Tuesday, July 10, 2018

New missionaries, transfers, & final thoughts

We were happy to learn we would be receiving a few more missionaries 
than originally planned.  We are blessed to have 4 missionaries serve in 
New York as they await their visas to various countries.
 They arrived, along with 2 elders, on Monday, June 25, 2018.

Shoutout to 3 amazing kids!
As our time in New York comes to a close I am so grateful for the gift our family has had to serve together.  All of my kids came so willingly.  It has been up and down and rough at times for them. They have made many sacrifices yet they recognize the incredible opportunities and blessings they have been given.  I will forever be grateful our children were able to experience this mission alongside us.  As we look back in years to come and perhaps in the eternities these 3 years will shine bright.

New Missionaries!

Sister Caudillo
Sister DeLong
Elder Sodenkamp
Elder Reynolds
Elder Takatori
Elder Tangsitpan

A few pictures from transfer day...

It was a wonderful day in the Temple with this group going home.  We also included 
our 4 sisters serving from Temple Square who will return to SLC in July.

President & Sister Teuscher
It was amazing to welcome the Teuschers to the New York City Mission!  Being that the North and South missions were combining, President & Sister Reynolds joined us to greet them at the airport and enjoy dinner together at the Mission Home.  The "Presidents" spent about 1 hour together, going through logistical stuff and President Teuschers schedule for the next few weeks.  When Dave walked down the stairs after their meeting he said he literally felt a lifting of the calling.  He was light!    During dinner I looked at President Teuscher and was taken back as I saw the "mantle" resting on him.  After dinner, Sister Reynolds pulled me aside and said "did you see it?"  We were both in awe of how tangible it was and how incredible to have such a powerful witness of the "changing of the guard".  I briefly spoke with President and Sister Teuscher about it.  They both expressed how they felt the weight but also the excitement of meeting the missionaries the next day.  I had previously shared with them about our first night in the mission home.  While I was in the kitchen with Sister Morgan I looked at her with pleading and said "will you please stay?" She laughed, hugged me and said "you will be just fine."  I went to bed that night feeling the weight of the world, but I knew I had to get up, I had to do this!  As we walked into the chapel to meet the missionaries it lifted.  I was filled with peace, happiness and courage.  I look back on that day with the happiest memories, so grateful for the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ which carried me then and subsequently every day of our 3 years.  I came to understand in a very personal way what a gift it is and how the Lord magnifies us and strengthens us to do things far beyond our own capabilities.  

The "kids" really clicked and had a fun time talking about the mission

We will miss our wonderful neighbors who we share our little lane with.  Kirsten has been my "go to" friend.  Every time I needed to know and understand something about Scarsdale or needed that "egg" for Sunday cookies, she was there.  Fortunately she loves to ski in Utah so we will reconnect soon, I hope. 

President and Sister Reynolds have been an amazing support to us these past 3 years.   We have worked closely together for months to make the transition to one mission easier for all the missionaries and for the Teuschers.
We gave President Teuscher, his sons, William, the Assistants and President Reynolds matching "unity" ties to represent the joining of the missions.  Unfortunately I only got a picture of these 2 in them.

Elder Bailey and Elder Rogers became companions with the transition of the mission.  Elder Bailey has been serving as the Assistant in the North Mission and Elder Rogers has been the Assistant in the South.  We are so grateful for all their efforts and work to unify the mission.  We have loved the few days we were able to serve with Elder Rogers.  William is especially going to miss these 2 elders.

Arriving in Utah was amazing.  We were overwhelmed by the welcome we 
received from family and many of our missionaries.

Daves dad hand wrote this poster.  It was my favorite!

Our family will forever treasure our time in New York.  It has been a roller coaster of emotions and a time of great growth for all of us, physically & spiritually.  William literally grew a foot!  Dave's a little more grey, the wrinkles are showing on my face, my girls have matured, Savannah is ready to go to college and Lauren is excited for the opportunities of a new school and friends.  Part of each of our hearts will forever stay in New York.  We are so grateful for every missionary we had the privilege to serve with, the diverse wonderful people of New York & Connecticut, the faith and strength of the members of the church, the countless people who embraced the gospel and made big changes in their lives.  Treasured memories of meeting President Nelson and several Apostles, and having the blessing of testifying and bearing testimony every day.  We promise to do the small and simple things to nourish and strengthen our faith and invite you to do the same.  We look forward to reuniting with our missionaries through the years and hope to enjoy the sweet reunion Alma had with the sons of Mosiah.

"And now it came to pass as Alma was journeying from the land of Gideon southward...behold, to his astonishment, he met with the sons of Mosiah...
Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently that they might know the word of God."
~Alma 17:1-2

"By small and simple things are great things brought to pass."
~Alma 37:6

"But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life."
~Alma 32:41

Spring 2015 ~ Texas

Spring 2018 ~ New York City

Our family will be speaking in the Timp Meadows Ward,  9 am on July 22nd.  
1365 E. Center Street, Heber City, Utah. 

August 12th at the Keller 2nd Ward
500 W McDonwell School Road, Colleyville Texas

 We would love to see you there!

Thank you to all the families of our dear missionaries for the love and support we have felt from you. The strength we have felt from your prayers has carried us. We hope to have the opportunity to meet all of you in person one day.

Thank you to our family and friends for the endless support, the many Christmas packages for our missionaries, gift cards, letters, texts, and emails, welcoming our kids into your homes when they visited, and most importantly for the unconditional love and all your prayers on our behalf.  Families are Forever and Friendships are Eternal.