Friday, October 19, 2012


This week marks the HALFWAY point in our missionary service - if you count both our back-to-back missions together. That's a big milestone for us. We can't decide whether to be happy or sad, but one thing's for sure: it seems like a long time since we left for Washington D.C. a year ago last July.  So much can happen in 15 months.

At The Osborne House on the Isle of Wight

Serving a senior mission is sort of like having a baby. It's a fabulous experience, but it's a huge challenge! There's a lot to plan and prepare before the experience. At first, you don't really know what you've gotten yourself into. There are adjustments and learning curves. There is a lot of growth that takes place. Sometimes it's awkward and uncomfortable. Along the way there are plenty of things to whine and complain about. (We sure miss our daughters, their husbands, and our grandkids....) There are days that seem like months, and there are months that fly by as fast as a day. There are times when we wonder if we're equal to the responsibility with which we've been entrusted, but there is always a sense that we are a part of something magnificent and divine.  As the experience unfolds we see the hand of God and realize that we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves. Looking back, we quickly forget any discomfort and marvel and rejoice at the miracle that we have seen take place. We wouldn't change a thing and we'd do it all over again - thanking God for the privilege.

Here's our brief "Gratitude Journal" of the joys and blessings we've experienced since we arrived in London. We're grateful for:
  1. Increased faith in God and trust in His plan for us   
  2. Love for England and it's people -- especially the missionaries and others we work with in the Visitors' Centre, Mission Office, and mission, as well as the visitors to our site, our terrific Temple Presidency, and the temple missionaries. So many wonderful friends and good people.
  3. Spiritual growth that has stretched us and strengthened our testimonies 
  4. The daily tender mercies and miracles that we so often take for granted
  5. Peace amidst turmoil in the world
  6. Blessings to our family. As we have served, God has watched over them.
  7. Sacrifice, which is a privilege.
  8. Knowledge and understanding - a chance to keep learning and growing
  9. The worth of a soul. Each of us is precious and unique in God's family.
  10. Joy in the journey - wherever it leads us
Our decision to go on a mission has enriched our lives with new energy, new experiences, new friends, new challenges, new sights to see, places to go, and things to do. It has brought the two of us closer together and has deepened our love for our family. We are so grateful for this privilege and opportunity.

“Serving a mission gives retired people a chance to use their talents and gifts again. They discover that they are truly needed, and as a consequence they find a powerful new sense of direction in life. They joyfully lose themselves in new experiences and opportunities for growth. The reward for those who serve is often renewed health and energy. When they go home, they are filled with the rich spirit of missionary work and a great love for the people they have served.”   David B. Haight

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