Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Cup Runneth Over Mission Reunion

We got up this morning and had a surprise waiting for us … Sis. Riley had gotten up early and had gone to the store and got a bunch of groceries for breakfast. We had pancakes, bacon, eggs, yogurt, fruit, and juice! We all pitched in and helped cook or clean up breakfast when we were done. Then we watched the first session of the 185th General Conference. The one thing that stood out most to me was an obscure line from Elder Ballard’s talk “God Is At The Helm.” He said, “Every time I hold a newborn child, I find myself wondering, ‘who are you, little one? WHAT WILL YOU BECOME THROUGH THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST?’”

That line in bold just hit me like a bolt of lightning. I thought that it was so deep and so profound. I immediately thought of myself and the things I have messed up on, and how I will continue to fall short in the future. But then my heart was filled when I thought about who I can become through the Savior’s Atonement. Then I thought about Autumn. Usually when I think of her future I wonder if she’ll be an artist or a professional organizer when she grows up. But this one question completely changed all of that. I wondered what will she get to become eternally thanks to the Atonement of Christ? Then I thought about all the Young Women in my ward. I thought of them and the struggles they face, along with their joys and triumphs. What will each of them become in the next 5, 10, 15 years? So much of that answer depends on if and how they learn to use the Atonement of Jesus Christ in their lives or not. My mind is still thinking about all the eternal ramifications of that question.

IMG_5364 As soon as the first session of conference was over, we hurried and got ready and rushed over to the park for our sLOVEne mission reunion. What started out as a sister’s only weekend turned into a full fledged reunion when a few missionaries posted that they would be in town. So, I figured out some details, posted a few things on Facebook, and we made it happen! It was great to see other missionaries, but the best part for me was getting to see Pres. & Sestra Aardema. They don’t look like they’ve aged a drop in the last 12 years!

IMG_5365 I loved getting to quietly snap candid pictures and watch people talk, interact, and reminisce while we ate. Everyone brought salads, desserts, chips, and drinks to share. We had more than enough food. I’m glad we had it at the park b/c as you can see, there were A LOT of kids there and they had so much fun running around and burning off some energy. I asked Pres. & Sestra Aardema and the senior couples how it feels to look at all these people and know that they are partially responsible for this crazy group being here together today. Their sphere of influence has caused tremendous ripples of goodness that didn’t just affect us missionaries, but has also affected our families for generations to come.

IMG_5369 After the big group picture, we had to get a picture w/ just the missionaries. It is impossible for me to put into words what the previous picture & this picture mean to me. It touches me on such a deeply spiritual level and all I can say is, “my cup runneth over!” I feel like my mission is very unique in that we didn’t see all the missionaries in our mission. We never crossed the border into Croatia, so it felt like we only had about 30 or so missionaries. I also feel that I got to serve during a “Golden Era” where we saw a lot of neat things (Elder Holland coming to visit, getting the Book of Mormon in Slovene, seeing the first ever Slovene member baptize one of his children, etc). Also, while I was there everyone wanted to be there and worked hard and we were a very close knit group, and still are even 12 years later. Here’s the last names so I can remember who everyone is when I’m 90 (left to right from back to front):

Stuart, Jonesy, Mitchell, Me, Mackay, Riley, Cullimore, Crosland
Smith, Muirhead, Smalley
Moxley (he served in 2009), The Allens, The Aardemas, Cram, Acton, Baileys

IMG_5391 At 2:00 we went over to someone’s car and turned on the radio so we could hear who the 3 new Apostles are. We all were so excited when Elder Rasband was the first name called, b/c he came to Slovenija while we were there since he was over the Europe area as an area 70. I remember his wife have all us sisters go in another room together for a “special secret sisters session.” She taught us how to accessorize and wear scarves. LOL!

IMG_9211 Everyone pretty much left by 2:30, so we packed up the left over stuff, went back to the house, and watched the last 1/2 of the 2nd session on Sis. Riley’s ipad. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep for part of it b/c I was so tired from being up late last night and then being worn out from the party. After the session was over we met up w/ Jonesy and went to the Deseret Book, b/c Mackay needed some new garments. It was like a MAD HOUSE, and we couldn’t figure out why. Then someone told us it was b/c it’s “Ladies' Night” and there are deals going on while all the men are at Priesthood. I had forgotten I’m in Utah & not “Kansas anymore, Toto.”

I sat in a chair and waited for her, and there was this super funny old lady that was really upset that the sizes of garments had changed a little bit. As she was walking past me on the way to the dressing room I heard her say, “why in the HELL did they have to up and change the garments?” I busted out laughing SO HARD b/c she was cursing while buying garments. BA HA HA!!!

After managing to make it out of the crazy crowds alive, we went out to dinner at Rumbi Grill. I LOVE that place, especially their sweet potato fries w/ pink sauce.

IMG_9214 Next up was a trip to University Mall for some shopping. The other girls found some cute things and at one point they were all in the same dressing room to give advice to Mackay. I had to capture that! We finally called it a night when the stores started to close up shop at 9:00. Jonesy went home to be w/ her family and us 3 girls went back to the house and stayed up too late again talking & laughing & eating treats.

2015.10.03-1 Even though I missed my Autumn Girl so much today, I felt better knowing she was in good hands w/ Nicole. She took the kids to a fun Fall Fest place, and was kind enough to take some pics. Here’s Autumn at the top of a really tall hay stack.

2015.10.03-4 I’m so glad she warmed up to them and decided to stay and spend time getting to know them better. I’m also glad she’s creating fun memories w/ them.

1 comment:

Jen T said...

love your mission reunion pictures! That was a great quote from Elder Ballard. Looks like you had a super fun time! That is hilarious about the lady and buying garments :) Hope you are doing well!