January 15, 2017
The morning of December 22nd started early – they all do. I had just awakened and headed towards the bathroom when Keith ran up to me and said: “It’s here”. It was the email from Salt Lake City.
We had been down this path ourselves just three years ago, only we were at the other end. We knew that the current President of the Southeast Mission, President Morales, would be told of his replacement before Christmas. We wondered each day if that email had arrived and how it would be received.
I read the names of Lindsay and Lesa Mann of Visalia, California. At first I let out a big holler, and then I cried. I ran down the hall and awoke my daughter and son in law who were visiting. Through a bedroom door I whispered the news. She asked if I was crying and through tears I answered that I was.
Within minutes I had already stalked Lesa Mann on Facebook. Putting faces to the two people who would be coming helped me find peace. It helped me to see the ones who would start loving our missionaries as we have.
What a strange mixture of emotions! We are tired, but still going at a complete pace. We look forward to returning to California, but whatever will be do with ourselves? We have changed, and we can’t even tell you how. Our children have surprised us as they speak longingly of not coming to their “Mexico” home again. Four out of the five have booked weekend trips this spring just so they can experience Mexico again. The blessings that have come to our family because of this service are immeasurable.
As I packed away Christmas this year, I did it far more carefully than before. These loved items will make their way across two countries to greet us again in California next Christmas.