Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Con Affetto

For several months, we have been working on an appropriate gift for President and Sister Acerson: one that would remind them of Italy and be a keepsake that they would treasure. We started collecting money from the missionaries shortly after our arrival in February 2009. We have tried to keep it a secret and as far as we could tell, we were able to surprise them with our choices at our last Rome Zone Conference.

The lovely, handmade music box was made in Sorrento, a charming town in the bay of Naples. There are five different inlaid woods, each of a different color. The workmanship is exquisite. When you open the box lid, a lively tune begins, and you can see the tiny workings of the precision musical movement. This art of inlay dates from the 15th century.

The scriptures were bound in Florence leather, carefully tooled and stamped with President and Sister Acerson’s name across the front, Italy Rome Mission up the left side with the angel Moroni at the top, and the fleur-de-lei of Firenze on the leather tab closing. Sister Acerson made the comment that she had recently seen scriptures like this, and questioned some of the Elders on how she could get some made up. So, we felt the scripture choice was a good one.

Of course, the gift was rounded out with long-stemmed red and yellow roses and daisy’s in a cut glass vase, and a card.

President obviously felt this was a day of celebration.

There was no possible time when we could have all the missionaries now serving in the Italy Rome Mission be there with us to present these gifts. We did ask the Acerson’s to take the gifts around to the other Zone Conferences so the other missionaries could see them.

On the accompanying card, we wrote:

President and Sister Acerson,

From all your missionaries – both past and present –
who have enjoyed your tender, loving care over the
past three years. Thank you for your high energy
and tremendous service to us, to Italy, and to the Lord.
May you return home, good and faithful servants,
knowing that we wish you well in the years to come.
We love you both tremendously.
The Missionaries of the Italy Rome Mission

PS – We can hardly wait for
our first mission reunion.
No pressure!

In their remarks afterwards, both Sister Acerson and then the President expressed how their best gift was getting to know and love all their missionaries. We all belong to them, and we love that thought.
Acerson’s do not return home to Utah until July 1. We are pleased to have them a little while longer. Then we will welcome President and Sister Kelly as our new mission president and wife for the Italy Rome Mission.