We were suppose to go home this week, after fulfilling a 23 month mission ( they only let Sr. Couples stay out 23 months at the longest, something to do with Tax Laws), but we extended anyway. We feel like we have been running sprints for 23 months, so you would think we would be ready to come home. I must admit, I am already feeling tireder then I have ever felt, but it is a SPRINT TO THE FINISH. That means another month of sprinting.
We ask if we could stay longer because we can't seem to get Sr. Couples to go on Missions, So the whole Micronesia Guam Mission will be short of Sr Couples. Pohnpei is very blessed, they will still have the amazing Chandlers( who work harder than any couple I have ever seen), but Kosrae will have not couple until someone else comes, and Saipan has had no couple since last April, Guam has been short a couple. Anyway you get the picture. So we ask if we could stay longer and of course they said yes. We had several things we needed and wanted to finish up. We needed to finish Institute for this Semester, so Chandlers will not have to add that into their crazy schedule until January. We have several Missionaries we needed to get off( some that will actually leave with us), and we have about 20 that are in paper stage that we want to get as far along as we can, so Chandlers will not have quite so much to do ( although they will have all the Visa's, lets hope no one else goes to Australia, after doing 5 Australian Visa's and helping with a redo, because the first one was done incorrectly, I would not wish Australian visa's on anyone, give me the States, Philippines, Marshall's, Canada or Fiji, those Visa's are simple compared to Australia's). We wanted to help with and spend 1 last Thanksgiving with our wonderful missionaries( although they all know our door will always be open and welcome them to our home when they all finish). We needed to make sure the District had the Melchizedek Priesthood it needed to apply for a stake and so many less actives that need strengthening. And we needed some extra time to fit in visits to all the wonderful Pohnpeins we have loved and served with for the last 2 years. The list in unending, there will never be enough missionaries or Sr. Couples on Pohnpei or anywhere else in the world for all the work there is to do.
The Lord needs all of us in this great Work of Salvation.
We are so grateful to our amazing family, who have never complained, and were very supportive of us extending. They have been such a GREAT strength to us. We could not have done any of this without them. We love you all.
As we look at leaving in a month, it makes us cry, we love these people so much and what is even more amazing, they love us, with all our quirks and slaughtering their beautiful language ( although I can actually bear my testimony, pray and hold a decent conversation in Pohpein, not bad for a LeaLou). We are so grateful we chose to make the effort to learn their Language, we feel like we were fulfilling scripture, that every nation, and people will be taught the Gospel in their own language.
We love this work, as we were exercising with Pres & Sis Mecham this last Tuesday, Sis Mecham and I had a conversation about going home ( they leave, after 3 years, 7 months after we do) We both decided the hard part will be learning how to do what we have learned and done out here, back home. In a completely different environment, where the living conditions are not so humble and the people are not so humble and THINK they don't need the Gospel and we both decided as did Pres. Mecham and Elder Lefevre, that we just have to figure it out, so we can continue to be missionaries at home.
We are NOT going home, we are getting TRANSFERRED and getting a new assignment. May we serve and lose the rest of our lives in bringing souls to Christ.
IT IS A SPRINT TO THE "TRANSFER"