It is always astounding to experience the shortness of time as we close in on a goal or departure. Perhaps time goes by more quickly because more is wedged into the space remaining. These last two weeks and the four remaining have been/are filled to the brim with preparing and completing projects, lessons, and goals and cementing relationships which have been formed during our time here in Michigan.
We have experienced tremendous spiritual feasting with stake conference in March and General Conference this precious Easter weekend. Stake, mission, and general church leadership has abundantly blessed and inspired our lives. It is a time to evaluate and focus our spiritual lives on our purposes and the great blessings which are ours through the atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Accompanying the spiritual growth has been the joy of cementing relationships as friends have made one more effort to bless our lives through invitations to their homes for dinner and other social experiences. We are returning to our home having had the privilege of association with some of the finest people on the earth. We have gained so much personally and hope we have made at least a little difference in the lives of those we've served and associated with here.
One accomplishment which gives me great satisfaction has been the documenting of the books in the library of the institute. The library has been in the "process" of organization the entire time we have been here. I did some work on it last summer, but was asked to turn my time to other things first. In March, Elder O'Dell made a suggestion which made organizing and using these books so easy that the institute director gave permission to proceed. He did a general organization categorically--then I proceeded to list all 870 books, giving them each a number and printing out lists by number, alphabetically by title, and alphabetically by author. Now students can find the book they need, check it out, and return it to the shelf removing their name from the checkout list. It is going to work and the library is beautiful.
These last weeks are continually becoming more crowded. Just today we were asked to speak in Sacrament meeting next Sunday, so besides lesson preparation we have talks to prepare. Wednesday is zone conference for the missionaries at which we will be asked to bear our testimonies as we finish our service here. Saturday is a ward temple excursion. Friday the 16th will be a senior missionary get together in Cadillac, MI, (about 2 1/2 hours north). Saturday and Sunday (the 17th and 18th), we have permission to travel to Muncie, Indiana, to see people from our last mission before we leave this part of the country. That will leave us less than two weeks which will be filled with the usual activities, plus all the final preparations.
Spring IS coming to Michigan--in bits and pieces. Early spring flowers and little green leaves are appearing. Temperatures are mellowing and we are seeing sunshine--still not consistently enough to suit me, but nonetheless spring is here. YEAH!!!
Perhaps there will be time for one more blog before we begin our westward trek. How we look forward to seeing all our family and friends and home again. Ranelle