It is Sunday afternoon and we have just returned from our regular block in our home ward. It is time we caught you up on our summer and let you know we will be heading back to Tarawa Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 10). We have had a glorious summer at home and though much of it was spent with doctors, etc. (in spite of the various physical therapies), we have enjoyed it all. Sister Waldron's shoulder is nearly 100% as are my teeth and we are returning to the mission field rested, healthy, and excited to get back to the work. We are really sad to miss the coming winter ;) but look forward to the tropical climate of our home away from home. Having been in contact with many of our friends in Kiribati we anticipate a happy reunion and their loving welcome when we get there.
Since coming home in July, Sis Waldron "enjoyed" the manipulation of her shoulder to break all the scar tissue loose and two months of PT to complete the rehabilitation from her frozen shoulder. She has had several visits to her chiropractor and other physician types culminating in a clean bill of health enabling us to return to our original field of service. Surprisingly, when we got home and after a routine trip to the dentist, we found I needed some critical work done on my teeth. So after six weeks of care under a local endodontist and three (yes,3) root canals, I also received a similar clean bill of health to return.
This has taken almost 4 1/2 months and we almost despaired of making it back, but faith and prayers were answered and we find ourselves almost ready to go. This afternoon President Mellor will set us apart again and with any luck, we can complete our preparations, purchases, and packing to board the flight on Tuesday at 5:00 pm. We will fly to LA-X and after a three hour layover continue on to Fiji where we will land at 8:00 am Thursday (they are a day ahead so we lose Wednesday). There, our change to a smaller, commuter jet will finish our last leg to Tarawa at about 11:00 am.
This summer has seen us trying to keep busy with good, wholesome activities much like the retirement we thought we might have had last year. Then, we left our employment at the bank on July 4th and entered the MTC on the 21st--hardly time to settle into the life of a retired, almost empty nest life we might have expected. We were much too busy in mission preparations those two weeks to do anything else.
Together with the family now, we have attended several reunions, hosted three of the children from their far flung habitations (Hawaii, Seattle, and St George) as they came home on vacation (including bringing two of our newest grandchildren who were born while we were gone), worked laboriously on the yard, tuned up several automobiles, and attended the temple weekly. I managed to find time to shoot with my club on the weekends and even, in my capacity as Range Officer, hosted the annual Elders Quorum/Ward Shooting Party and several scout and individual groups to other shooting activities. Sister Waldron has sewed on Grandchild projects, harvested and put up fruit and even spoke at a Y/W camp down in Price (her fame has spread far and wide).
Our delayed departure even enabled us to be on hand for the delivery or our 19th grandchild. We have spent some time this last week with Aaron's family where Sister Waldron got to hold the baby while I hung sheet rock. Not the most fair trade, but it's what we do.
I have attached a link in the subject line to an article in the November National Geographic which speaks to the plight of the people of Kiribati (and other island nations). With whatever climate change is happening, the tides are rising and because of the nature of the Pacific Islands, they are threatened with inundation of seawater which would make most of the islands uninhabitable. Beyond that sad thought there is an interesting story about the people among whom we serve. We love them and are happy to be going back. We pray that the Lord will be with us and guide us to be fruitful and helpful in the things He wants to accomplish there.
I will continue to do my journal entries and send them out to you. Sis Waldron has suggested I do a summary and send it to those of you who don't want to be burdened with five pages each week. I will do that for any who desire--just let me know and I'll put you on a different e-mail list and send you the abbreviated version.
Love to all,
Mom and Dad