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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Seasons ...endings and beginnings

There are seasons in our lives. They begin and they end. There is something bittersweet about endings.

Friday ended our season of working in the temple. Since the Vancouver Temple was dedicated in May 2010 we have spent many happy hours in the temple,  learning and serving. The first 4 years Steve and I served as our Stake Temple Cleaning Coordinators. That meant we were in the temple every Thursday evening supervising  various wards as volunteers cleaned the temple after everyone else went home. Yes, the temple actually does get dirty but it never stays dirty because there is a crew of volunteers that clean 4 times a week - cleaning and restocking the bathrooms, vacuuming and dusting, and steaming the tile floors. So, it always looks pristine as the Lord's house should. It has also been my great joy to serve as an ordinance worker. For a few years I was there every Tuesday morning. Then after taking a few months leave I came back every Friday morning along with Steve who was then retired and had more time.  We worked with wonderful people as we helped the patrons have a positive experience.
Vancouver British Columbia Temple

What a blessing it has been to spend so much time in the temple. How wonderful to feel comfortable in the Lord's house. Truly it is a place of peace and serenity. It has been a great experience to serve under 3 temple presidencies and to see how very hard they work to keep everything in order.  We will miss our association with all of the wonderful friends we gained during our service there. One cannot find a better group of people. But now we are preparing to begin our  next season as missionaries.

Our daughter and her family came over to pick up some of the things they can use as we empty our house. Our 9 year old granddaughter had been telling her mother how she loved being at our house for Christmas and was surprised when her mother told her we would not be here for Christmas this year as we will be celebrating Christmas in the warm weather of Australia. I realized that this granddaughter has spent every Christmas of her life in our home. So, there is another season that is ended or at least suspended.

The trailer almost loaded and ready to go!
And our house is SO empty. The young men from the church came again to bring more boxes to storage. They managed to empty the boxes from our very full family room in about 20 minutes. After all of the hours and days we spent packing it was startling to have the boxes gone so quickly! We are so grateful for their help and for the trailer provided by our home teacher and friend.

Just one more moving day, probably the 9th of November. That also marks an end of a season. We have lived in this house for about 15 years, and although we intend to live here again upon our return it seems surreal. I guess even a temporary move is still a move.

But it will not be as sad for me as the day we left our house in Texas in 2001. I broke down as we shut the door for the last time realizing that the parenting part of our lives was over - all the little arms around my neck and so forth. Then after driving away we just had to go back so I could take pictures of the little notes some of the girls had written on their bedroom shelves. The notes said "I love you" in their little girl scrawl. No, this will not be so sad. We are excited for this season of missionary service that is almost upon us.

We are learning more and more about this amazing Self Reliance Initiative. The pilot programs have been very successful and people who participate are having major positive changes in the lives. We love our Monday Skype sessions that give us an intro to what is to come. Last week we discussed the Study Buddy program. What a great concept to pair lower performing students with those who are proficient as mentors; and finding a way of helping students learn the importance of completing their homework and giving them help if they need it.

All the while we are learning how seriously the Lord feels about helping those who need help to improve their circumstances through education and training. And how much the Lord loves ALL His children regardless of their circumstances and wants to help them. We look forward to this opportunity to serve the Lord through this missionary experience.There is so much we will learn.

Until next time...have a great week!

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