July 22, 2012

Trip: Feels like home

I arrived in Santa Rosa on Thursday evening...to the home of my parents who are currently serving as missionaries for our church. I can't express how much it means to spend this time with them--just three weeks before they actually return home. I walked into their apartment and saw all of these things that feel so familiar...I saw the food in their fridge and I know that food, I saw my mom's things on the bathroom counter and I know those things, I heard my dad's laughter and I saw my mom's hands and I immediately felt safe and nurtured. I've slept so well since I arrived!

On Friday morning I attended zone conference with them. Since it's their last one I was able to hear them bear their testimonies and watch all of the young missionaries dote all over them. They have been a home away from home for these missionaries--and such good examples. They will be missed. Two elders told me "your parents have changed my life." I realized how nice it is to know that those you love are loved by many. I hope the senior couple taking their place will be just as good at baking little treats and exchanging ties and making the missionaries feel loved...because it is certainly needed and appreciated by these young men and women who now seem so vulnerable to me. Anyway, I am grateful to be in the missionary scene with the elder and sister. In just a couple of hours I will attend a baptism of one of their investigators. Last night this sweet woman stopped by to talk through some fears and I loved her right away and saw that my parents do too and even though I have always understood why they're making the sacrifice to do what they're doing, I don't think it really sunk in until that moment. What joy....

Yesterday we visited a redwood forest nearby. I loved walking through those looming trees. They really are as impressive as I've always been told. Northern California is basically a dreamboat.


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