Friday, April 26, 2013

So Long Farewell

It's official. Our mission has ended. What a great group to serve with. This is our zone missionary photo, taken last month. We serve patron questions that come in by phone, instant message, and email. Hundreds of support questions come in each day. Next week 7 new missionaries start in the zone (1 of 21 in our mission) and 7 of us are being released.

Serving here is a wonderful experience. We had an exit interview with Mission President and Sister Wayne Peterson. He asked me what were the positive things that were meaningful to me about our mission. My answer was that there were two that stood out. 1- The tremendous opportunity to learn about family history and genealogy. So many resources are here if we take advantage of them. 2- The spirit here. It is like we are bathed in the spirit continually. The spirit our fellow missionaries exude, so many devotionals to set the spirit, the entire campus that we serve in whether we are in one of the libraries, in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, walking around the Temple Square Campus, or in the Church Office Building. It has been truly important to me.

I have both grown and shrunk here: grown spiritually and gotten control over my weight.

You might notice the young elders, missionaries in the photo. I call them the heart and soul of the mission. There are currently 70 that can serve here. They and their families must go through an interview with the mission couple that oversees them. If they want us and we want them they get in line to be called here. There are now 58 on the waiting list. The employees are figuring out how sharp some of them are and are asking the Church to send more here, thus the number 70 is going to 76. Bringing them in is a matter of where they will serve and housing. We have limited mission housing, even for the senior couples. If you bring your own furniture as we did, you cannot use mission housing.

The missionaries are divided into two Branches for Church meeting and functions. Our branch has the Young Elders. When you are on your way in or out there is a special Branch Hail and Farewell dinner. Here are the words to the Farewell song, sung to the tune of So Long Farewell:

So long, thank you,
for service kindly given.
We'll see you again,
though it may be in heaven.

So long, farewell....
We hate to see you go....
But were so glad it's you
we go to know..

We know you simply
cannot always stay....
May life be good to you
and yours, we pray.

So long, farwell,
auf Wiedershen, adieu.
We say good bye
to you and you and you.....

Good bye....


good bye...

We have been blessed by serving here. This summer it's going to be a great summer of visiting family and maybe for the first time in our lives feeling like we had retired. We went right from working our careers to this mission. I am guessing this fall we will be thinking of what is next. Who knows, we might become like many we served with, serving multiple missions. 


  1. You and "Sister Cragun" have really blessed this mission. You talents are really going to be missed. It is hard to say goodbye and to see you go. Have a great summer, be careful and enjoy your family!!!! Come to AZ to visit us when you get tired of cold winters.

  2. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I've really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  3. Thank you Pam. We miss it already.