Thursday, April 2, 2015

Last week in the mission and home coming

Monday, March 23, was our official last day working at the Archives.  It was a picture day, for sure.  Marvin got a shot of taking the image of the last document we had.  Other pictures were of the couples and companionships.  They were a wonderful group of people to work with and we surely have lots of love for them.  We were asked to publish our “15 in 15” (4 generation groupsheets) so here is a picture for that.

Lurae and Delbert Dillingham

Jim and Marilyn Freeman

Lupe Pulu and Delayne Madden

Marvin taking his last image

The fabulous Melbourne Eight

Tuesday we spent the morning in the Melbourne Temple with all of the elders and sisters and their companions who were going home.  Then we attended the transfer meeting, where new companionships are created.  Each of the leaving missionaries bore their testimonies and plenty of tears were shed.  The afternoon was spent finishing packing and cleaning our flat. 

 That evening we had dinner at the mission home with all the elders and sisters who were going home and another testimony time and lots of pictures.  

 Our mission president, Pres. Cory Maxwell and his wife, Karen, were the greatest.  They had so much love and caring for the missionaries.  Karen sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir so we had opportunities during our mission to sing for different events with either her conducting or playing the piano.  She is quite a talented lady.

Wednesday was our departure day.  Elder and Sister Hullinger (from Roosevelt, Utah) picked us up at the mission office after we turned in our car, and drove us to the airport, after a quick stop at the archive to say our last good-byes and shed more tears.  Our trip took 14 hours to fly from Melbourne to Los Angeles, one hour to go through customs (after Marvin realized that he left his ipad on the plane, which was retrieved), then a trip to Salt Lake City, arriving about 8:30 that evening.  What a fun welcoming committee we had. 

 Our son Keith and his family and Marvin’s brother Joseph and brother Dilworth and his wife Pat and our friend Bob were all there to greet us.  It was so fun.  Bob drove us home, arriving about 10:30, and the neighbors had created a sign for us which was lit and had balloons attached. 
Sign on our driveway, but our neighbor's house.
 The neighbors came running out of the house when we drove into the driveway.  What a welcome home!  Jeanne, Bob’s wife, had staged our home like it was on HGTV, with flowers in almost every room.  It was quite spectacular!
An Easter decor

The candy eggs didn't last long once the grandchildren found them.  They left the bunnies for us.

Beautiful flowers.  Can I keep them alive?

One of Marvin’s first “to do”s was grocery shopping.  He excitedly brought home 12 boxes of cereal.  No more Wheat Bix, Crunchy Nut, or Sultana Bran cereal! 

 Thursday morning, President Sargent come to the house for our official release.  What a bitter-sweet event that was!  Kay (and others) cried all most the whole time he was there.

 Our family began arriving on Friday and we had warm weather and lots of fun through the weekend.  Sunday we reported our mission at Church, had 24 for dinner, and then relaxed.

The family playing "Scene It".  Notice who is asleep in the chair!

I realized that we did not have a picture of Mark Kelly who was our supervisor from Sydney.  This one we took in December when Marilyn presented to him his embroidered name. 

 She also gave one to each of us (our own names) and to many of the senior missionaries and important people who have come into our lives during this remarkable experience.  How grateful we are to have had the opportunity to serve the Lord through this Australia Melbourne Mission.

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