Good bye letter from my precious friend Char Ford as she prepares to leave with her husband Mike and go serve as Public Relations Missionaries in 6 countries of Africa, with their home base in Kenya. We had tried to get them to replace us here in Britannia but they were snatched up before we could get them. But the Lord's in charge. He knows where they are most needed. They will be wonderful.
Dear Friend.....We had our Sacrament meeting Sunday. Now that is a good day to get behind you. I really didn't realize I was so wound up about it....that afternoon I felt like my breathing went back to normal and I was my old self again. As you know, these last few weeks really are packed with so much to do and so much emotion that it is hard to handle all of it. BUT I have a really sweet friend in London right now serving a mission and I got a surprise phone call from her a while back that has saved my life over these last few days. I try to remember her council so that my heart won't break completely.
Yesterday Amy and her family left. We have had everyone here for the past week and it is heaven for this old grandma when we are ALL together. As we began our goodbyes I felt like my heart was breaking....at least a fourth of it....Christy will leave tomorrow and then my heart will be broke in half. I'll finish it up with
goodbyes to the boys and their families in a few weeks. This truly is the sacrifice of serving a mission. I told all the grandkids in my talk Sunday that even though I cry when I say goodbye it is not because I don't want to go....I have always wanted to serve a mission with Papa, it's just because I love them so much and will miss them. Oh the things we do because we believe in the Savior. Really you couldn't do these things unless we did.
I love you Starla, thank you so much for the tender phone call, truly a friend in the time of need. Mike and I are really getting excited and want more than ever to GET STARTED!!! We are still praying for Visas but are told by Brother Love in the travel department all is well. So with faith we will take that advise and let the system work. Please give Jim a hug......now that is one lucky man!!! We will have e-mail so we can keep in tough. See you for a hug February 2017!!!!!! Take care and God Bless
(7 days ago)
So last week my computer (which is where all things mission related come from) crashed and I have had to get a new hard drive. Finally got it back last night and saw your very tender sweet letter that warmed my soul. Oh Char how I can relate!!! it's not about leaving your home, the ward, or the convenience of Orem Utah. It's about leaving those little people that have such a hold on your heart (AND our big children who are our dearest friends). I know I sometimes wonder if our sacrifices are acceptable to the Lord. But when it comes to getting on a plane and leaving those people that own your heart behind to go serve people you don't even know yet I KNOW that it's a sacrifice deep and dear enough to count as some payback to the Lord who has given it all to us in the first place. I continue to feel his acceptance of our efforts ALL THE TIME! Your heartbreak is known to the Lord. IT COUNTS!!!! We've been gone for over 18 months and my heart still will ache for our family. But sweet Char He will use that ache to propel you forward to serve more diligently and fill it up with the love you have for those you are serving. It's a very tender circle of love and sacrifice.
I've reached an interesting place in our mission. We only have 4 1/2 months left and I'm starting to panic. I can hardly wait to meet our new littles, Skyler and Seth, and hug all our precious family. But when I think of leaving our kids here my eyes automatically fill up with tears. I can hardly bear to think of leaving them. So many of our dearest kids are Chinese, most I will never see again in mortality. Talk about heartache. But that's what comes with being fully committed. It's what it's all about.
Char you and Mike will be in our prayers that your visa will be issued and you'll be able to leave on time. (I so relate to NEEDING to just go. I don't know if you remember Jim getting so sick before we were to go for TWO WEEKS!!!! I was dying by time we finally got to get on that plane and just get started so I totally relate to getting the goodbyes done and getting out and going to work!) I can testify to you both that you will look back at this time of serving together as a precious gift from the Lord, one you will cherish forever.
Know we love you both and are cheering you on! You will be MARVELOUS!!! Look out Africa... the Fords are on their way!!!!