Monday, July 28, 2008
On Monday the Missionaries come into the mission home in the afternoon where President interviews each one of them before dinner. This time we had 13 missionaries going home. We enjoyed an evening dinner and testimony meeting. Each missionary was presented a binder containing pictures of past companions and baptisms during their mission. The evening was theirs to reflect, write in journals, eat ice cream sundaes and enjoy one last leisure night in the mission home with the missionaries they came out on their mission with. Out comes the air mattress, since we can only sleep 3 missionaries in beds, and they occupy every inch of the family room floor and couches. The next morning we had 13 elders and sisters showering, eating breakfast and taking one last group picture before we departed for the airport. We sent our first group home and 45 minutes another group of 17 came down the corridor ready to begin their mission. The process begins all over again with lunch at the mission home, interviews, training, dinner, consisting of carne asada prepared by Brother Lopez and his wife, testimonies and bringing out the air mattresses to sleep on one more time. Then it is up at 6:30, showering the 17, feeding them breakfast and then off to the church for transfer meeting, where all the missionaries that were called to be transferred to come to the church. It is a big social gathering as they all enjoy seeing past companions and rejoining with the new missionaries. The instruction book says after transfer meeting...."Take a Nap". I just laughed and said, right!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
We had two days to move in and unpack and then it was on to business. We had our first Zone Conference on the following Tuesday. It consisted of 4 days of traveling around the mission to introduce ourselves and begin to get to know our missionaries. President Beck shared his personal beliefs with the Elders and Sisters and told them of his vision for the mission. He told them that if this was the #l Mission in the world then they had to become the #1 missionaries and that meant they had to learn to "Walk the Walk". By the time we got through †he mission, the tom-toms were beating. Every missionary knew that President Beck expected obedience if the mission was to succeed. We are so blessed to have the Relief Society provide a delicious lunch for our missionaries for each individual Zone Conference. This is a picture of one of our Elders from Samoa. His name is Elder Kafusi. He keeps us in stitches with his comments. As he sat down to lunch he took one of the fruit centerpieces and said, "This is Kafusi's". And that was that.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Talk about blessings from Heaven. We inherited 2 of the most incredible Assistants in the mission field. Elder Trembath and Elder Pack have been our lifesavers, our resource, our travel guides, our friends. They are the best and we are so blessed to be able to have them show us the way. They are both well respected and great leaders in the mission. I wish we could clone the both of them. Elder Trembath has extended his service to help us get through the next Zone Conference and then he leaves us. It will be a sad day for the mission when he goes home.,
We made it through Zone Conference only to be followed by Interviews the next week. This was a 6 day interview process throughout the mission. We had 3 different interviews in the Valley and one in Kayenta on the Rez and another just outside of Flagstaff. President interviews all 163 missionaries, and 16 couples every six months. Do the math for that one! The first day of interviews it took him 9 hours. The following days not as long, but I told President that he better start feeding me better because having lunch at 5:30 wasn't going to cut it. One of the benefits of this mission is the beauty. Every direction you look is breath taking especially up north by Monument Valley area.
On June 21st, 2008 we entered the MTC for the New Mission President's Seminar. It was a week of drinking from a fire hose as we listened to men of God instruct us on our role as Mission Presidents. It was definitely a highlight in my life to associate with our Prophet, President Monson, his counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve. Their words were so powerful! They helped solidify the importance of this calling to serve. We met so many other wonderful couples who were making sacrifices greater than our own to serve the Lord in other parts of his vineyard. It was overwhelming to realize that we were to leave our family and friends for 3 years to serve over the Phoenix Arizona Mission, but we knew we would all grow and be blessed through this service.