Thursday, November 6, 2014

We are home!!!

Family and friends,

The past few weeks have been filled with many hugs, tears of sadness and of joy with lots of our friends in Botswana and also our family and many of you here in the states. We have been caught in a flood of emotion as our last few days in a Francistown raced by and our travel plans to return home began to unfold.

October was really exciting in the branches we have been serving as the new branch Presidents have been busy filling the presidencies and callings to organize the members and create a real unified effort in establishing Zion within their respective areas. As we attended each congregations meetings one last time, everyone was so loving and grateful for the time we had spent with them and the growth we had all experienced it was truly amazing. It was our pleasure to speak in three of the four branches and say goodbye to them during October. With renewed enthusiasm for learning and leading in the Lords way, all of the members seemed to say: now we understand how service to one another and caring for those in need does indeed build the kingdom and continues to establish Zion here where we are.

Our travel plans for coming home included a few days visiting Cape Town South Africa and experiencing this beautiful part of the world. Each time we have been outside Botswana in the past year and a half it's a real culture change and like being in a European city.  We felt as though this was a vacation following our work in the mission and really loved all we saw and did in this resort town. The history and the sightseeing is both inspiring and breath taking and we would recommend this as a must see to everyone.

Our Mission President and his wife drove us to the airport in Gaborone and helped us get our bags checked through to Dallas. The flight home took us through Johannesburg to London and then to  Dallas Texas wher we claimed our bags and went through immigration and customs. We arrived in  SLC at about  8 pm on Wednesday the 29th of October with all our children and spouses and grandchildren welcoming us with signs and cheers as we came from the airplane to the baggage claim area. Our parents and some siblings were also there, it was great. The hugs and tears of joy and happy reunions lasted a long while. Most all of them were able to stay a few days and get reacquainted as we moved back into our small townhouse in Smithfield. Our young grandchildren are all so awesome and have grown a lot while we've been away. The youngest who was born about a year ago took to us just as if we had been with him the entire time.

Thanks so much to each of you for the prayers and words of support shared in our behalf. So much of the success of our mission came through strength received from the love and kindness of our family and friends.

We have been asked to speak in the Sacrament meeting of our ward in Smithfield on November 16th. The building is located at 451 South 250 East Smithfield Utah, and the meeting begins at 11:00 am.

If we ever get a good computer set up and can put together some last pictures of our adventure, we may post again. Thank you for following us during the past eighteen months as we hope some of you have been encouraged to step up your efforts in your own way as missionaries for the church.

Happy to be home,

Charlie and Mary

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