It has been a wonderful and eventful week. Elder and Sister Lindsay arrived last Saturday. Spending the last week with them brings back many fond memories of our time serving as senior missionaries together in the LDS Church Office Building. We love them dearly and it has been wonderful seeing how quickly they have picked up all that we have tried to teach them. Russell and I both have a sense of ownership in our callings. We feel like we have invested heavily in trying to improve the processes within the office, our relationships with the humanitarian couples we serve, and with the charitable work done here in Europe by LDS Charities. Sometimes when you are heavily invested in your work, it can become a challenge to turn the work over to others. That has not been the case in our situation here, as we can know that the Lindsays are well qualified with wonderful ideas regarding welfare work. We have spent the last week teaching them all that we do. It has been busy.Tomorrow morning, the transition with humanitarian work will be complete and they will take over. We have complete confidence in them and are so grateful for their willingness to serve their 4th mission as a couple together. We know that their calling and the events that led to their being called to this position was inspired.
We had our final zone conference on Wednesday, with Elder Massimo De Feo of the Seventy attending. Elder De Feo recently started his service in the Europe Area Presidency. At the zone conference the 5 senior missionary couples who are being released in the next month were asked to speak . I (Eileen), will post our talks on another blog posting so that this posting does not get too lengthy.
The meeting was very uplifting with a wonderful spirit. The Swensons spoke of some of their experiences serving as the Young Single Adult advisors in Europe. They have done a significant amount of traveling. It is a good thing they are young and energetic. Elder Burt spoke about how the promptings of the Holy Ghost have helped him meet the needs of the missionaries he serves as the Area Medical Advisor. Sister Burt was unable to attend the meeting but will speak later in the month. The Hackings bore a very sweet testimony sharing their tender feelings about the bitter passing of their daughter Sarah. The Savior’s atonement has helped them through this difficult time. The Hackings have been serving in various missionary capacities for the last 12 years. They are now going to spend some time at home helping their family heal from their daughter’s passing. The Proctors spoke of their efforts to help the church become better known in Europe. They serve in the Publishing Services Department and have helped develop country web pages where news of the church is listed. They have also served tirelessly as our zone leaders, and have been a huge help to all of the senior missionaries, not just meeting spiritual needs, but also temporal needs. The Proctors were very influential in helping us get a dryer after 9 months in the field. We appreciate the association with all of the senior missionaries here in the Area Office, and will miss them greatly. Elder De Feo also gave a beautiful talk directed to the many senior missionaries who are concerned about their children or other family situations. He knows of family struggles associated with service. After he was called to be a General Authority he started talking with his 10 year old daughter about the possibility of moving. His daughter cried any time they discussed the issue. With time, the Lord blessed her with the peace she needed to make the move. Elder De Feo also related the stories of the Savior and the miracles of raising the daughter of Jairus and Lazarus from the dead. He posed the question to us: If the Savior can raise the dead, can he not heal our family members? There are several among our group who have challenges at home. It was a blessing to hear his great testimony and many tears were shed.
Friday we had the wonderful blessing of adding a new grandchild to our family. We have earnestly prayed throughout the pregnancy that all would be well with the baby and mother. There had been some complications throughout the pregnancy. We were so concerned that we would not be able to be there to help this family. We heard of the safe arrival of the baby in the middle of the night. Both Russell and I fell to our knees in gratitude to God for this tender mercy. We return home later this week. We are looking forward to seeing all of our family members, including a new grand baby.
|Elder Massimo De Feo|
|Russell consulting with Elder Lindsay|
|Eileen and Sister Lindsay trying to learn the ropes|