"Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold".
It's a small world after all...We had the opportunity to touch base with Sister Mullen, from Elk Grove, called to serve in the Philippines just a few days before her departure.
It gets better. We received a Facebook comment from Matthew Potts earlier in the week suggesting we meet for dinner if we had time. Well as it turned out we had some last minute errands to run Monday evening and had the opportunity to meet not only Matthew, but Andrew Potts as well at In and Out in Orem.
A funny thing happened to us on our way to class Tuesday. A beautiful sister missionary and her companion stopped us to inquire if we were from Elk Grove, California. When we readily admitted that we were, she then went on to ask Elder Busath if he had served at Girl's Camp. He quickly replied, affirmative, for twenty five years. She became so excited and quickly introduced herself as Sister Bolanos, (standing next to me) from Sacramento 10th Ward and announced that she had great memories of Elder Busath from Girl's Camp. She and her companion had originally been called to serve in Montreal, Canada, Spanish speaking, but when they arrived at the MTC a few weeks ago they were asked to speak French. They are due to leave for Canada soon and are ready and willing to serve.
Tuesday evening we attended a Special Missionary Devotional presided by Paul V. Johnson, of the Seventy. They are the proud parents of nine children and as of Tuesday morning the grandparents of twenty one grandchildren! His wife, Jill, spoke of being members of a tremendous army called at this time to fight evil by using the protection and power of obedience and purity.
Brother Johnson referred to the story of Paul from 1 Thessalonians Chapter 3:2-and encouraged us to submit our will to the will of God that our weaknesses be made strong. It was just exactly what we needed to hear!
We had the pleasure of hearing from another Senior Couple this week, Brother and Sister Vaughn Hawke. They have served missions for over twenty nine years. Of the many missions they spoke of the two missions they served as school administrators in Samoa and the one in the office in Milan, Italy. They were funny, down to earth, with helpful advice and shared inspiring promises the Lord has made for us as missionaries such as the assurance found in Doctrine and Covenants 84:88- "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." I know now that we can do hard things with the Lord's help.
Elder Busath thought he should get a quick hair cut from the MTC Barber Shop so that he will look his very best when we arrive in Orlando.
Long story short, we were afraid we had missed Sister Hogge's arrival at the MTC Wednesday afternoon and were really disappointed, but we got lucky. We bumped into her Wednesday night in of all places the laundry room! She was on a tour so we made plans to meet up the next day. As you can see we had success. This is a picture of her and her roommates all called to serve in the Philippines.
Our wonderful experience at the MTC Mission Office Training wouldn't have been possible without the help of these great instructors. From left to right, Sister Fairbanks, who served in the Omaha, Nebraska Mission, Brother Clark, who served in Zimbabwe, and Brother Chauncey who served in the Philippines. They were patient, kind and helped us feel at ease almost immediately. But the thing I value the most was not so much the subject material, but rather the sharing of their personal mission experiences and testimonies that helped to provide us with a special insight to the work we might not have received anywhere else.
The view from our room...
Elder Busath, all tired out after a busy day in class.
My travel manager (Elder Busath) has mentioned the possibility of driving to Denver, Colorado on the first leg of our trip, weather permitting. So the next time you hear from us we will be somewhere on route to Orlando, Florida!