Tuesday, August 11, 2015

7 August 2015 Some final goodbyes

Actually our last day of the mission was 21 July 2015, Elder and Sister Nichols arrived late in the evening of 20 July. They called and said they would be in Charlotte by about 7 pm. We were having a goodbye dinner at the mission home. President and Sister Alexander invited the office/employment staff for a steak dinner. The Nichols came in just in time for dinner. It was nice to have them there and meet the staff. We were very blessed to have many friends around and to spend time with them before we left. At one of the last group FHE we invited Brother and Sister Beacham ( they live in the Harrisburg ward). Dale is a counselor in the bishopric and is an electrician by trade. He was working on the mission office's AC system.We spent the evening at their home. I found out that Vicki Beacham was related to me. Her grandmother was a Slade. She is originally from Colorado. The following Sunday the Lancaster branch had a farewell get together at the branch presidents home. There were so many things leading up to our departure, and I know I can't relate them all. Let me just say it has been beyond words. Let me just add that Steve Slade and I talked about him and Donna driving out to meet us here in Charlotte and then driving home for a vacation. We planned it and they came. It was a great time. Several pictures are of that trip home. So we are home now, and I want to wrap up this blog. I have several pictures and stories, ending the mission and the trip home. So lets get started.
 This is Sister McCulloch and Sister Buckner, they are in the Harrisburg ward and lived in our apt complex. They came by often to talk. We really enjoyed them, they are so funny together.


Sister Z and Sister Marshall 

Sister Slade, Sister Z and Sister Marshall 

 Last goodbye with Sister Z

This is Elder Leach, he broke his leg (snapped the tib/fib) when he fell off a porch swatting at a wasp.
He needed shots in the stomach to prevent blood clots for a week. No one wanted to do it so Sister Alexander (presidents wife) ask me if I would give the shots. They heard I gave shots to my horses. So I did. 

Elder Leach and Elder Reinholt. The missionaries in Elder Leach's district would take turns staying with Elder Leach so the others could go out and teach. As I said long ago no one is alone on a mission. A side note about Elder Reinholt, remember the painting on the wall that said Pineville Elders? Elder Reinholt is the culprit, I mean artist.

This is at the Beacham's home, we had FHE there. Sitting next to Sister Slade is Vicki and then Dale. They were a blast to be with.

Another picture, we ate watermelon for dessert. Dale was born and raised in Charlotte. He had a lot of good and funny stories to tell about growing up there. 

 To the right -> is Kari, we met her through ldsjobs.org. We also visited her from the Lancaster Branch. We became good friends and will miss her.

 Jennifer Cabiness with Sister Slade and Kari 

Sister Ofisa, Sister Slade and Sister Spain, they are the Lancaster Sisters. We spent a lot of time with them. We grew to love them very much.

Great Sisters, hardworking and loving.
 This is at the farewell get together at president's home. Front is Sister Cabiness (Jennifer's mom), in the back is Jessica Schaupp (daughter), President Schaupp and his wife Sister Schaupp

Jennifer and Sister Slade 

Until next time, Jennifer

 Jessica Schaupp

Bonnie and Ed Cox. Ed is a recent convert, Bonnie is not a member (yet).
We were invited over for dinner and to discuss the church. The best part is we made good friends.
I was tickled that they came to the get together. 

It's hard to see, but this is a picture frame, made by the Hunts and given to us. It is pictures of the front yard at the mission office. Elder Hunt is a photographer and takes pictures of the wildlife in the area. It is beautiful. 

Farewell dinner at the Mission Home with President Alexander (President is at the opposite end of the table) and Sister Alexander with the senior couples.  

They presented us with a silver plate with the NC State bird (Cardinal)

Reedy Creek Elders, Elder Dunville and Elder Archbald. I had the opportunity to work and teach with them to a couple who contacted me via ldsjobs website. I referred them to the Reedy Creek elders. 

Harrisburg Elders, Elder Evans and Elder Harrison. They live in the same complex we did.

