Since receiving the call to serve a mission, there have been some significant changes in our lives as we prepare our affairs to spend three years in Ghana.
1. First to go was our crazy, but handsome dog, Cinnamon. We were lucky to find a wonderful young family who fell in love with him. I think by now he has forgotten us as he enjoys a home with freedom and unlimited attention.
2. We were able to sell our home after only four days on the market. This was the most tender of tender mercies. We loved that house, but the thought of trying to rent it out and manage it from Ghana was not something we even considered. I surely would have wasted a ton of heartbeats if the process had gone on for months.
3. We moved into a cute apartment in Mt. Park that was hand-picked by Evans. His selection process involved pinpointing his friend's homes on a map and picking someplace in the middle. We rented the first place that we saw and it has turned out lovely for us. Quiet with a nice view -- and much easier to keep clean than the big house.
The stake conference to reorganize the stake presidency was not without adventure. A few days before conference, we were hit with the biggest snowstorm in 8 years. It doesn't take much to shut Portland down, and this was more than much. Elder William Walker was assigned to preside, and he was able to make it in, but conditions worsened during the day on Saturday. We ended up cancelling the evening meeting on Saturday, but determined to hold the conference on Sunday morning for those who could safely attend.
An hour before the Sunday meeting, an emergency alert was sent out by the government urging everyone to stay indoors. We had visions of the new stake presidency being sustained by a dozen people. But, to our surprise and joy, about 20% of the stake braved the snow and ice to participate in conference. It was a wonderful meeting. I felt very loved and was pleased to sustain President Lake as the new stake president.
We know more changes are coming. We are having to say goodbye to some family members months before we leave -- and that has been hard. But we see the hand of the Lord in this call and in the changes that have been the result of it.