together as people and love each other and heal from the patterns of the past. What an opportunity to learn and understand the forgiveness and renewal that is part of both histories.
We met very interesting people their that day and saw spring beginning to show it's colors!


  1. love all of this! i love that you shared brady's reuniting quote. can't wait until it's OUR hello!!!!!


  2. good work on the bbq meal! That looks delicious. I love the picture of you with the Madagascar missionaries.