The day before we left, this district held a meeting, it includes the districts in the Charlotte Central Stake. The sung the NCCM song "We sure love ya North Carolina" I have it on video, I wish I could post here for all to hear, it is beautiful. They did a great job. 

missionaries playing around and saying goodbye, we will miss them very much.

This was plastered all over the door on the morning we were leaving, by Sister McCulloch and Sister Buckner. You can't read them, but they were goodbyes and we love you Slades. We love them and will always remember them. 

 Sister Phillips, (Sister Slade) and Sister Hoffman, they are serving in Greensboro Stake.
What can I say about Sister Phillips that I haven't already said. She has become family, we love her dearly.

One more 

She touched our lives, greatly.

Sister Phillips gets an extra large picture, so I chose this one. 

When we left Charlotte, we drove to Newport News VA. and to Williamsburg, VA. the following pictures are from Old Williamsburg, VA.

Right where Sister Slade wants me. 

After we left Newport News we drove to Washington DC, the following are pictures from DC

Patty, Donna and Steve,waiting in the subway for our train

In side Union Station

Outside Union Station

The capital (under repair)

Washington Monument, and part of Patty's head. She stepped in front as I took the picture

Jefferson Monument

 Donna and Steve at the Korean Monument

Korean Monument

Another look at the Washington Monument, across the water.

In front of the Lincoln Memorial

Abraham Lincoln, his hands look like they are signing A & L (sort of)

At the Viet Nam memorial

Checking the name book, I found Thomas Woolridge, neighbor of mine.

This is a memorial to the nurses

Arlington Cemetery, I love that sign it touches the heart and soul.

The eternal flame at JFK memorial

Steve lost again

Patty waiting

We were able to see the Changing of the Guard. This is a real treat and a very spiritual event.

After we left Washington DC we drove towards Lancaster PA.
Along the way we stopped at Gettysburg, PA. 

This is the eternal flame at Gettysburg. It has been said that JFK and Jackie visited here and she remembered this site, so when JFK was buried she thought of the eternal flame.
Below are battle ground pictures

After leaving Gettysburg we arrived in Lancaster, PA. We visited some Amish places of business. In  this and the next 2 pictures are  a 3 way piece of furniture. In the 1st one it is a high chair,

Then a desk

Then a rocking Horse. We bought one to give to Jeff and Sara Butler for their new baby (coming in January 2016)

We ate at a family style restaurant  

One picture of acres and acres and acres of corn. I saw more corn on this trip from PA to SD.

Steve just had to see Intercourse PA. So we stopped in the canning Co.

Horse drawn buggy

Horses, I heard it said that if God made anything more beautiful than horses, He kept it for Himself.

Amish dairy, machine milked. Clean as a whistle

Farm house and store next door.

Draft Mules

Following Lancaster, PA we headed west and stopped in South Bend IN
Home of Notre Dame

Another stop on the way was the John Deere Pavillion. Steve loves John Deere tractors, so we stopped to see it. It is in Moline, IL. It wasn't exactly what he thought it was going to be like, but as luck would have it our next stop was in Waterloo, Iowa. where there is another tractor/John Deere museum.

The last place of interest, before home, was Mt Rushmore! I really wanted to see this and it was pretty cool! I can say, "I've been there".

From here it was Cheyenne WY, to Ft Collins CO. and for a long day we drove straight to Eagar AZ. 
We were tired and ready to stop. Being in Eagar was as close to home as possible. It was beautiful as always. We stayed Saturday night went to Church on Sunday, stayed Sunday night, then drove to Heber, AZ. We visited with Tim and Jamilyn and their family, enjoyed FHE with them. We talked about the mission, and answered questions. Tuesday we headed home arriving in the evening. to this


I love my family, and I am glad to be back. That said the mission became a focal point in our lives, we met the best friends, interacted with the best missionaries served under the best presidents and their wives. In the words of Oliver Cowdery "these were days never to be forgotten... awakened the utmost gratitude of this bosom!" "I shall not attempt to paint to you the feelings of this heart, nor the majestic beauty and glory which surrounded us on this occasion;" Till the next experience, and as always, keep the faith. Adios and Vaya Con Dios, con amor