Monday, July 4, 2016

Week 17 Report

This week we've seen President and Sister Warner in the office every day. Previously it wasn't unusual if a whole week went by and he never made it into the office. He was so busy, running all over the islands for meetings, interviews, and everything else a mission president has to do. Sister Warner was almost always by his side. They both are rock stars! But this week they have been homeless. They had to vacate the mission home, so professional cleaners, gardeners, painters etc., could come in and get the home ready for President and Sister Bekker. We thought the mission home was pretty amazing as it was, but then we were comparing it to our senior apartment - anything would look amazing!

Monday morning, Sister Warner, Sister Reeder, Sister Overduyn, and I went to a local mortuary to dress the body of the senior sister that passed away over a week ago. Her husband flew home a week ago, but apparently there's a lot of red tape to ship a body. Anyway, it was a sweet experience of service for a sweet sister and her family - an experience I'll treasure with Sister Warner.

In the afternoon Elder and Sister Dickamore came by the office. They have been Member and Leadership Support Missionaries in Kona for 18 months. They are on their way home and stopped in to say goodbye.

Monday night we had our final FHE with the Warners. I think they must be so tired of saying goodbye. It was lovely. We sang some creative farewell lyrics to the tune of "Tonight You Belong to Me" while Sister Reeder and I accompanied on our ukuleles - fun, and not half bad.

The whole office staff: (l to r) Elder and Sister Itoga (local part-time service missionaries), Elder and Sister Overduyn, President and Sister Warner, Sister and Elder Reeder, Sister and Elder Tufts.

The day we had been dreading finally came. Wednesday - departure day. The Warners picked up the Bekkers at the airport and brought them to the mission office to meet everyone. Such mixed emotions - lots of joy at meeting the Bekkers, but lots of tears at saying final goodbye to the Warners. It's interesting that the "passing of the baton" is so quick. The two couples spend about 3 hours together and that is it. One comes and the other goes. Snap - it's over!

President Stephen Warner and Sister Elizabeth Warner. Do I love these two? YES!!! Hopefully we'll see them at future mission reunions. I know they are enjoying their reunion with their family, and a much deserved rest.

President James Bekker and Sister Delsie Bekker. We're looking forward to getting to know them. They are very friendly and so happy to be here. The work of the Lord just keeps rolling on - flawlessly. I'm so glad to be a part of it!

Friday evening Devon and I volunteered to see a young elder off at the airport. He has been serving on the big island and is being released two weeks early to go home for new student orientation at the University of Utah. We thought someone needed to help him get his luggage from Hawaiian Airlines to Delta. They are quite a way apart. He really didn't need us, but it was nice to be there, especially as President Bekker couldn't go. I wondered if they would let him on the plane with all his carry on bags, but apparently they did.

Saturday was a lazy day. I spent over an hour at the chapel practicing the organ. I stopped by the office to put the final touches on the monthly mission newsletter and emailed it out to everyone. In the evening we went to Brother and Sister Yim's house for an early 4th of July celebration. Brother Yim barbecued steak, and steamed crab legs. The rest of us brought salads and desserts. I have NEVER seen such big crab legs...but then I'm not very experienced with crab legs. I'll say this much - it was delicious!!! President and Sister Bekker joined us and we had a lovely evening. I wish I had taken a photo of the crab legs.

Sunday was the first time I've played the organ since before my chemo journey. It was quite strange with the limited feeling in my hands and feet. I've been playing the piano, but this organ is very intimidating. It's probably the biggest organ I've ever played, and it is truly a powerful and magnificent instrument!

Sunday evening we went to the monthly Break the Fast dinner in Laie with the senior missionaries from the PCC and BYUH. We rode up with Elder and Sister Reeder and had a wonderful time. While we were there, we swapped out bicycles with two elders. Their bikes need tune-ups. It's a long ride to Laie, but it always feels good to get out of the city.

So another wonderful week as senior missionaries has come and gone. It truly is a blessing to be able to serve and we love being in Hawaii!

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