We've Done 'Em All
September 20, 2015We feel like we can say we have now experienced the four beautiful seasons of Missouri as of this week. Fall arrived in the mission along with 25 new missionaries. Both have been huge blessings! It is almost time to wear a sweater again. The beautiful green trees are thinking really hard about turning colors. The new missionaries are now all situated throughout Missouri and Kansas ready to go to work.
Some of you may remember that in my dreams I am Elder Seaman's assistant housing coordinator. I absolutely love the Saturdays when he has apartments to set up, beds or desks to deliver, etc. I beat him to the mission truck. I take along my books and embroidery just in case I need something to do along the way. Yesterday, we traveled the freeway to Newmark to set up an apartment. We took two local missionaries with us to help in the hauling up and down stairs. It always surprises me how much they love to go with my elder. Not just for a free lunch. Like me, they find it a break from their daily routine. One elder was so happy to go with us yesterday as he had served in that area and when he left, the mission shut it down. He was busy setting up beds and telling the new elders who to look up once they got settled in the area.
This new group of Arrivals have been fun to watch. I mean fun for me, even before they got here. Tuesday mornings in the office are my best day of all! My computer tells me who the new missionaries are that are assigned to this mission. I love to look at their pictures and try to guess their age and where they are from before I pull up their whole form. I wonder if they were excited when they opened their call? How did they get to the point of serving a mission? Was it always engrained in them? Or had they made the decision when they were older? Were they converts? The only active member in their family? Is their mother proud, humble, grateful, heartsick all at the same time? I pull up their form and begin my work. Three files are made. One for President Vest, one for our mission nurse, Sister Arnold and one for me in the Master File. I add their names to the mission lists, such as the Transfer Summary. I notify President of the number of New Arrivals for the week. I then write Welcome Letters to these new elders and sisters.
For the longest time, this group had only one sister on date to arrive with 14 elders. Then, 19 elders. Our numbers went up to 23 elders and this one lone sister. Sister Flake from Spanish Fork, UT. Then, in a surprise move from Salt Lake we received one more sister to round up our numbers to 2 sisters and 23 elders. See why I have fun? I am an outsider looking on as lives are being changed around the country and world when calls are opened for service in the Missouri Independence Mission.
My elder and I come to love and know these missionaries. It was such a highlight for me to welcome Elder Dallas Taylor here from Layton, UT. He lives across the street from my dear brother, Ted, in Layton, UT. I showed him and his companion the picture of us, Eben and Jeannette, and Ted and Lorraine taken in Show Low on our "farewell day". Lorraine looked so vibrant and beautiful. He understood my tears. He loves Maddy. He loved Lorraine. He is now one of my favorite missionaries, along with others.
Our mission got the call Friday afternoon that one of our elder's mother had just passed away. It was such a shock. This elder is a Zone Leader who has a gift to be everyone's best friend. He calls me Mama Seaman. He sat in my office one day and told me he was so homesick to see his mom that he would have done anything to get home. This was soon after we arrived. So, from that conversation, him and I made a pact to "stay the course". He has and he has done it so well. Our hearts are so heavy for him and his family. His whole life changed on Friday afternoon and knowing him, he will stay the course.
The seasons and faces continue to evolve here in the mission but the work we are all about is oh, so very true.
My Love to ALL of my Darlings,
BAD HAIR WEEK.....
Have I ever told you that serving this mission has been one of the most humbling events of my life? It seems that almost everything I do or don't get to do takes me down a notch. I pray that I have not been a vain, cocky, over-bearing man all my life. This week in particular has been hard. To start things off, I got a bad hair cut. Let me explain.
Most of my life, I have cut my own hair. It has probably looked like it. It started when we were broke and a haircut was too much money. It became a habit. Caitlin took over when she graduated from cosmetology school, but I have started back at it here in the mission field because I felt like it. On Tuesday morning, I started to cut my hair. I use guards on the shears to get the right length of hair in the right place. On top, I use a number 8. It wasn't working correctly. I took it off, put it back on, tried it again, no good. I took it off and was studying the shears. Without thinking, I picked up the sheers and started over the top with NO GUARD! I looked up and saw that I had cut a 2" swath down to bare skin, across all of the right side of the top of my head. I almost fainted. President Vest, our Mission President, told us when we got here, that we were to be examples to the missionaries. The thought of him seeing me with my hair cut down to the skin caused me great anguish. When I saw him the next day, all he said was, "Got your money's worth didn't you." I tried to explain but he was in a hurry. I felt so humiliated.
So last night, as Sister Seaman and I are getting ready for bed, I noticed that her bathroom door was closed (unusual.) When she came out, she had a towel on her head (again unusual.) I ask her why she had a towel on her head and she said she had made a grievous mistake. "Take it off," I said.
She said, " NEVER." I told her to let me see it, it couldn't be that bad. She turned the lights off and took the towel off. Her hair glowed in the dark it was so blond. It was a good thing she had some brown dye left over from the last time she tried to streak her hair. She has sworn off the self-streaking until we get home.
Like I have said before, humility is a our constant companion as we get older. Oh well. Don't we all have bad hair days and weeks. It is a small thing and our hair will continue to grow and our sins will not be so blatant. What happened to the golden years? The Lord expects us to be humble and teachable. Can we take correction without wilting?
Things are well here in Missouri. The work continues to progress. I am glad transfer week is over. Love you all.