Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day One!

We finally made it!!!! It's almost impossible to put into words our thoughts and feelings as we fly into Lubbock. Even after all the stellar training we received this last week, nothing could have prepared us for the real deal. Our alarm went off at 1:45 AM so we could catch the shuttle to the SLC airport. We knew President and Sister Augustin (the former Mission president) would be picking us up from the airport, but the rest was unknown!

The Texas geography is just a little different from our Rocky Mountains!

We recieved a warm welcome from the Augustins, the Assistants, and a few of our missionaries!
Elder Squires and Elder Bucknum (the Assistants) presented us with a mission blanket.

President and Sister Augistin with us.
As advised by the bretheren, we spent a total of 3 hours together (they discourage having two Presidents in the mission at the same time). We ate lunch, toured the mission home and then the mission office just in time for them to hand over the keys and phones. The Augustins had gone out of their way to help us in our transition, preparing the home and the missionaries for our arrival. We were so exhasuted, we fell asleep before our heads even hit the pillow. We arose the next morning to bid them farewell at the airport. There was no time to even wonder where to start. The phones began ringing almost immediately; mine with medical questions, and David's with everything else! When Elder William Walker came to reorganize the Bozeman Stake when David was released, he shared this analogy with us: "Serving as Mission Presidents will be a lot like standing on the platform, bags in hand, waiting for the train to come. You can see the train approaching; you know it's getting close, so you get ready to get on as soon as it stops. As it gets closer, you realized the train is not going to stop. In fact, it's not even slowing down! While it's going about 60 mph, someone throws you on. This is your mission, but now the train speeds up 20 mph, and it goes at this speed for 3 years. But just be prepared because at the end, you come back to the same train station and they throw you back onto the platform." We realize we just got thrown on, while the Augustin's were thrown off. They say the hardest year of the mission is year 4: the year you come home. We'll see about that!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Mission President's Seminar at the MTC

Today's the Day!
They grabbed our bags and whisked us off so fast we barely had time to say 'goodbye'! Maybe that was by design...?
Kendra, Emily, and Grant dropped us off at the MTC. Role Reversal...?

 We were spiritually fed in the midst of Apostles and Prophets for five days. We had a the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on Sunday to have sacrament meeting with every member of the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency (minus President Packer). What a sweet experience to witness the Bretheren partake of the Sacrament! In church that day Elder Bednar was one of the speakers and he said something we thought was quite interesting in light of our current situation with our home. He talked about the sacrafice that each Mission President had to make in order to get to this point. he said: "We acknowledge and commend you for making those sacrifices, but we do not apologize".   From sun up to sun down we attended classes taught by members of the Quorum of the Twelve and Seventies, the majority of whom have served as mission presidents before. They knew what we were in for and made our time there fulfilling, but not overwhelming. We were sad to leave them, but eager to meet our 260 missionaries waiting for us in Texas. We have been praying for them and have already come to love them. President Boyd K. Packer was the concluding speaker at our last session of the Seminar. Here is the blessing he pronounced upon each of us at the conclusion of his remarks:

"I invoke a blessing upon you husbands and wives going now into the mission field, nervous and unsettled as you are. I bless you with peace and confidence. I bless your families, your home, your children that you are leaving, the mothers leaving their kitchens and the fathers leaving their workshops and their businesses. It will be all right. I invoke the blessings of the Lord upon you and your children. I bless you that they will be taken care of, whatever the problems are. And should there be a wayward one among them, in due time, all of your family will stand in a circle beyond the veil, and not one will be missing. That is one of the things you are earning now through the service that you are called to do. I bless you that you will have an understanding of the gospel and an understanding of the doctrine, and, incidentally, an understanding of the Church. Carry that spirit with you as you go into the mission field where you are ordained and set forth by those of us who hold the keys. I bless you with safety and with wisdom and with inspiration, and bless you with power. There is a great power in the priesthood. You bretheren hold it; you sisters share in that. It is the consummate power on this earth. Use it well. The world will be blessed because you accepted this call."

After that how can we be anything but ready to go?



Thursday, June 19, 2014

Elder Bednar Makes This Official


 Kendra and Grant flew to Salt Lake City to be with us when we were set apart. Our fear was replaced by calm assurance as we met with Elder Bednar in his office. What a treat to be in the building where prophets walk daily! Em had brought her friend, Morgan, with us to watch our 7-year-old grandson, Grant, outside while we were being set apart. Grant was pretty bummed he couldn't go in, but he wore his Sunday clothes just in case there was any chance he ran into an Apostle. To our pleasant surprise, Elder Bednar invited Grant to come in with us when he learned of Grant's preparation.
Grant and Grandpa- Adminitstartion Building Parking Lot
Morgan, Emily, Grant, and Kendra being SO reverant. Waiting for Elder Bednar in his ofice. 
Elder Bednar was good to put us at ease with his humor and love. From his experience living in Lubbock (when he taught at Texas Tech), he gave us a few pointers.
1. If you set a 6-pack of soda on an overpass (the highest point in Lubbock), and look north, you can see all the way to Iowa.
2. About once or twice a year there is a "Snust" storm...this is when the snow and dust storm come on the same day and it rains little balls of mud.
3. We are called because of who we are and what we have to offer, so be ourselves. There is no prototype for a Mission President/Mission Mom.
4. The Lord is hastening his own work and we are to assist. It is not us who does the hastening. It's out job not to get in the way!
5. And most important: LOVE THESE MISSIONARIES.
Waiting in Elder Bednar's Office. Do we look scared? WE ARE!

Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy assisted Elder Bednar in our Setting Apart.
Elder Robbins, Morgan, Kendra, Emily, Davd, Mary, Grant, Elder Bednar.

We spent the rest of the day as a family in and around Temple Square- just enjoying being together. We were missing the other kids but we'll make up for it when they come visit in Texas!

Lunch at Blue Lemon. Grant is still chessin' after being with Elder Bednar.
Conference Center Tour
Who knew this was on the roof?? Let's do this already!
The resemblance is uncanny...or maybe just the great taste in glasses. (Picked out by Emily)


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Duck Your Head and Go, Cowboy...

After months of preparation, it's finally time to go! We've always known that missionaries go through a lot prior to leaving, and we did too. We thought our house would have sold by now, but the Lord has other plans apparently. We packed up everything into boxes, stored them in the garage, and left a few pots and pans for Emily, who will be "babysitting" our stuff for the next 3 years. If you know of anybody who wants to move to Bozeman, we know of a house... :) Part of what makes a house a home are the memories and this one is no exception. We've loved this home, but as Grandma Heap always said: "It's just stuff and things".  Harder than our house to leave was most definietly the people we have come to love over our last 18 years in Bozeman. Our hearts are full with the love and support of good friends. We are grateful for their prayers and faith. We look forward to reunions in 3 years...or sooner if y'all come visit!

I snapped one last picture as we drove out of the Galltain Valley. Bozeman never looked so good.