Thursday, September 30, 2010

God Be With You Til We Meet Again

Tonight was our last night at Institute. We were in the kitchen with our 2 Elders making the last of the pulled-pork sandwiches when Alexandre comes rushing in and says, "You are needed. Come with me." " Hurry" says Elder Kipp, "and take your tissue." They rushed us into the room and there they were. The moment we entered, the began singing the beautiful hymn God Be With You. As you can imagine, my eyes filled with tears listening to those beautiful words and looking into the beautiful faces of our JA's. Many of the JA's couldn't be there tonight and my dear Natacha was working in the kitchen (helping as always). Oh my goodness. What an honor and what a lovely farewell. After they sang, they presented us with a book that they had printed of us and them, of many of our activities, and of many of their beautiful testimonies. Then they each one by one came and hugged me and cried and told me sweet precious things. They hugged Dh, the wise old owl, too. What a tender time we had together. I will never forget these wonderful young adults. I will always remember their kindness and love towards me. I will always treasure the wonderful moments of our mission.
I remember watching the movie The Other Side of Heaven and in the last scene of the movie as Elder John Groberg leaves the island of Tonga after serving his mission there, the people gather and sing the hymn God Be With You to him. I cried then at the tenderness of it never, ever imagining that the very same scenario would take place in my own life. And yet it has. I will be forever grateful for this wonderful experience. I am grateful that the Lord saw fit to send Elder Arhets and me to his homeland to fulfill a mission in His name and in His honor. I love the Lord so much and am so thankful that He was able to use me a simple, insignificant servant of His to fullfill such an awesome mission. I know that He, Jesus Christ, is at the head of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I want to serve Him forever and I pray that each of my children and grandchildren and all of my posterity will serve Him too.

Tomorrow we leave our apartment and Belgium for the last time. On Monday we will leave France and fly back to the United States of America and continue our life with our children and grandchildren. I can't wait to see them.
I have many more things to write about from this past week, but these things will have to wait a bit.


Connie said...

That brought a tear! Beautiful!

Lana said...

"well done, thou good and faithful servant,
well done, thou good and faithful friend"

Yvonne said...

I cry every time I see that part in 'The Other Side of Heaven". As I read the beginning of your post, that's what I thought.

On Thursday, I went to a "farewell" for 9 of our missionaries who were going home on Friday. It was so wonderful to hear these young elders each get up and bear testimony and to remember 2 years ago when they arrived.

I loved what one of them said--"This has been the best thing I have done in my life, but I don't want it to be the best thing I ever DO in my life."

And, of course, it was very diffiuclt when we all sang, "God be with you til we meet again"

I can only imagine what it would be like for you.

I have a good life said...

What a tender moment. It brought tears to my eyes. I can't believe the time is over so soon. I wish you still had family here in Texas so we could see you again, too. If you ever want to drop by, you always have a place to stay.

Robin said...

what an amazing tribute to 2 of the most amazing people. I know that you will miss them terribly. But I know that your family is so excited to see you guys again.. Just like the rest of us. What an amazing mission. The Lord certianly blessed each of you and your families. Thank you for your example, I know that leaving your family was hard... but your testimony was needed there and I know that you touched many many lives. Thanks for your example. I love you guys.