Tuesday, June 30, 2009
June Transfers Home
On June 30th, we sent home 7 Elders and 2 Sisters who have served Valiently. Elder Widtfelt, Elder Scheidler, Elder McWhoter, Elder Rogerson, Elder Jensen, Elder Kafusi, Elder Nielsen, and Sisters Willison, & Dobson.
After testimony meeting we give our departing missionaries a gift. It is a book which contains all the missionaries they have served with, their companions and their baptisms. It is fun to watch their faces as they reminese with previous companionships. They are showing their board cards which we have on the transfer board during their service.
The legendary Elder Kafusi is leaving the mission. Everybody knows Elder Kafusi. He is from Tonga and came on the mission not knowing the english language. The reason I want to mention him is the story of his departure. Let me pre empt this with Elder Kafusi lost his passport during his mission and Elder Matsen went to great lengths to be able to get another one for him. At one point of time we thought we were going to have to fly him to San Francisco to reissue another one for him. So, as you can see, our eyes have been watchful on this missionary as he returned home last Tuesday. His sweet Aunti wanted to bring a dish for the departing dinner. I tried to discourage her because she was also leaving for Tonga the next day and I was sure she had better things to do, but President encouraged me to call her back and tell her to bring her dish. Instead on a dish, she brought an entire meal to the mission home for dinner that night. They were to meet Elder Kafusi in L.A. the next day before they departed to Tonga so they could fly together. That's where the story begins. Our trusty office elders took Elder Kafusi to the airport at 6:00 pm to catch his flight only to find out that it had been canceled. Elder Torgan went with Elder Kafusi to get him checked in and left his companion out in the truck waiting, thinking it would be just a moment. What he didn't know was that Elder Kafusi's flight was cancelled and Elder Torgan was working hard and fast to make things happen. Only Elder Torgan had the phone and Elder Payne was circling outside wondering where his companion really was. Elder Torgan got him on the next plane to the Long Beach where he had to get his bags and find ground transportation to LA before his flight left at 11:00. Elder Torgan was able to do the impossible and take him through security and board the plane to make sure he was on (which by the way is NOT done usually, another tender mercy from the Lord) He found another family on the same flight that needed to do the same thing and they said they would care for him. The problem was that Elder Kafusi had no money and no phone so it was by divine intervention that we would be able to accomplish the impossible. 45 minutes before the flight left we got a call from his Antie who was ready to board the flight and a little panicky because he was not there. If he did not make this flight then it would be a week before the next flight to Tonga went out. We told her what happened and she proceeded to do her part on convincing the desk to enter in his boarding card into the system without him being there. Meanwhile, Elder & Sister Matsen spent the entire night trying to figure out how they could make this work for Elder Kafusi. The problem was we had no communication with Elder Kafusi to know his boarding information. With miracle after miracle occurring, knowing the odds were against him, we received a call from Elder Kafusi at 10:45 from his auntie's phone saying, “President I made it, I will email you when I get home”. The Lord has his hand in watching over his servants. He was on his way home to Tonga.