After the transfer meeting, the 9 departing missionaries piled into cars we headed for the temple.
Three of the missionaries had family that had come to pick them up and see the mission. They attended the meeting with us and also headed to the temple with us. They were Sis. Winborn's family, Elder VanWagoner, and Elder MacKay. There families were all wonderful and we loved having them join us. When we got to the temple, I was so excited. We had visited the area before and seen the outside, but not had time to do a session. And we were looking forward to this day. Outside the temple, we took pictures of the missionaries who are leaving.
As you approach this temple, it is breathtaking. It looks a lot like a castle, really heavenly. We attended the 2:00 session and it was very peaceful as the temple always is. The inside is lovely, but especially the Celestial Room. It really is remarkable. I'm so grateful that I can attend the temple and feel the wonderful spirit there. It always brings a renewed peace and happiness to your life.
After the temple, we headed for the mission home for another big banquet. On Tues, I had prepared most of the meal. I had set all the tables and left things out and ready and then the wonderful office couples came to the house at 4:00 to get things in the oven. And so when we arrived it was ready. We had Mexican Tortilla Lasana (my boys favorite) with all the extras, and Raspberry Pretzel Dessert. But this time with all the families of the departing missionaries we had 34 people and it was a bit crowded, but oh so fun.
After the dinner, my ward here (The Burke ward) performs an incredible service. They sign up in Relief Society through compansionate service and a couple of the sisters show up and do all the dishes. When I got home at 10:00 it was clean and sparkly. What an act of kindness. They are truly angels.
After the dinner, we load into the vans and head to the church again for the Departing Missionary Fireside. This is a wonderful tradition here. When missionaries are heading home, they send out notices to all the wards telling them who is leaving and anyone who was involved with those missionaries, members, converts, investigators, anyone who loves them and was close to them are invited to this fireside to hear them give testimonies before they leave. We thought there might be a few people there, but really didn't know what to expect. It was full to the back of the gym almost. The members here really love and support the missionaries. The other missionaries can attend only if they have investigators with them. Many of them do because it is an opportunity for their investigators to hear powerful testimony from really strong missionaries. What a treat it was. The Spirit was amazing and I again am thankful for such a wonderful tradition.
After the fireside we head back to the mission home with these missionaries and participate in another tradition. "A Fun Time" with them. They all sleep at the mission home that night.
(Sheets have all been washed and changed with the help of good Assistants and missionaries who strip their own and get them washing) We have two sets of sheets for all beds. They have great systems in place to get it all done.
The following morning, July10, we were up at the crack of dawn. Breakfast was minimal and they start the runs to the airport. Our last one was Sister Battsetseg at 1:00 in the afternoon. We then come home and take a nap.