Sunday, August 17, 2014

Oh Ye That Embark Must One Day Depart

We have been in the Philippines for six weeks.  Our missionaries arrive and leave in small groups (5-20) every six weeks.  Last week the time came to say goodbye to our first batch of exiting missionaries. While it was difficult to say farewell, the missionaries had grown in many wonderful ways during their 18/24 months of service.  They were 20 well grounded missionaries ready to launch into another phase of their lives.  We loved being with them in our home for two days.
The scale was a necessary item to make certain these bags made it on the plane.  
Many items were left for other missionaries to enjoy.
Monday after breakfast, Elder and Sister Naegle presented a wonderful Career Workshop.  They are our Self Reliance missionaries.  There is an incredible program that is being launched in the Philippines and the Naegles taught it beautifully to our missionaries.
Guess what showed up in the middle of the workshop?  Yes....our shipment of household goods sent from Naperville!  The lucky movers hardly lifted a finger because they had 10 energetic Elders who did the work for them.

Sis. Lopez and her sister made certain that we ate well for two days.  She has a wonderful way of making Filipino food we all enjoy and treating us to American favorites that we miss (brownies)!  Later that evening the missionaries all took part in their final Family Home Evening in the Philippines.  It was an evening of great lessons, fun games and song.
What a fabulous batch!
The next day the missionaries arrived at 9 a.m.  President Clark and I shared our last words of wisdom to them in a two hour group meeting.  The tables were then set and our missionary group was joined by special guests - nine family members who had traveled to pick up their missionaries.  Oh what a joyful reunion.  The emotions were high for all who were there.  

Sis. E and Parents
Anticipation....

Elder B. and family
Sis. G in the arms of mom again.

Elder W. with his family.
The happy onlookers thinking about what their reunions will be like when they arrive home.
We then enjoyed a slide presentation with pictures and song to remind the missionaries of their service.  A testimony meeting followed.  The Spirit was so strong that there was no doubt that these missionaries know who they are and their purpose.
Our First Departing Batch










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