Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Constancy of Change

Tuesday, February 16, 2010—Elder Deiparine, our beloved neighbor and Assistant to the President has finished strong. In the past two weeks he’s been happy, sad, out of his skin about his next life chapter, and happy again. His contribution to the mission has been significant. He’s grown before our eyes, and we would be pleased to adopt him if his family would agree. We asked him about it a while ago. “What do I have to do?” Just be in our hearts and know you are loved and greatly admired.

And now it’s time for him to go home.

We had a neighborhood social in honor of his leaving and Elder Powell’s coming last night—a S’mores roast in front of the mission office. We filled an empty terra cotta pot with dirt, put our charcoal (the real stuff—MUCH better than briquettes) on top and almost instantly had roasting coals.

This was a s’mores first for Elders Caniel & Deiparine. Even though it wasn’t chilly and there was the normal street din, our little fire created the same ambiance as in the mountains. Soooo fine.

Elder Deiparine & Elder Powell

Elder Caniel, Elder Powell & Elder Deiparine. As you can see, they picked up the fine art of marshmallow roasting immediately.

Question: Does high humidity keep marshmallows from catching fire? Elder Deiparine tried and tried and could hardly get them to light.

It’s a good thing there is constant renewal of missionaries or we’d feel pretty gloomy when they go home. Even the ones who have always served “out”, that we haven’t gotten to know as well are dear to us.

Elder Powell & Elder Holt, another fine missionary.

One month later (March 13th) Elder Powell has settled in nicely. His first transfer was reasonable—only 12 out and 13 in. His first round of Zone Conferences though—Mission tour with President Edwards, the area president. He handled his duties with grace and dignity. In fact all the missionaries were well prepared, on time, well groomed and came with thoughtful questions to ask.

Have we mentioned before that we love our missionaries? Their energy and testimonies enliven us! We see the ones who serve in City Zone regularly but every once in a while we get a bonus—an unexpected opportunity to connect up with other missionaries for various and sundry purposes. Oh and don’t forget the ones who serve up in Bogo—we also see them regularly--also high on our list.

Another missionary pleasure is to serve closely with them, have them be transferred and not see them for a while, then have our paths cross again. Example: Elder Kitekeiaho served in City Zone when we arrived a year ago, then was transferred out—served, grew, received the assignment to be a Zone Leader, then got transferred to Bogo Zone when Elder Powell was called to be an Assistant. (It’s the constant movement thing.) It is a joy to once again see him regularly and support him and Elder Bruneel in their leadership labors there. You know how it is to be around shakin-movin folks—you just feel good.

Elder Kitekeiaho & Elder Bruneel with the boys who were baptized last night.

Last night after our music class and their baptism, we took them home to inspect their apartment. This is part of our Bogo duty, just to keep tabs on the condition of these apartments and encourage the missionaries to create houses order, houses of God. (See D & C ...)

Missionaries usually don’t beg to have their apartments inspected, but they always submit bravely. We never quite know what we’re going to find, but are committed to being positive and encouraging and doing some training and a follow-up inspection if necessary.

I have to tell you, I’d be proud to live in that apartment. We walked in the door and I felt like I was home. (What do you think Pres. & Sister Hansen—a transfer for the Reeds to Bogo? Just kidding.) Order. A clean CR and kitchen. Gospel art hanging on the walls. Study and teaching materials organized and tidy. Beds made. Laundry in control. I even checked the fridge and it was cleaner than ours! The condition of their home blesses and strengthens their work. I know the Spirit is welcome there. These are conditions that will bless any home, whether you’re a young missionary or a pair of old birds. Good job, Elders!

Check out that beautifully clean kitchen behind the Elders...

More soon...we love you...thanks for your love and support back.
Elder & Sister Reed
a.k.a. Kevin & Ann