Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Red Group and Three Great Sisters depart...

As excited as we are to receive new missionaries in the mission, we know that we will be losing some of our best. And here they are (LtoR): Sisters McAdams, Garcia and Mann; Elders Sheridan, Hillyard, Ball, Kalinowski, Lundin, Murphey and Curtis.

This is the largest group that has wanted to do a little 'pottery shopping' before leaving Poland. So before dinner, it was off to my favorite pottery shop. Some very lucky moms are in for some very nice surprises! You cannot have enough Polish Pottery, it is the best. Now, back to the mission home.
With such a large group going home, it's important that suitcases are organized and weighed, junk is thrown out and the good stuff given to me to clean and distribute.
Our great Sisters have everything under control. Everything upstairs was neat and orderly. Our Elders...
...decided that the most important use of THEIR time was to make sure the Assistants were grilling the hamburgers, chicken and hot dogs just right! Elder Kennedy is also in the Red Group but will be extending his mission for another three weeks. So his departure will be July 11. But tonight, as we have transfers tomorrow, he was with his MTC group and is a big part of this. Later, when reality hit...
...the downstairs looked like a bomb had gone off! Hopefully, everyone will get their own stuff in their own suitcases! They also bought lots of ties at Adams. But what to do with all this stuff?

Sitting down for our last meal old fashioned grill (per request!)
After interviews with the President and a great testimony meeting, it was on to a tradition.

Everyone leaves something of themselves for us to remember. Sister McAdams was first to leave a piece of a favorite sweater.

Sister Mann left a piece of a beautiful scarf...

...and Sister Garcia left a piece of a much worn skirt. Now it was our Elders' turn...

Elder Ball volunteered to be the first to leave a remembrance.

Elder Sheridan was second..

...with Elder Kalinowski being next. This was a tie someone gave him, and he felt it an honor to leave with us...

Some seemed a little hesitant to go through with Elder Lundin.

Elder Curtis bravely stepped forward... did Elder Murphey. This was a big night for him (later).

And lastly, came Elder Hillyard, a former Assistant, who had seen this done many times. An old pro.

What a great group of Missionaries. We will truly miss them. The Elders actually went into the MTC the same day as President and I did. We kid them that we have been out longer... having entered the MTC at 10:00am, and they came in at 12:00 noon. We started our missions together...and now, it's time for them to leave. BUT WAIT! We have some other business to go over! The first night these Elders came into the Mission Home, someone had a confession.

SOMEONE had brought a piece of their 'blankie' with them on their mission. Twenty two months ago a vote was taken to 'leave the blankie in Poland' at the end of his mission. Tonight, another vote was taken to send the Elder home with his 'blankie' or leave it here. "The 'blankie' stays in Poland" was the majority vote! The Elder who will humbly leave his blanket of 21 years behind is...

Elder Murphey! Here he is 'properly' disposing of 'blankie'. President is there for always.

'Blankie' did not go without a fight! The thing burned and burned. Elder Murphey held up quite well under the circumstances! Afterwards, we put everyone to bed. Tomorrow would be a big day.

This morning I got up early to go downstairs to start breakfast for this crew. This is what I saw..

All my 'green' ties had been changed to RED! (This group of missionaries is called the Red Group because that is the color of their missionary cards on President's Transfer board.)

President and 'the red group'. A group of great, hard working Elders.....FULL of personality! Seated (L to R)- Elders Hillyard, Sheridan, Kennedy, Curtis. Standing- Elders Murphey, Lundin (whose flight was canceled in London, had to stay the night and will arrive in Las Vegas a day later), Kalinowski and Ball.

After breakfast, we said 'good-bye' to Sister McGrath who had graciously come to help me through these last two very hectic days. Thank you again, Sister McGrath, for all you did. I couldn't have made it without you!

The Assistants arrived right on time to load the transporter ..... and 2 other cars.

Elder Hillyard, having given it his all, making his way to a car with the aid of a cane. (The cool cane is a gift for his dad!) Handcarved from Krakow! (We are worried about it making it through security).

Cars are loaded, prayer has been said and one last picture of the group at the Mission Home.

At the Airport: With everyone's bags checked (at the proper weight!) we stopped for one last picture with these phenomenol Missionaries. They raised the bar in Missionary work in Poland. We love these missionaries and will follow all they do for the rest of their lives. They are part of our family, and we thank them so very much!! It's always the hardest thing that President and I do- to wave good bye as they make it through security. Then we have the long walk alone back to the car in the parking lot. It's not a fun thing.

But this morning around 7:00am President got an email from two of our great former missionaries...Stash and Carson. They wanted to Skype. So we talked to them for a few minutes and a flood of great memories came back. This was a joy! They are waiting to see some of the great missionaries we put on the plane a few hours ago. We had so much fun talking with these great men! Don't they look terrific! These two are examples of what great missionaries are in the Poland Warsaw Mission!!

We love this Mission. We love our missionaries. We love this work, and we could not be doing anything better than serving a mission. If you want the experience of a lifetime...go serve. Go wherever they call you and do whatever they ask you to do. Just serve and the Lord will place you where you should be and what He wants you to be doing.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post to some very familiar missionaries! It is sad to see them leave Poland, but their families all anxiously await their arrivals too. I'm grateful we were able to have some in our branch and in our wishes as they journey forward.


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