Saturday we made two airport runs: the first to pick-up the last of the transfer stragglers from Buruni, and the second to pick-up the Mikesells who will be taking over from Terri.
We brought them back to the mission home with for their interview with the President, then stopped at the local marche for some fruit and veggies, then finally to their new home away from home: the lower apartment at the Macameno complex (where the Wrights lived). So they are in the lower apartment, the Atkinsons live above them, and the Davis’ live in the house. The place is now full!
They were up for more, so we went out to dinner that night. The President was up for Chinese, so we had a total of 8 go to the Chinese restaurant (clawsons, mikesells, drapers, and Thomas). They had new menus, and a menu on an ipad! But no one could figure out how to order (it took a long time…), and finally we just had the President order some food, and asked them to bring us something good…
It turned out to be a great meal, and we ended up ordering more because we ate it as fast as it came out! Of course, this being the Congo, the lights went out about half-way through the meal…but they did not have a generator, so we sat in the dark for a long time, and used our phone lights.
There was a wedding celebration going on at the same time, which was sad for them, as they were trying to take pictures without any lights around.
Terri still has her infamous phone, but hopes to give it over on Monday. The Mikesells have a new iphone, but need a SIM card to use it here, which we have to wait until monday to do. But today we will go to church together a Luano and spend some time talking to them about the work. They are excited and feel very comfortable about being able to do the work. They seem happy with their new home (which has an office for them), and I believe they plan to work out of their home.
Monday will be a busy day for us, then we leave on tuesday!
Sunday we went to Luano church with the Mikesells and the Davis’. It is our favorite ward and we wanted to say goodbye to everyone. Afterward we drove around the city to show the Mikesells the medical clinics we use here. then a miracle happened…Terri gave up her phone! Not that it will help them much yet, as they don’t know French and don’t have an Internet connection yet (for google translate).
Terri had used that phone the entire mission, it was on and used 24/7 as missionaries called her about medical issues. It was a clarifying moment: the end was near!
That evening when the President returned from Likasi we ate dinner with the Thomas’ (great spaghetti and home made bread, with home made ice cream for dessert!).
Then we had our final interviews with President Thomas, and individual interviews for a new temple recommend. It was a great meeting, in which he challenged us to do a couple of profound things, which we will do when we get home, and we came to understand the profound impact we have had on the mission.
The first was a blessing we received from him…a most unusual blessing that we will share will family and friends, and the other was counsel that we receive a blessing when we get home– from a family member.
It is a great feeling to know that we worked to the end (jusque la fin!), and left nothing on the table. We have no regrets or things we would change. We had the unusual opportunity to serve under two mission presidents, and see for ourselves how a mission transition is accomplished. There are just so many wonderful experiences we have had and been able to share…
Why would anyone NOT want to serve a mission?
Tomorrow we take the Thomas’ to the airport, as they travel to Bujumbura to meet with Elder Ellis (the end of the mission tour), and Terri completes what training/transition she can with the Mikesells.
We will probably go out to dinner tonight, and then we do our final packing for going home!