This has been a special week in the mission field. Last Sunday my father returned to our Father in Heaven after a life of service to his fellow man. The story from the mission field goes as follows:
A few weeks ago, I could not sleep. At around midnight I got up and face-timed my brother. His wife said he was at Dad’s house. Sensing something was off I asked if Carolyn was with Ivan. She was, along with Elma and Angela. All the family was gathered. I face-timed Angela just as my siblings had gathered to plan our Father’s funeral. He had taken a turn for the worse and would probably not survive. Though I was thousands of miles away, I joined with my siblings to plan our father’s final mortal tribute. A tender mercy!
As Dad’s condition declined over the next week or two, I frequently e-mailed or face-timed my siblings, keeping up to date on His condition. Because of the blessing of technology, I was able to be with the family for our final good-bye as the life-sustaining oxygen was removed. I was once again blessed to share with my family in a sweet and special moment. A tender mercy!
On February 21st, as I returned from church, I once again face-timed my family to check on Dad. Angela slipped into the hall at church as Sunday School ended. She told me they were heading in to check on Dad. She then asked me to wait just a minute. Ivan had just received the call from the care center that Dad had passed. I was with my family at a special moment. Once again, A tender mercy!
The Saturday of Dad’s funeral, February 28th, Gordon and I were in Castillos Uruguay visiting a small branch. When we finished lunch with Sister Narda, Gordon explained we had to leave to face-time Dad’s funeral. We thanked Narda for serving us our “family funeral lunch”. We truly felt her love and support as we shed a few tears and shared a very special moment with her. Her parents are both gone and she had lost a child. She truly felt our loss. A tender mercy!
As we got to the church to use wi-fi, it did not work. We drove around town trying to find the best signal for the phone’s hot spot. As we sat in the shade in a high point in Castillos, Uruguay, I joined with my family for the funeral services. Natalie shared my tribute to my Father with such grace. I felt an overwhelming sense of unity, peace and love though far away in Uruguay. A tender mercy!
On Sunday I was blessed once again with an out pouring of love from the Relief Society Sisters of Castillos. Though our languages are different, their love warmed my heart and reminded me of the great blessing of the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ’s love is everywhere, if we choose to recognize and embrace it. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have of learning and being reminded of the Lord’s tender mercy in far away Uruguay.