Last Friday Jim and I went to my 30th mission reunion.
I was asked to be responsible for set up and decorations.
I don't have many pictures because I was so busy talking!
The picture above is of two of my mission companions. Mary Williams Bennett was my last companion and one of my all time favorite companions. I remember her as someone who was always happy and someone who loved to work hard. Wang Ching is a very dear friend of mine. One day as we rode our bikes during the early part of my mission when we were living in the same apartment but were not companions, she asked me when my birthday was. It turns out we have the SAME exact birthday, year included. I remember we stopped our bikes at the street corner in disbelief. We pulled out our identifications and sure enough, we were born on the same day. Almost a year later, on our 23rd birthday, we became companions in a different city. I told our mission president the other night about that. I said, "Look what you did for us, we've been friends all these years." He said, "I didn't do it, the Lord did." That was a nice thought. Wang Ching thoughtfully calls me every year on our birthday. I always tell her she's getting old because she was born in Taiwan several hours ahead of me. :) We have a wonderful bond.
I saw this picture of her the other night at the reunion.
I just love it.
It was wonderful to see all the people that made it to the reunion. Another mission companion of mine was unable to make it and she was sorely missed. There was a special feeling there.
This is a former elder from my mission. We were in the same MTC group. As we were leaving, he said something worthy of remembering. He said, "I really do believe our mission was very special, I'm not just saying that." He expressed love for all our missionary friends. I told him if heaven was anything like like the feeling we experienced Friday night as we reminisced about our time serving the Lord together, then I thought it would be a wonderful place and I am looking forward to meeting everyone there under similar circumstances.
Here are a few snippets from Seth's email today. Looks like he's had some discouraging times.
"This week had some good points, and some bad points as well. The trainer-trainee meeting (where all of us get back together four weeks in to recap what we have learned) was really good, and so was the interviews with the mission president and his wife. He really gives us a lot of love and support I was feeling pretty discouraged, but by the end I felt much better....General conference was amazing. It was the best General Conference I have ever watched, probably because I was paying so much close attention. My testimony really grew that we are led by a living prophet today, I know that that is true. The Spirit was really strong the whole time, and the talks were so uplifting...We struggled getting the amount of work done that we wanted to this week. We talked to a lot of people but few of them wanted to talk longer than a few seconds. We tried our best.."
I have been where my son is now. I remember when nobody wanted to talk to us either. It is the culmination of 18 months or two years of service when a missionary can finally step back and realize just how wonderful the time of service was that makes the hard times seem worth it. After 30 years, no one recalls the gazillions of times no one wanted to talk to us. It was just part of missionary life. We choose instead to remember the joy and the great blessing of having served the Lord with people we loved.