Sorry, I don't have any pictures of fireworks. We saw a few, but we didn't try to go to the spots they were set off. We are thrilled that our family was able to get together and again enjoy the tradition of attending the fireworks at the Eaglewood Golf Course. It brought back a lot of memories to think about the first years of the celebration there. Tremendous thanks to all of those who have brought so much enjoyment to so many for so many years.
We had a barbecue at President Bennion's home for the Senior couples. It is so nice to have all of them together. There is an amazing amount of life experience in one room! I am proud to serve with them. There was one funny thing, though. I had called each person and each committed to bring a food item. When we all came together, almost everyone brought at least two. We had WAY too much food. Just goes to show how they are all willing to go the extra mile.
We did a small thing for one of the amazing couples in the branch. We could no longer use our bedding set because we no longer have a queen-size bed. I asked if anyone in the branch might like it. This couple had just come from Brazil a short time ago and is getting settled in.
This week will be a difficult one. Our sweet Elder Flake is going home. He has been such a wonderful young missionary and we have loved being around him. He has lived under this roof with us for the past few weeks. He has made us laugh, shared our cereal, tried avocado milkshakes (not a fan), inspired us and showed us how wonderful it can be to have "brothers" in our home. He and Elder McArthur have become like sons to us. I don't do well with transfers and these missionaries going home anyway, so this one will be a bear. I will get a picture of our two "sons" before Elder Flake goes.
Today in fast and testimony meeting, one of our beautiful sisters really touched my heart. She had a son die unexpectedly and is very sorrowful, but not bitter. She does wonder why the Lord would have taken him when she needed him here. One of my dearest friends lost her husband way too soon and asked the same question. Today, I understood a little bit better what they have felt. I know that Elder Flake has faithfully completed what he was supposed to do here, and is moving on to the next stage of his life. It is hard to have him leave. He is such a good missionary, we tend to want him to stay here, to continue what he has been doing. But he is ready to move on. He has learned what he needed to, completed what he needed to, and the rest of us just treasure the time and the memories. I hope to see him again after we have completed our mission.
That same sister came to church in jean shorts and a tee shirt. I teased her a bit, and her response was humbling to me. She could not get away from her employment in time to change. She thought of skipping church, but decided that she needed to come. So she did come, bore her testimony and we were all fed spiritually because of it. I don't know that I would have had her courage or commitment.
Today our little branch was blessed as new families joined us. It is beginning to get stronger as these choice people come. I look forward to the future, to see it grow as those families bring others.