This afternoon members, companions and friends brought our departing missionaries to the Mission Home between 3:00 and 4:00. We are so grateful for those who help by driving our missionaries when they need to go places. These are faithful good members who are kind and good. The missionaries spent the afternoon visiting, catching up on transfer journal entries, and telling mission stories. It’s a thoughtful reflective time for most. Leaving a mission is hard. Very hard. The only thing that makes it do-able is knowing families are waiting on the other end, willing them home. It’s hard to believe 2 years or 18 months actually does come to an end eventually. For these, that day has come.The departing missionaries fill out a questionnaire for us, sharing some of their favorite experiences. We want to remember the miracles and how each has changed.Then we had a delicious beef beef bourguignon dinner. It’s a favorite request we serve for special groups leaving. The missionaries usually say this is the best meal they’ve ever eaten. It’s really good.We will remember Elder Shugart for his love of Ranch dressing. He douses every salad in buckets of Ranch.
After dinner we relaxed with some yard games–bocce ball, badmitten, ultimate frisbee, etc. Then our best apple cake with vanilla cream sauce for dessert. You can find the recipe under the Mission Recipes link on the right. You won’t want to miss this one.Tonight we had a wonderful testimony meeting. Each shared a favorite mission experience and a simple testimony. There was such a sweet peaceful feeling in the room. I could feel our Savior’s love for these faithful servants. Each one has touched lives and changed people and now will return changed themselves.We topped off the evening with a rousing game of Rhythm Sticks. This has turned into a mission tradition. If you want to make your returning missionaries happy, go down to your local home improvement store and buy 4 feet of PVC pipe. Cut it into 4 pieces, each 12″ long. You’ll probably want to make a set for each of your relatives too while you’re at it. Your missionary can teach you how to play, or watch for video clips on the FB page.Our last tradition for the evening was marking everyone’s height on the Wall of Honor in the garage. Every departing missionary signs and dates this wall.Then it was time for bed. Elder Oliver and Krogue are reunited. These Elders and Sisters have become life-long friends.
Here is a picture of our August 2016 departing group: