"Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep."
November 8, 2012 marked the one year anniversary of the bike/auto accident that took the lives of two dedicated missionaries, Elder Derek Walker and Elder Trevor Strong. Our assistants, President Trayner, and I spent the day training nearly ninety missionaries. It was the last day of a three-day training. By the time the meetings were over, we all agreed that they were among the best training meetings that we had had in a long time. The missionaries had been responsive, eager to participate, and desirous to apply what they had learned. The Spirit was strong and we could feel a palpable "lift" in the eagerness of the missionaries to accomplish what they had come to do. We felt a renewed sense of urgency. As we finished the last meeting, we acknowledged the anniversary of the accident and bore testimony that Derek and Trevor live on, doing what they loved doing in the Texas McAllen Mission- teaching others the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 4:6). We felt Elder Strong and Elder Walker's influence with us that day. Elder Harris (who survived the accident) bore testimony of the strong commitment of his companions.
That evening, President and I visited the scene of the accident. A local bikers club has erected a memorial at the site. We added our flowers to the monument and reflected on the good that these missionaries did during their short lives. Even after their deaths, hearts were touched, and families were brought into the church. Now- yes, even now, a year later- not a day goes by when I don't think of them.
Sometimes I weep.
Note: There is a group of mothers, who have missionaries currently serving here in the Texas McAllen Mission, who are putting together a Christmas tree honoring Elders Strong and Walker. This tree will be donated for display and auction at The Festival of Trees in Salt Lake City. Proceeds from the auction will go to benefit children at the Primary Children's Hospital. These mothers have successfully accumulated many donations for the tree, but are willing to accept monetary donations to help defray their other costs. Anyone interested may check out this website: http://eternaltiesmissionaries.blogspot.com
Here are pictures of the memorial, plus pictures of other items that have been happening in the mission and in our lives:
November Leadership Training Meetings:
|Meeting for the Hermanas|
|The Assistants show the Hermanas how to follow a great recipe...|
Training for new missionaries and trainers:
Zone Leader's Council in October:
Ice Cream at the Mission Home after October General Conference
Training for new district leaders and trainers at the mission home:
Speed contacting at November ZLC
|Waiting for their interviews|
|Sister President's helpers...|
|Happy birthday to the Mantles!|
Sometimes we weep. Although it was something that we knew we may have to face while serving in the mission field, we were saddened at the passing of Steve's dad. He was a great, kind, loving, generous man. One way that I know of his greatness is because of the influence he had on the man I married- and I married the best! He will be missed. President Trayner could not leave the mission to go to the funeral in Salt Lake City, but I was able to make the trip.
During the same trip, I was also pleased to be able to attend the swearing in of our son as an attorney and meet with a few of the great returned missionaries of the TMM.
|Grandma and granddaughter date- Build a Bear!|