Riding the Country Roads
April 17, 2016Yesterday, my elder led a group of 21 other Senior missionaries down the country roads of Missouri for another tour of Adam-ondi-Ahman, Far West, and Haun's Mill. As we were riding along, it hit me that we were the two "old ones". None of these missionaries were here last spring when we did the same route. None. And it is even hard for me to remember all of those who traveled along the country roads with us then. But they are our friends.
That's the way it's supposed to be. Mission life moves on. The thing I will remember is the feel of the places we have visited here in Missouri. Seems a group of old Senior missionaries can get together and some will want to add their bit of knowledge to a story of the place we are visiting. I get a little confused in my mind on some details, but, I will never forget the feelings I have felt as we have visited these sacred spots.
I dare not count how many years of service were driving in our caravan down the roads yesterday. At least two couples had served over 5 missions. Some of the couples were not spring chickens. One elder napped the afternoon away in the front seat of the van. I was happy for him because he is almost 80. One couple had served three different times in New York City doing three different assignments. I love to hear other Senior missionary's stories. Why are they here? Are they going again? We had a hodgepodge group of old people all doing different things in the Missouri Independence Mission from all over the country. Some love ice cream. Some don't. Some want to take a picture of every flower on the roadside. Some could care less. We may not have been best friends in our former lives, but while we are here, we have a common goal. That is to serve the Lord.
It was a good day.
All my Love,
Oh Missouri, MissouriHow can I keep the love alive. Actual countdown has begun - 10 days left. There are so many things that I have just loved while being here. Maybe if I record them in some kind of order or no real order, I can at least look at this record and remember them.
1. Spring time and the most wonderful colors of nature. Mostly green. Real green. But there reds and pinks and whites and yellows.
2. The rivers and ponds all over the place. I have never seen such water all over the landscape.
3. All of the different varieties of trees and bushes mostly running along the water courses.
4. All of the farm land. The pastures, corn fields, bean fields and no state or federal land to speak of.
5. All of the land, except for a mighty few places, grows grass or crops naturally. There is not any irrigation to speak of. Unlike the west where almost everything is irrigated and we fight over water rights, Missouri has abundant water and rain.
6. Riding mowers everywhere.
7. The rolling hills and valleys. Especially north of Independence and all the way to Adam-Ondi-Ahman.
8.The sacred and historical sites of the Church. Especially the sacred sites. Each site has its own spirit. For instance, The temple site in Independence for its future importance, the Far West Temple site (my favorite) which the Lord called sacred before the temple site was dedicated maybe because of some great event that happened way in the past, Haun's Mill has a great spirit of solemnity and peace there, probably because it is the resting place for those 17 men and boys who died there who were totally innocent) and finally Adam-Ondi-Ahman. This place has the feel of an open air temple. The spirit whispers to you here of the importance of things that happened in the past and the great things that will happen here in the future. You can not deny that it is a sacred place as you view the great valley and hills where Adam and Eve raised their family.
9. The missionaries we have been so privileged to serve with and to have served. They are fun, courageous, smart, dedicated to the Lord and doing His work. We have made so many friends among these young Elders and Sisters. I will truly miss them. I love them all.
10. The Blue Mills Ward. Bishop and Sister Talimatasi. The Samoan members and their Aaronic Priesthood holders who have shown me more how to respect and reverence the Sacrament. The dear sisters and brothers who attended our temple prep classes. The love this ward has for the Savior and his teachings. We could not have been in a better place.
These are just a few of the thoughts I have had today. I am sure I could continue to sit here and write about hundreds of more. This mission has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I pray that I can always remember how I felt here in Missouri.
I love you all. The Gospel of Jesus Christ as it has been revealed to Joseph Smith and the other Prophets of this dispensation is the only living and true church upon the earth. Stay the course.