Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Best Three Years

It has been three years since we returned from Barcelona: our successors, Mark and AnneMarie Pace, will speak in their home ward this coming Sunday, and the Daytons, who just arrived in Barcelona last week, can not remember a time when they were doing anything else.

Our three years in the Spain Barcelona Mission were life-changing in many, many ways. We will never be the same.

And the three years since our return from Spain have also been life-changing in ways we never imagined. We have continued to feel the guidance of the Lord in our lives in much the same way as we did in the mission, and in ways equally as dramatic and remarkable.

A series of events in the first weeks and months of our return set us on a course very different from what we had imagined. That change in direction resulted in one of the great experiences of my life - researching and writing about the life of Christopher Columbus. I felt like I had a "columbian" experience, that the Holy Ghost, "with a hand that could be felt," was urging me onward "with great haste." It was a life-changing experience and extremely gratifying.

Kathleen and I felt impressed to put together another small book, a transition guide for recently returned missionaries. It gave us a chance to spend many hours talking with returned missionaries, many of whom served with us, and think about the decisions and attitudes that determine our lives. We hope it will be useful to some.

And then there were the series of miracles surrounding our move - the unexpected purchase of a condominium followed almost instantly by the sale of our home of twenty years. Rarely have we felt so strongly guided in any decision. We did not know at the time that this change in our housing was to enable to accept another and unanticipated assignment: to open the Tijuana Temple as the first president and matron.

How often I told departing missionaries in Spain that the best was yet to come! Our mission experience in Spain was truly remarkable and unforgettable; we will never do anything quite like it, but it is also true that, for us, the best was yet to come!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Taking Off the Tag: Update

Several of you gave valuable input on the cover design. Here is the final version:

The presses started rolling today! The goal is to have this available by mid-summer. Thanks again for your valuable input, not just on the cover but on the contents. Our hope is that this will be useful to returning missionaries and help them stay focused and move fast!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Taking Off the Tag

Yesterday we received from Deseret Book the first draft of our upcoming book, Taking Off the Tag: A Transition Guide for Returned Missionaries. Many of you helped us with this book - with your comments, your ideas, your feedback, and your example.

We had originally titled this book, The Best is Yet to Come, but that title was not available (it was used a few years ago for a book about retirement...). But that is the key message - the best miracles, the best opportunities, the best experiences of your life lie ahead as you continue to build on the foundation you created on your mission.

Thanks for your help in making this book possible! We anticipate it will be available late summer 2015.