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Saying goodbye is hard to do. Especially real goodbyes. It’s not like I’m dying or anything. After all, I did join Facebook in order to keep in touch with friends. Still, I’m leaving.

Yesterday I had a wonderful long lunch with the Primary presidency that was just lovely. I would post the pictures here but I still believe in the Bogeyman and I don’t want him to know so easily where I live! I love the women in Primary I work with. They are so wonderful.

Being the secretary hasn’t been my favorite. It took a lot of time to get used to my responsibilities. None of it came easily to me but I have gotten better over time. I will miss the people more than anything. Last Sunday I was knocking on doors with my buddy. The president saw him race through the halls for the door around the corner. She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said I was going to miss him. Yes I will! I love that boy! He is my pet.

Today I went to a pool party for visiting teaching. The kids had a lot of fun splashing in the pool while we women sat around talking. My friend Vicki is feeling a little abandoned. Both her visiting teachers are moving and her neighbor across the street is also moving. The other sister we visit teach is also moving. Poor Vicki was probably tired of being reminded of how the ward is rapidly emptying out. Yesterday the presidency counted about 15 or 16 kids that are moving out of Nursery and Primary. That is significant loss!

At the end of the pool party Pei-Ting hugged everyone with individual words of encouragement and love for each of us. Vicki almost sounded angry as she tried to put on a brave face to say goodbye. Her words were, “I refuse to think of you moving. I will see you on Sunday.” Chris more or less had the same sentiment. She said she would see me on Sunday and she would visit me on Monday before we leave. No need for real goodbyes yet.

Part of me wants to stay home on Sunday. Not go to church. My heart has been ripped out every Sunday these last couple of weeks. I see everyone and I realize how much I will miss this ward. Up until now I have been all smiles. I think this Sunday my smile will crack and I may leak a little.

I almost leaked a little at lunch today. We went to Chili’s to see Mike one last time. We haven’t seen him since the last day of school when we asked him and his wife to pray for us. He knew we were coming in one last time with the kids. He was afraid he had missed us since it had been so long.

Lunch was great. Mike was fabulous as usual. Instead of a steady stream of two mugs, he would bring three mugs to the table every time. Two Diet Cokes and a Sprite for Gavin. The manager came by at one point. Mike has introduced us to him before. I love Mike. He can’t say enough nice things about any of the Chili’s staff. Same thing today.

Mike walked away to take care of his other tables and Sergio, the manager, stayed behind to talk to us for a minute. He asked us about our move. Was it a job change? Those types of questions. We talked to him for a minute. Then he shook Heath’s hand and reached out to shake my hand as well. He wished us luck in our move.

I didn’t think anything of it. What a nice guy was as far as my thoughts went. A few minutes later Mike came by again and told us to ask for Sergio when we were ready to leave. He went on and on about what a great Christian Sergio was.

“He’s a believer too. He doubts a lot but he’s a believer. He fell in love with your family and has paid for your meal.”

I have never felt more stunned or humbled at the same time. I have never had anyone pay for my meal like that. He wanted to pay for our whole family. What a blessing to know people who exhibit the best of humanity. The only way we knew to pay it forward was to give Mike a generous tip as we left. He gave both me and Heath a hug and wished us well.

Earlier in the meal he came by to say he didn’t think he had big enough to go cups to get us all the way to Seattle. Maybe a town just down the road but not all the way to Seattle! He suggested we stop off at every Chili’s along our route to refill our to go cups. “Just tell them Mike sent you!”

There is so much I am ready to leave behind. Those things prove to me that the time is right to move. We are ready. But I will miss so much all the people we have grown to love here.

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