We have a red-tailed hawk that keeps watch
over the mission home. She is often present
when we have out-going and incoming missionaries.
The morning of July 13, 2015 she arrived right on schedule.
The missionaries are ready to celebrate as they arrive
at the mission home. We celebrate that they have
successfully completed their missions. While
parents can hardly wait for their missionary's return,
we find it hard to celebrate the fact that they
are leaving. Every departure leaves a hole.
There were eleven outgoing missionaries and
the two assistants. The lower table was set for
twelve. Elder Epley moved himself down and
set a place at the head of the table
(who could blame him?).
He was so far away in the photo (above)
that he got his own close-up.
Sister Palmer was the only sister going home on this
transfer. As my dad would say,
"A rose among the thorns."
Just before testimony meeting.
The California Riverside Mission Presidency
President Plocher, President Mullen, and President Crippen.
It's such a joy to serve with these good people.
Everyone gathered to turn in their miracle stories, mark Pres. Mullen's
scriptures and look at the binders of missionaries already at home.
President Mullen gathered with the outgoing elders and sister
for one more discussion from the scriptures.
Tuesday morning dawned.
Elders Child, Epley and Lavender waiting to head to the airport.
One last photo together.
A group hug.
A last smile ...
... and they were gone, leaving behind a pair of black socks,
hearts changed, and the memory of all the service they gave.