Two years ago today I posted that we had received our mission call to the Georgia Atlanta North Mission and were to report to the MTC on June 9. I remember the mad scramble we made to be ready. We had five weeks and in that time we had to finish the projects we had started on the house. We had to finish painting the garage and reassembling it, as well as remodeling two bathrooms. Our son moved into our home with his family while we were gone. When he was asked to speak in Church, he told them that we were hanging doors the day before we left. That was basically true.
Our farewell celebration in our home was on folding chairs because our furniture was moved out. Chris Thornley and our kids put the food together. We had no idea then what an adventure we would have! Our call changed from Member Leader Support English-speaking to Member Leader Support, Portuguese-speaking and then to Office missionary.
I remember wondering at the time why the Lord would call us to serve mere days before the Mission President would be released and the new Mission President would begin his service. That one little thing has proven to be a huge blessing in our lives.
Our MTC friends, Elder and Sister Allgaier will be going home this month also. He has been the physician for several states/missions. They are wonderful people and have served joyfully. I love them!
We have loved working in the Clear Springs Branch. I have learned so many things from them. I love their parties, their food, their kindness, their missionary-mindedness and their support of each other. I have felt heartache as some have left us. When someone leaves, it is like losing a member of my family. Our Branch has nearly doubled in size since we have been here. It has nothing to do with us, but shows what prayer and faith can do. So many people's lives are blessed in this Branch. This is our sweet Branch Mission Leader. His tender testimony has moved me many times. He loves the gospel and is making a difference!
Yes, I finally had someone cut my hair!
Today I said goodbye to Elder Lima. He will be transferred this week in order to allow two new Brazilian missionaries to be able to grow in the Branch. He bore his testimony today at a baptism for one of the children. He was strong and confident. It was such a change from the hesitant young man I first met here. He has served humbly and well. I will miss him.
This week will be one of many goodbyes. I hate goodbyes. I would much rather go away quietly without fanfare. This week Elder Sousa and Elder Castro return to Brazil. I will miss them also.
Our replacements will be here sometime this week. Hopefully they will make it in time to see some of the things that occur in transfer week.
We are packing and trying not to leave any junk behind. After all, that has been what I have tried to teach the missionaries since coming to the office.