Sunday, November 15, 2009

High Adventure People -gfh

Well the goodbyes have started. We worked in the temple last Friday and many people thought it was our last day to be there. Rusty and I both had several people come up to us to tell us goodbye and wish us well. One sister said that if we presented ourselves in South Africa the way we did in the temple we will do well. That is something to think one area of our life overlaps into the other. It has been said that senior missionaries go into the mission ready to get to work because they have been preparing for their mission all their lives. Every act of service, every growth experience, every calling contributes to our preparation and that's not to mention the wrinkles and gray hair. That's true for all of us but the senior missionaries have had more years to prepare. One of the brothers who bid us goodby said that he and his wife were thinking about a mission but were concerned about all the preparation to leave i.e. house and rental properties etc. I told him if he were "poh folk" like us he could just leave town. Well, he said that when they go he wants to go someplace less exciting than South Africa. He said "we're not high adventure people like you two."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Butterflies, Again! -rh

Well, we were just sitting around today and about 12:30, the phone rings. I answer and the voice on the other end says, "This is President Poulsen of the South Africa Johannesburg Mission." WOW!! I was floored. I expected maybe we would hear from the mission office but since we don't have visas yet (see previous post - still waiting), I didn't really think we would get such a phone call this soon.

We both got on the phone, Sister Poulsen was also on the other end so we had a 4-way conversation for about 25 minutes. Pres. Poulsen said they were calling on Vonage through the internet on a Salt Lake phone number. High tech stuff. We talked a lot about the various things that couples are assigned to do in the mission. He finally asked us if we would be willing to work in the office to begin with. We of course replied that we would do whatever he asked us. He went so far as to say that we are an answer to prayer - a couple serving in the office will be leaving about the time we are to arrive. He was reading from our mission application and said, "You have all the experience that we need for this position." While working in the office we will also be assigned to a ward or branch where we will work with reactivation, leadership training and teaching missionary lessons. He also said that about halfway through the mission, he gives couples an opportunity to then move into a proselyting situation. The best of both worlds.

Well, I was already on a high, but when he said that, the butterflies started up their aerobatics again. This all feels so good and right! Life is good! We can't wait to get on the way. We mentioned to Pres. Poulsen that we hadn't yet heard back from the FBI. He sounded a bit surprised but then said "It will happen."


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Still Waiting -gfh

Everyday we rush to our mailbox certain that "TODAY" our FBI clearance will arrive and we can send off for our visa. We are still waiting! Rusty says that this is worse than waiting for "The Call".
Yesterday we visited with Fred & Linda Cornilles in the Newport ward. They live in Depoe Bay just up the Coast. They returned two years ago from 18 months in the South Africa Johannesburg mission where we have been called to serve. It was a very valuable two hours as we got many questions answered and were able to go through their photo albums and get a very good "look" at what's possibly in the future for us. We saw pictures of the beautiful people and heard stories of their struggles and faith. The area is so "Africa-y"!! Zebras and Lions and Elephants and leopards! They told us that our mission president would be sure we got to go on a Safari and also go to Cape Town. That would be an extra bonus!
As we left Rusty said "I hope our visas come through. I really don't want to go to Boise, I want to go to South Africa!" (we've been saying that if our visas to So. Africa don't come through, we'll gladly serve anywhere the Lord needs us, even in Boise.)
The recommended clothing list for Elders includes a sweater vest to wear under the suit in the winter. Our visit with the Cornilleses confirmed that!YEs, it gets plenty cold in the winter and there is no central heating. Last week Rusty asked me if I would knit a sweater viest for him. I was really flattered. That's quite a vote of confidence. I've made the investment in yarn and needles and am now investing the time! I spend a lot of time while knitting thinking about the women "in the olden days" who kept their loved ones cozy and warm in the winter with the items they knitted for them. Where else would they get their warm sweaters? And while they were at it they carded the wool and spun the yarn. Yikes! I love the feel of the yarn as I am working with it. Very therapeutic but would it be as much fun if it was a necessity of life!! Perhaps this sweater will become an heirloom. Rusty said that our grandsons could wear it on their missions. Now that's something to think about. There is love in every stitch!