Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Farewell Elder!

The time rapidly came when departure became imminent.  All shopping has been completed with Tom & I having spent some great time together to get this accomplished, not to mention the lunches and Temple time shared together.

Last Sunday evening, our friends the Hansen's, kindly opened their home so we could hold a Farewell Open House for Tom, so he could thank members from our congregation and say goodbye.  Many of our good friends came and we were able to spend a lovely evening wishing Tom the best for the next two years.

Some of the members from our ward: Clement Park Ward, Columbine Stake

The last couple of days have been spent trying to pack bags to the exact weightage of 50 lbs each.  There seemed to be this elusive amount of 6 lbs that had trouble getting into Tom's luggage!  However, with a bit of arranging and rearranging, the task was accomplished and everything was ready for departure.

Medium steak and shrimp! Nice..
Last evening we had a really nice dinner out at the Texas Steakhouse and enjoyed amazing steak, followed by a quick goodbye skype call between Tom and his brother Mike in Brisbane.

A quick skype with Mike
Then it was time to meet together with a few friends at the Stake President's home.  President LeDuc spent some time interviewing Tom for one last time and then he was set apart as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to serve in the Australian Melbourne Mission, or whatever area he might otherwise be assigned to, for the next two years.  It was a powerful, personal experience that only helps to bring a great peace and assurance that Elder Bennallack is now in the Lord's hands.  All will be well with him. Congratulations Tom, we are very proud of you.

Elder Bennallack with President LeDuc..

...and Bishop Smith..

...Kelland Hansen..

... 'besties' Sarah & Tom..

....and Mum
5.00am Wednesday (this morning) came all too soon.  And the beautiful, balmy 'Fall' or Autumn we have been experiencing for the past few days was contrasted with about 4inches of snow that had fallen overnight.  Gone are the golden leaves, replaced by a chilled world of white.

Elder Bennallack leaving 'home'.
We made sure we left early, unsure of the road and traffic conditions to the airport.  Denver International Airport (DIA) usually takes about an hour to get there, but we still managed to arrive in good time and all bags were checked in OK.  The problem was not so much the missionary requirements, but the American condiments and goodies that were deemed very necessary for survival in the coming future!!

Once checked in, the security area was before us all too soon, and this is where we needed to part ways.  It was suddenly heart wrenching as realisation hit, that although this is a wonderful, important step in Tom's life, we won't see him again for two years. 

Bye..Take Care... Love you...
Elder Bennallack however, was happy and excited to enter this next phase in his life.  All the very best Tom, you will be in our prayers every day and you know that we love you deeply..  This for you, will surely be the 'Best Two Years!'

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