Christ, the Lord is Risen Today
March 27, 2016A joyous Happy Easter to you! Isn't it amazing? After visiting the spirit world and proclaiming the good news of the gospel, the Savior rose from the dead and appeared again to His beloved friends and followers. Because of Him I, too, can be with my elder and all our family forever. Hallelujah!
It is gently raining this Easter morning in Independence. Many trees are blossoming and it looks like Spring! I absolutely love this time of year out here. I am so thankful we have gotten to experience two springs on this mission.
It has been a week of change for me. I walked to the post office on Friday to hand deliver our release letters to Bishop Kai and President Williams. It is protocol in this mission to send those letters out to departing missionaries' ecclesiastical leaders a month before the return home. I assume it is that way in all missions. It was somewhat of a ceremonial walk for me. All by myself. Reliving so many walks I have had here in Independence. I believe, at first, those walks may have saved me. Over the past 17 months, my head and I had many conversations with each other; I studied the landscape that changed with the seasons; I read and reread every historical marker I passed; and I talked to my girls on the blessed phone many times along the way. Sometimes we laughed and sometimes we cried. It has reaffirmed to me that a body needs some fresh air and sunlight everyday in order to thrive.
I have started "training" my replacement, Sister Schlager, this week. I'm telling you, it's a piece of cake. She has secretarial skills. She can type and talk at the same time. She can copy and paste. She doesn't need her husband to come in and fix her mistakes like I still do. All she needs is for me to get out of the way. We have new office replacements coming in from the MTC on April 1 so she will, in turn, train her replacement before she moves in my office. One of the jobs we did this week was clean up the All Mission Directory. This entailed deleting the names of all those that none of our current missionaries would know or remember. It was sobering to me to see how quickly the names come and go. Give us a year and our names will have disappeared off that list. All that will be left will be our file in the cabinet. And then, give that one more year, and we will be history.
The one thing I have learned as seasons have come and gone while we served here is that we are not indispensable. Others that are more capable will come. The work will continue to move forward. The one that will be blessed because of my piddly bit of service will be Me. I have felt the Lord's tender care in my behalf many times these past months. I love the good news of the Gospel! I love my Savior. Thanks, Independence, for refining me just a bit more.
In Like a Lamb, Out Like a Lion
I have been sitting in a recliner napping and reading. The recliner is up next to the window in our bedroom and I have noticed that it has been snowing and raining this morning. Last week it was in the 70's, today it is in the 40's. You know what they say about Missouri weather, "If you don't like the weather now, wait 5 minutes and it will change." That statement is so true. I think that March has come in like a lamb and leaving like a lion. But Missouri is beautiful in the spring. I will miss it so much.
I have been thinking about my mom this morning. She will be 88 on April 17th. How is it that she can be that old. My dad died 20 years ago and she has been alone since that time. That is also hard to believe. I cannot comprehend the loneliness. Mom is now staying in a fulltime nursing facility in Clearfield Utah. She has pretty much lost her mind, pretty much stays in bed with her eyes closed and she has been that way or in a similar condition for a long time. I have wondered about why she should have to stay on the earth in that condition. I hadn't been able to find a good answer until recently. We have been told that we can find answers to our questions by attending the temple. At a recent temple session, as I was sitting in the celestial room waiting for Sister Seaman to finish up, I remembered to ask the Lord that specific question. Before I could even get the entire question put to the Lord the answer was coming to my mind. It was a simple answer. She has to endure. I am satisfied with the answer as I know that is part of our life experience. I am also confident that He knows all about her and her condition and blesses her in ways we cannot see or understand. From my point if view, I hope she can be through pretty soon. I try to envision the reunion between my dad and her, I can hardly wait for her to go.
I know that #Because of Him she will be with dad forever and we happen to be a family that has been sealed together for time and all eternity. And #Because of Him my mother will be resurrected to a perfect and eternal being. All of us have this same opportunity. # Hallelujah!
I love you all. Remember, Oh Remember!