We are finding that there are so many mission "coincidences" which really aren't coincidences at all, but tender little mission mercies/miracles that keep us feeling grateful and blessed. We have the opportunity to serve with amazing people who are also here as full-time senior missionaries desiring to give back to the Lord. One of these couples is the Klemasz' from Australia. They just traded places with another couple who took their place in a town called Chalon, and they came to work here in the Lyon mission office. It's so fun to go on little excursions and small trips with these and the other senior missionaries with Elder Geddes as the wonderful tour planner and guide. On this last trip to Baume-les-Messieurs, we discovered that the Klemasz' were great friends with our dear, dear friends, Lydia and Steve Chrisohoou. Elder and Sister Kemasz knew the Chrisohoous when the Chrisohoous lived in Australia before they moved to New Zealand. We knew the Chrisohoous when we lived right below them in Temple View apartments, the married student housing complex at the then, Church College of Hawaii. Chris served in the R.S. Presidency with Lydia, and the two couples shared many a meal, ongoing pranks, and all-night rook games. Steve and Lydia were able to spend some time at Chris' parents' cabin at Sundance, Utah, and Steve lived with Chris' parents for a time in Orem while he was going to school at BYU. We learned so much from these extraordinary friends about friendship, deep gospel worship, strong, devoted faith amidst pain and heart-ache, having fun, and, of course, Greek cuisine; oregano and lemon juice, Mate! Every year for Father's day Sister Geddes prepares a Greek meal for Elder Geddes complete with stuffed grape-vine leaves and moussaka. And let's not forget "Puha and Pakeha"; dandelion leaves and white people for dinner--one of our standard jokes. Chrisohoous will always hold a special place in our hearts.
So will these other great couples and senior missionaries who serve with us. Even though we are far away, we feel like we are serving in the heart of the church as we live alongside, serve alongside and play alongside these consecrated individuals.
Steve and Lydia when we first knew them.
A little later...
On Steve's 70th birthday after 45 years of eternal marriage.
Us with Elder and Sister Klemasz at Baume-les-Messieurs, France.
Our entire Lyon senior group.