The Last Dance
April 24, 2016This will be our last post from this computer here in our little apartment in Independence, Mo. What should I say? What CAN I say that doesn't sound all sappy? I asked my elder and we both decided that, really, this blog has been for us. If there have been one or two readers along the way, we hope they have felt the spirit of Independence. The spirit of these young missionaries that we love. Maybe even the desire to serve one of these Senior missions someday.
So...back to what should I say? I want to make a note to myself how I felt as we completed our 18 months here in Missouri. When I read this in ten years will I remember those feelings of sadness, excitement, nervousness for what can take place next, happiness.....See, what are these feelings??
My mind is racing with something profound to write to end this, our last dance. There have been too many dear missionaries that have passed through our lives, too many Senior missionaries, too many good people in the Blue Mills Ward. I can't point to one defining moment, so I will end with a little experience I had this week.
I have never been down to the parking lot at the stake center where the Mission Transfers take place every six weeks. I have always been up in the office doing the Lord's work there. Since I am no longer needed in that spot, I went down to say Good-bye to our friends. What a bittersweet time that was! There was such an energy there. These young "kids" are called and set apart as servants of the Lord. The lot was buzzing with all these white shirts. All these pretty young girls. One of my friends, Elder Bradley, from UT was getting ready to head out to now be a Zone Leader in Lenexa, KS. Before he hopped in the car he took my hand and with a formal bow, he said, "Sister Seaman". With that he bent down and softly kissed my hand. Now, isn't that tender gesture something? He will never know how that could sum up my time here in the MIM. (Missouri Independence Mission)
Can I end with that? Can I end by telling any of you who are thinking of serving to just go, do it. Can I end by reminding any of you (and ME) that we had written on our missionary forms that "Sister Seaman will serve anywhere but in an office with a computer". Can I end once more by saying that the Lord knows us. He knows Me. He knew I needed to learn to cry out to Him in prayer. I needed to stretch and grow. I needed to learn over and over again that my junior companion is my one true love and my Life. I needed to have the experience of watching and loving all these young missionaries that came through the door. So....so long, Independence. So long, Elder Bradley. May you tear 'em up out in Lenexa, KS with your new companion.
Call the Dogs and Put out the FireOn Wednesday morning, Sister Seaman and I will fire up the Ol' Toyota and looking something like the Jed Clampet and family (The Beverly Hillbillies for those who can remember,) we will start our journey home via Salt Lake. We are going to try following the Mormon Trail from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Salt lake and we will stop wherever Sister Seaman says.
It is with a heavy heart that we leave Missouri. All the new friends, the historic sites, the rolling hills, green, green grass and trees, the ponds and streams everywhere will be truly missed but not forgotten. Missouri is now part of us. The Mission is part of us. The missionaries, the members of the Blue Mills Ward, Independence, Far West, Hawn's Mill, Adam-Ondi-Ahmen will forever be with us (my favorite is Far West, I don't know why.) All of the off-shoots of the LDS Church, the Restoration Branches, the Community of Christ Church (Old RLDS), all are part of the mystery of Zion in Missouri.
I have simply loved it. It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. To serve the missionaries on a daily basis has been so fulfilling. I have loved those missionaries. Their capacity to teach the gospel, with courage, boldness and love is beyond explanation.
I have had the greatest of companions in the mission field. And even though I was not extended the opportunity to serve as the senior companion until the last couple of weeks, I would not trade her for anything or anyone. She has been the greatest. I love her her so much.
So until we meet again, may the Lord bless and keep you and may he give you all the confidence you need to serve a mission and know, in small part, what it means to sacrifice. If you want the truth, I would not call our mission a sacrifice. It was just a great blessing to us and our family to be here. I know the Lord loves us all. The gospel is true. We led by latter-day prophets. The Book of Mormon is the truest of all books. #HE LIVES. #BECAUSE OF HIM. Stay the course, don't ever give up.