Thursday, July 9, 2009

We're Bum'd July 9, 2009

We're Bum'd 
July 9, 2009

Temp--High 86F
Wind 2-5 mph easterly most of the day. Dead calm now at 9:30 PM and 72F.
Rain in our hearts

July 7th nine of our missionaries went home; Elders Pister, Christiansen, Russel, Pingree, Jensen, McBride, Pettit, Olson, and Sister Doutre. As it should be with missionaries who have been here two years (for the elders and 18 months for sisters), they are the best we have in the mission and they are gone. Most of them have either served in Novosibirsk or passed through our lives in some meaningful way. Elders Olson and McBride were office elders and Elder Pingree was an Assistant, and we get attached to them more than most.

Here they are as they are departing for the Mission Home for their last meal in Novo and their going home "ceremony" which I have never been witness to. It is now two days later and the full impact of their leaving is with us.

We have welcomed two new missionaries into the mission today, Sister Mitchell from Bluebell, Utah and Elder Gornostayev from Moscow. They are both fine young people, but they ARE young; greenies. They are nervous, a little scared, and not quite focused after their long trip and whirlwind orientation. They will do well and be just as big lights in the mission field as those who just left, but that's in the future.

As Sister Cindy and I were sitting at the table a few minutes ago, trying to do our jobs, scripture reading, ironing some shirts, making the bed with sheet I washed this morning, etc. we both look like someone shot our dog and just had to comment to each other what a loss it is to send these great young people home. They are our support, our lights, our interpreters, our guides in the city, OUR missionaries. This is hard!

I finally let myself acknowledge that this is why we are here; not to be lit by others but to be the light for them. We are the constant. We are the continuity. We are the one who are always THERE when they call, when they ask, when they complain, when they doubt, when they cry. The mission president is their spiritual leader and mentor, but we are their parents.

In addition to those missionaries, others of our friends are leaving, or making noises about leaving. Sister Gorlova went to Irkutsk, Elder Swensen went to Krasnoyarsk, and Elder Kolpakov goes to Kemerovo tomorrow. Misha Nicholiachev, son of Brat Pyotr the District president and one of our office staff, left for the MTC and the Moscow Mission. Ivan and Kasusha Smukov, our real estate employee and our best male interpreter, will leave for the US to go to school at the LDS Business College in July. Anna our choir pianist and Lydia our Russian teacher are talking about moving to St Petersburg together. Who is going to take care of US?!

After some mutual grumping and general commiserating, I decided again that we ARE the light. We have to step up and continue to be the people who do the helping and not the ones being helped. Anyway, one of the great parts (if there is one) of them going home is getting an email from one of them telling what they are doing and seeing them in their new environs. It is a joy.

So, enough of this moping around. We felt the same way when the last large group of missionaries went home and recovered. We have to gird up our loins, fresh courage take, and know that our God will never us forsake. And soon we'll have this tale to tell. All is well. All is well.

What a life. What a country.


Mom/Cindy said...

Yes, Elder Dougie. You're right. But I still miss them! Love ya, Me

Jeanne Morse said...

I love your blog but you've gotta stop this emotional stuff. You made me cry all the way through this one on the 9th of July.
I am so happy for you two. You are having a great experience that you can enjoy your whole life through. Then your posterity can reminisce about it for years. Love you, Jeanne

Shannon Simmons said...

You are the light. And I love you!

Trisha said...

Thanks for sharing your true feelings staright forward. I remember the couple missionaries I had on my mission and they too where the light for us.