Say Goodbye to Angeles
|We came bearing gifts for our Angeles friends. Other than some cards, candy and Jerky, our gifts were not new, but old, tattered tokens of our friendship that cannot be purchased in a store|
|Nilo and Edsel go pogi, but Pink just stays normal|
|We are teaching Pink how to Jimmer, beginning with a Jimmer shirt from his glory days at BYU, as Nilo displays his incredibly valuable "Y" sticker|
|Edsel holds the shirt I wore when we first met in|
|Nilo holds the valuable BYU shirt I wore to watch BYU|
lost to Florida State in 2010 (ha). Hopefully, BYU will
have better luck with Nilo wearing it.
We gave Nilo a BYU shirt that I have worn (and loved) for years. It is too big for him, but it says BYU on the left front chest and that is all that matters. We also passed out some BYU decals, and Nilo put it on display on the left rear corner of his vehicle before we even pulled out of the mall. (Awesome!) We said our last goodbyes to Pink and Edsel, at least for this trip, and headed out.
|We just added some serious value to the car Nilo used to drive us around the mission this week|
|Jordan signs the "Y" backpack for Edsel|
The drive to our hotel in Manila was slow going in the city. The traffic is just crazy, packed, never ending, and totally nuts. (If you ever come to Manila, do not rent a car. Rent a driver instead.) We had a goal of getting to our hotel early so we could just relax. We were thinking 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm would be a nice time to arrive. That did not quite work out, but we will take 6:00 pm. We all just needed to relax, reflect, and prepare for the long journey home tomorrow.
|I said goodbye to my blue Ralph Lauren tie. (Wear it well Jojo!)|
|This is what we refer to in America as: "You get what you pay for." (Ha).|
(Good thing it came with a warranty.) On the bright side, it still works.
|This is what I experienced on August 19, 1981, returning home from a two year mission to a loving family. I am grateful that Jordan will get to experience that as well these 32 years later.|
|Visiting with the Moquia family in San Isidro, Philippines, with Brad in September 2005|
|Brad's return home from serving as Elder Royal in the Philippines in September 2005|
|David, the next Elder Royal, here with his beloved branch in Chachapoyas, Peru|
|David returning home from his mission in July 2010|
|Jordan receiving his call to the Philippines Angeles Mission in May 2011|
|Jordan's missionary setting apart in September 2011|
|Taken at the BYU Wilkinson Ctr. on September 28, 2011, about 30 min. before Jordan entered the MTC|
|Jordan hugging his brother, David, goodbye for two years|
They will embrace again very soon
|My beautiful parents, here attending David's baptism in May 1997. They have been gospel stalwarts!|
|This was the last time Jordan saw his Grandpa Kelly in this life, as he passed away a year ago, when Jordan had been serving for about one year. Grandpa Kelly loved to hear Jordan play a very spirited version of "Called to Serve" on the piano.|
Our parents have left a great legacy of faith in this world and are, without question, among the most successful people to have walked the earth. They have not only given us the gospel of Jesus Christ, but have lived it with unwavering faith. They have led their children to the temple, sent them to serve as full time missionaries, and have supported their grandchildren in every righteous effort. Presently, our parents collectively have six grandchildren serving full time missions (including Jordan). They have had a collective total of 17 grandchildren who have served or are presently serving as full time missionaries, with many more yet to come. That is what life is all about - raising our children to follow Christ and serve Him, so that they will then raise up a righteous posterity to Him. That’s what our parents have done. There is nothing in this world that would or could possibly mean more to me than to see our children and grandchildren walking in the light of Christ. It is strange that, knowing the key to happiness lays within our willingness to follow and serve the Savior. That is the sole purpose of life (to assist Heavenly Father in “bring[ing] to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.) Everything else is just a distraction (and it is so difficult in a world filled with loud noise and bright lights designed to lead us in another direction).
This trip to the Philippines gave us an opportunity to reflect upon our blessings and the trials through which we walk are manageable when we remember the purpose of life and remain focused on the Savior. The journey to Him is not easy. It was never meant to be that way. There are no guarantees for smooth sailing without powerful adverse winds, high waves and rain. We are, however, guaranteed to achieve the ultimate prize of life by paying close attention to the chart that marks our course and the compass that directs us. Jordan’s mission is not the end of his service to Christ. To the contrary, it is just the beginning. He is now armed with the tools to be a powerful instrument in the Lord’s hands, to be a worthy and faithful husband and father, who will teach his children to love and serve the Savior as he has been so taught. No matter what adversity visits us in life, we can endure when we remember Christ, count our blessings, and maintain the kind of eternal perspective in life as He so exemplified during His earthly ministry.
|Jordan's cousin Elder Cody Bringham returned home from the Iowa Des Moines Mission in March 2011|
I have enjoyed visiting with Jordan about things he has learned on his mission. He has acquired so many funny little habits. Jordan will sometimes catch himself saying or doing something, then stopping after noticing me observing him and saying: “It will probably take me a while to stop doing that.” We look forward to Jordan being reunited with the rest of our family on our Friday arrival. We have come full circle in the missionary experience, bringing our last son safely home. Yes, it really is “like I am dreaming.” Ingat po.
|Soon, little Royal will be looking up to the real|
Uncle Jordan, who will help lead him to grow up
and carry on the family legacy of serving the Lord
|Edsel's picture collage of our meeting at SM in Angeles today|
|Pink's picture collage of our Angeles meeting|