Today is a very important day for me. This afternoon I will undergo the surgery that I have been preparing for since we returned home. The doctors have found stones in my bladder as well as an acute enlarged prostrate. They are confident that this surgery will help me heal and return me to full health.
So we are declaring that today ends our first mission (even though we were officially released on June 16th) and begins the preparation for our second one. We really hope they will call us, again.
One year ago today we were in full gear preparing to go to Africa. We received our call on April 17, 2012. We had a long list of things to accomplish, but we took a week and had a wonderful family reunion in Park City with our entire family. It was one of the most glorious weeks of our lives!
Below the surface, however, there were five major issues that were still unresolved. While these all related to our businesses, they were nonetheless major obstacles that needed to be removed before we could go to Africa and “put our hand to the plow” and not look back.
As I have been reviewing my journal, I am reminded that the Lord is mindful of us, and that His hand is active in all things. I am amazed that we found a solution to all of those items during the month of July, 2012 (even though it took several months into our mission to complete all the necessary transactions to eliminate these burdens).
So here I stand, again, at the beginning of July. One year later. Right now I really have only one obstacle to overcome. It has seemed like it was as big a burden to carry as all of the others combined. This past month has been so long and hard, and at times I have wondered if I could endure it any longer, but I have felt so much support and love. So many people have prayed for me (and continue even today—thank you) and my name has been placed in so many temples that we have lost count, and I am trying to focus on only one thing—that is, if God could solve those temporal problems that were deterring us from serving him full time; with all our hearts, MINDS, might and strength; then He can solve this physical problem and I will be able to return to his service.
Being a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been the greatest honor of my life. I love sharing the Gospel. Technically, I have had two missions (if you don’t count the Stake Mission when I was a Stake Seventy) and Debi has been with me on both. Of course she had to stay at home while I was in Alabama-Florida, but she was with me nonetheless. We were together in Africa, and we will be together wherever they determine to send us now. She is the greatest companion and has been my primary caregiver and nurse.
I have full confidence that today will turn out positive and so officially I declare that today begins our preparation time for our next mission. Our list is not as long as it was a year ago. We have all the stuff, much of which is still sitting in our suitcases. But there will be a few things to do but most important will be returning to health, gaining strength and maintaining the Spirit, so that wherever we serve we can do God’s will.
We miss our friends and fellow missionaries in Africa. We talk about the people we met constantly, and we pray that the work of the Lord will continue to roll forth in that choice part of the Lord’s vineyard.
Again, thanks for your love, support and prayers!
Today is the first day of the rest of our lives! We have been limping along waiting for the healing process to begin and I have full faith that today Greg will start that long but hopeful journey.
We have always heard the saying “without your health you have nothing”. I have never totally been a believer of that saying but I have to say that without your health the quality of life and the ability to enjoy the world around you becomes very difficult.
Greg has been a real trooper. He is so brave each day and tries so hard to be a good patient. He has even done some family history projects and just yesterday we drove to Salt Lake and presented his father’s journals and pictures to the Church’s history department. This was a great moment for Greg. He worked so hard to put all of the material together and put his father’s letters into a book before we left on our mission. I am so thankful that he felt good enough to finish this great effort.
Even though Greg hasn’t felt well we have enjoyed being in our home and seeing our family and friends. We have reported to the High Council and several of the wards in our stake have asked us to speak in their Sacrament Meeting after Greg is feeling better.
We have thought much about why we had this happen at this time. We really loved the work in Africa and we were willing to give it our all for the next 14 months. But, we are willing to do whatever we are called to do to build the kingdom of God here on earth and fulfill our mission where ever the Lord directs.
So once again, we both hope they call us on a mission. We are ready for the next adventure.
Our testimonies are strong, our faith is strong, and our hope is strong. Hurrah for Israel!