News Item: Mission reunion in Hungary?
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To Whom It May Concern:
We recently returned from Ireland where we participated in a highly successful reunion with members and returning missionaries. Unlike the enjoyable, but casual get-togethers at General Conference time in Salt Lake City, this remarkable reunion in Dublin turned into a great reactivation tool and a profound spiritual experience for members and missionaries alike.
We were able to visit and reach inactive members and to renew and strengthen friendships with active and inactive members and missionaries alike. We’ve seen the reunion draw members closer together. We’ve seen a renewed spark of missionary zeal on both sides of the ocean. We’ve assisted in locating and helping long lost friends reestablish contact with each other. We’ve seen youth from the wards and branches in Ireland recommit themselves to serving missions. And we’ve watched new friendships among members and missionaries blossom and flourish.
It is our hope that other missions throughout the world will adopt the idea of holding similar reunions. We realize the circumstances in each mission will vary, but the general idea can easily be adapted and modified to meet the unique circumstances and challenges of each mission. We have found this reunion to be a wonderful way to be in contact with members and missionaries, to strengthen them and be strengthened by them. It creates an event to which all can look forward to attend.
Attached is an itinerary of our two-day event. If you feel like this is something that may be worthwhile in your mission, please feel free to use and modify this information. We’ve had many positive comments from members and missionaries who attended the two reunions we’ve held in the last three years. In the words of one member as he encouraged a group of former missionaries to attend, “It will be the time of your life for you and the time of our lives for us.”
We have also attached a list of quotes from various people who attended the reunion. Feel free to use these quotes and to visit our website.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Brad or Craig at email@example.com
Or visit out web site at www.idmreunion.com
"A friend of mine who was baptized on the same day but hadn't been to church in 36 years came to the reunion. I have now given her The Book of Mormon and she is reading it and hopefully will go back to church. She said she felt the spirit, and as we sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again she smiled and said, "See I remember the words." We are close again.
-- Charlotte Tiernan, member Sligo Branch
"I cannot emphasize enough how good it was to see everyone, and how uplifting the whole experience it was."
--Joan Hannick, member since 1978.
"I believe there will be no end to the good that will come out of this reunion. The Spirit was there with such power that we can take it that the heavens gave it their stamp of approval. Heaven was close." "Tears flowed from my eyes, and my heart wept for the music and testimonies which I heard. It was remarkable to see the missionaries of yesteryear return with fire in their bellies for the great work of the Lord. What a privilege it was to see them again." "I feel sure souls will be saved as a direct result of this reunion as testimonies are rekindled and the never-forgotten missionaries warm Irish hearts once again."
--Tom Murphy, president of Cork District
"What a joy to stand shoulder to shoulder with ex companions and friends singing our mission song. I have never regretted serving the Lord as a missionary and in the most beautiful part of the earth "
--Robin Gowen, IDM missionary from 1979 to 1981
"The reunion was fantastic, the likes of which have not to be seen anywhere else in the whole world."
-- Tommy O'Reilly Returning Member (first branch president Dublin late 1960's)
"It was beyond words to go back and meet people who I hadn't seen for 26 years. We were able to find everyone where I had played some small part in their conversion. Every single one!! I still can't believe it."
--Bernie Orr, IDM missionary from 1979-1981
"It was a very fun reunion and an incredible trip altogether."
--Rick Egan, IDM missionary from 1978-1980
"It was like taking a step back in time and I really enjoyed being able to share memories with you guys. I hope you won't wait so long to come back and see us again."
--Joan Hannick, member of Dublin Stake
"It was worth every penny and minute and I hope to go again in 3 years."
--Kevin Flynn, IDM Missionary late 70s
"It was one of the best meetings I have ever attended. See you in 2010, please God."
-- Philip Murphy, returning member
"There was a great feeling of renewed friendships and a warmth that was palpable to all that were there." - "Although some didn't get to baptize in Ireland, please realize that the baptizing is only part of the work. The sisters that taught me the Gospel didn't get to baptize me. That was done by a local Priesthood holder. But who do you think had the greater effect on my life? I have met so many of you down through the years and have been affected in a positive way by so many of you." To all you missionaries that have served here in Ireland can I just say thank you. Thank you for the friendships. Thank you for the wonderful wife that I met in the Church and for our three beautiful children. Thank you for some of the happiest days of my life. Thank you for helping to shape my life. Thank you for coming over here and giving your time, energy and enthusiasm in sharing your deepest beliefs and feelings and testimonies. So once more thanks...thank you for my life.
-- Leo Lalor
"I now know what Alma felt like when he was reunited with the sons of Heleman. I experienced inexpressible joy to see those wonderful saints and missionaries smiling, hugging and shaking hands. I caught a glimpse of heaven that night."
-- Craig LaRocco, IDM missionary 1978-1980
"It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. Seeing the growth of the members and the church in Ireland was faith-building. I count this as one of the greatest experiences of my life."
--Darren Miller, IDM missionary 1980-1982
"I count my blessing every day to have been a witness to these events, I will be forever grateful."
-- Brad Cox, IDM Missionary 1979-1981
"Go to the reunion. It will be the time of your lives for you and the time of our lives for us."
--Bernard O'Farrell, patriarch, Dublin Stake
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