We feel impressed to share some thoughts about teamwork. Our mission will be defined by projects and people. Having just completed some projects and seen significant people in our lives change and grow, we have come to see the value of the team. Mia Hamm, famed US soccer player, is quoted as saying, “I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team. I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the real champion.”
Let us share two examples. Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays and we wanted to create an atmosphere as close to “home” as we could for the missionaries in and around Bucharest. We had a good experience last year and knew how much work it was going to be to feed 60 missionaries and guests again. We were willing but overwhelmed. However, when the other senior couples here offered to pitch in and help, especially with the preparation and cooking of 90 pounds of turkey, the job became fun again. The Jeppesens, a couple from Sugar City, Idaho were perfect. They were totally willing to get theirs hands dirty. They also had some great ideas to improve the process, which is great because we will be passing the torch to them. The result was a great meal and good feelings all around.
The real reason we are here is to help people. It is often a slow process. We have been thrilled to see two of the people we have been working with for the last year recently take on responsibilities within the branch. One will assume responsibility for the library and the other will look after the finances. Each of them have worked hard to be at the point where they are able to help and they are now grateful for the opportunity to serve. They want to do the best they can and they feel more connected. It is truly a win-win situation.
October flew by for us and unfortunately, this blog became a casualty. I am working to repent and share a few thoughts that I hope will be meaningful. I want to pay tribute to an institution that has immensely blessed my life and to a great woman. I am speaking of marriage and of my amazing wife. In doing so, I recognize that all who read this will not have been similarly blessed. Nevertheless, I am certain of my feelings and gratitude
The scripture says, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him.” That has been my experience. I am more complete with someone at my side. I express all the gratitude of which I am capable for Jacque and her willingness and ability to bless my life. Last month, we celebrated our third anniversary in Romania. About half of our married life together has been here. Many of the senior couples we work with have reflected on the challenge of being together 24/7, even after being married for decades. Many have come shortly after retiring where there was a large component of alone or away time in their relationship. We knew there was some risk in our own marriage of difficulties resulting from always being together. Again, I express gratitude for Jacque’s tolerance, patience and willingness to forgive my follies and weaknesses. She has realized that she married someone who is far from perfect and I have learned so much from her steadiness and grace.
We have worked individually and together to support marriage, our own and others. With over 60 years of combined experience and nearly that much time experiencing and observing, our feelings are deepened. We can say that all the effort and sacrifice we have exerted has been rewarded many fold. We have learned that there is wisdom in this simple proverb: “Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together.” We have learned that we are a great team and can accomplish so much more when we are focused on the same goal, willing to share and contribute our unique capabilities and thoughts, and able to choose the best pieces suited for the task at hand. There is real synergy when we work that way.
The photos are from our recent journey to northern Romania where we caught the turning of the leaves at the perfect time.
Scott & Jacque Stratton are serving an 18 month mission in Romania for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and would like to share our adventures.