Whale watching boat holding the only whale we saw that day!
Rosalind and Jay Sorensen
Jerald Taylor and Lorenzo Castillo (our bosses) with the beautiful plaque we received from the office.
January 28, 2014
Hola for our final mission report in the DR - unbelievable that the time is here!
Recently we met and helped train the Bawdens - a couple that is now assigned to the ABC Islands - located right above Venezuela - they are in for an adventure. They will do a little bit of everything and were excited to get to work! There are about 20 single missionaries on the three islands and 4 or 5 branches of the church. He spoke Spanish but there is a lot of Dutch down there also. Just a faithful couple here from New Mexico.
We learned that we are in the temple district for the new Gilbert Temple in Arizona. We will arrive home in time to take our neighbors to the open house and also enjoy the cultural celebration with grandkids participating and then the actual temple dedication March 2nd. We hear reports that it is spectacular and impressive!
There is a whale watching season here - we scheduled an excursion along with about 20 other missionaries. Turns out it was the season's first time out w/guests for the boat. They had numerous whale sightings in the days before we went . . . however, on our appointed day the whales seemed to not get the "show up" message and blew us off! It was 4 hours on rather rough seas - I chummed the fish along the way and was miserable for a little while. It is great PR that they give you back your ticket for a return trip if you don't see whales - we gave ours away as they said anyone could re-use them. Would of been an awesome sight to see those hump back whales surface . . .
A month ago I was able to be the escort at the temple for a young wife/mother here from Antigua. They have been visiting family in Haiti and returned last Saturday to be sealed in the temple with their little girl. The temple has been closed but President Flake opened it so this couple could have this wonderful blessing before returning to Antigua. It was a wonderful experience to witness this occasion with them.
We picked the Sorensens up at the airport Saturday at midnight - they are ready to take over!!! It is has been great to be with them these last few days of transition. We have greatly enjoyed doing all of our "lasts." The office had a farewell of sorts for us . . . we appreciate the friendship/love of all these beautiful Dominican people. However, we have become readier and readier to return home to our life and family. Missions are life changing and we feel blessed to have been able to serve. We return home somewhat different in outlook and attitude because of the experiences we have had and learned from.
We are so honored by the goodness of the lives of our children/grandchildren and the joy this brings to us! How thankful we are to have the gospel of Jesus Christ to guide our lives. We trust and pray this small sacrifice at this time of our life has been a worthy offering of our love and gratitude to our Lord and Savior. Can't wait to get those hugs on our return!!
Thanks for reading my mission letter ramblings and LOVE TO ALL
XOXOXOXOXO Mom and Dad, Chuck and Vickie, Grandma and Grandpa