This blog is probably going to be a work in progress. I'm thinking we should cover the following areas:
#1: What interesting thing happened this day/week/month, etc.
#3. Reflections on our mission.
So, here we go -
This last week has been pretty monumental. We drove away from Sequim and our beautiful home - but that's alright because we left it in the hands of a lovely and very capable couple. Their names are Juanice and John. They are from Albuquerque. He just retired and she is a nurse who will look for a job up there in a little while. If you're in Sequim, you should go and meet them. They're fantastic!
We dropped Marvin (the Kia) off at the shippers. He is now sailing the high seas on his way to Hawaii. The update page says he's arriving the 6th, which means he will beat us by 3 days.
Our visit with Ron's brother Chuck and sister Linda outside of Austin, Texas was short but wonderful.
Chuck treated us to a delicious dinner at a local steakhouse where Ron ordered FROG LEGS (shudder). I had the wonderful salad bar. Linda shared her prime rib. Chuck had chicken fried steak. And we were stuffed. Should have figured that this was a shadow of things to come because since our time in Texas, we have continued the cycle. There isn't a day that goes by where we do not find ourselves going to bed groaning and moaning over the amount of food eaten. This obviously means a diet will soon be in order. Unfortunately (though it sounds fun), it appears that the senior missionaries at the Polynesian Cultural Center (hereafter referred to as the PCC) eat together constantly. I'm going to have to come up with a plan or Ron and I are going to have to get a whole new wardrobe!
We then flew to North Carolina where we first saw Veronica, Josh and the kids. We had a blast! Those kids are the best and brightest. Veronica and Josh work so hard to give them the experiences and knowledge for a full and purposeful future - so proud.
Then we took off for the west side of North Carolina to see our oldest, Trina, Preacher Richard and their whole family, including our first visit with great granddaughter Eden. We had great talks with all of them, lots of hikes and swimming and fun in the sun - plus a continuation of the food orgy. Oy! Really enjoyed church on Wednesday and the honor of researching and building their genealogy forms on-line.
The last three days have been with Mike, Havilah and their kids here in Provo. These kids are so loving and articulate. It's just fun to sit and play with them. Havilah and Mike are extremely attentive and involved in their children's life, and it really shows.
I am so grateful that we have been able to see each and every child and grandchild (including Audra, Marrott and McKinnley's joyous visit before we left Sequim.) These people are our lives blood. They are so important to us. The MOST important ... and we want them to know that they give us our purpose and vision. It has been so hard saying good-bye to those who have my heart, but thanks to modern technology, it's not as hard as - say - 20 years ago. Hurrah for Skype and Facebook....What a blessing!
We also feel the support and prayers of our many, many beautiful friends. If I had the time and the room, I would list you all personally and regal the world with your many beautiful attributes and all of the ways you've helped and influenced us in the past few months. We think of you often and take your love with us.
This is very simple and straight forward. We are so honored and humbled to have this opportunity to give our efforts and focus for the next couple of years to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can testify boldly and without hesitation that He is our Lord, our Savior, and our loving Elder Brother. We have no doubt that this experience will be hard, but also that it will be the best experience we could ever hope to have. Yes, going to Hawaii is exciting - but we would be equally thrilled to be going anywhere He would send us. We really would. This next week will be our springboard experience. We will be with other new missionaries in the MTC preparing and learning how we can serve both Heavenly Father and our fellow man. I, personally, am excited for this opportunity to learn how to exercise faith while letting go of the reins. I think it's exactly what I need - which is handy since this is the model that the Apostles of Old laid out in their lives. They weren't perfect, especially in the beginning, but God molded them into spectacular instruments in His hands, and all they had to do was have the faith to step out of their little boats, walk to the shore and begin a journey based strictly on faith. No conditions and no road map. That's how it is with us. We really know very, very little - but we know this: Our family, our friends and the people we are allowed to serve will be blessed; and we will learn and experience things beyond anything we could imagine.
We ask for your prayers and appreciate your support and interest. We invite you to ask questions, give advice and remain a part of our lives along the way.
We'll check back in once we arrive in Hawaii. I'm sure that we will have lots and lots to tell you!