Sunday, June 8, 2008

Finally Gone 3
Friday June 6, 2008
Wednesday the 4th we got up at 4:45 am to be at the Temple by 6 am for the preparation meeting. The morning was full of hugs, kind words, and wishes for success. President Winkle told us that when he worked in the Missionary Department they called applicants who were willing to go anywhere for any length "Green berets". He wished us well and said there would be a place for us on the Temple staff when we returned. He was not releasing us, but just giving us an extended leave of absence.

Brother Dow Lewis, a worker on our Wednesday AM shift, owns Dow Lewis Motors in Yuba City and had offered to sell our Maxima for us and deposit the proceeds in our account. He said that it was in better than excellent shape and still smelled like a new car. So, he rode home with us after our shift and after filling out a transfer of title, drove off about 1:00 pm and we were now sans one car. It was so good of him to do that for us. He said that it was one of the few things he could do for people going on missions and was pleased to do it without taking a commission.

The rest of the afternoon was packed with last-minute stuff like putting a safety netting along the sides of the pond bridge, changing light bulbs, final entries in the business books, locking up valuables in the safe, giving away the last of the food, the final clearing out of the closets &
bathrooms. and a million other little details.

My sister, Diane, was a great help during the final stages of packing. She packed up the Dish Network receivers and ran several errands during the afternoon. Time seemed to be compressed this afternoon and I don't remember everything, but we got a lot done with her help. By the time Brian arrived around 6 pm our home looked like a big hotel room; filled with stuff, but not with us.

By 6:30 pm the family was all gathered and went to Lam's for the final Chinese dinner. We often celebrate special events at Lam's and this was the last one for a time. We were grateful that Scott came for this dinner. He was not able to come Sunday and we missed him.

We were talking and having so much fun that we were late for our setting-apart at the stake center. President Randy Smith and his counselors were using the time to have a meeting, but welcomed us when we finally arrived. President Smith interviewed us for worthiness and willingness to go on this mission assignment and then invited the family in for the setting-apart. I assisted with Cindy's and Brian was also invited to stand in.

I don't remember the details of the blessings, but Shannon wrote down some things. I guess I was just a little worn out by the time we got to Wednesday night. I do remember the feeling that everything we had prepared for was finally real and we had "jumped out of the plane" so to speak. A great machine had started in motion and would grind on for the next two years, producing miracles and blessings for everyone. President Smith asked if we had any advice for our family. Cindy asked them to take care of each other and I asked them to watch for and share with us the blessings and miracles in their lives because they would surely come.

Wednesday night was a marathon of final packing. I can't say what took so long, but one thing was the weight in our suitcases. We were trying to hit the 50 lb free limit, but with all of the comfort food "we" wanted to take we were lucky to hit the 70 lb mark. That was going to cost us $80 per bag, but was the best we could manage.

Shannon was staying at our house while she was in the process of moving into Grandma Amanda's home with Michelle & Michael Keys. She didn't get much sleep with us tromping around the house with this packing.

We finally got to bed at 4:30 am and got up at 5:30 am to do the final personal clothes and sheet washing. At 7:00 am the Wilbergs came to wish us farewell and we put them to work filling out our luggage name tags.

Brian, Andrea, and Hannah came shortly after them and we packed up our eight pieces of luggage in the suburban for the trip to the airport. Shannon came with us as well. We said a final goodbye to the house, the pond, and our friends and headed off.

No comments: