Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcomes and Farewells!!

Last week was a big week here in Guadalajara. We sadly bid farewell to 13 missionaries and enthusiastically welcomed 19.  This was our first group to leave and our first group to welcome, so we didn't quite have the system all down, but even so, I think we handled it quite well.

Sunday night, the 13 returning missionaries met at our home for dinner and a testimony meeting. It was so interesting to me how much love I could feel for missionaries I had only known for a short time, and some I had only met once. We were so impressed with their strength and dedication.

Farewell Dinner

After the testimonies, I reminded them of the story of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys. I think we have a generation of Lost Boys in the world today, and many of them are in the Church. They get home from their missions and lose their direction and ambition, and often their testimonies. After a time, instead of going to school, finding a job, getting married and having a family, they become 28 year old men, hanging out with roommates and playing video games every night.

I think it is so tragic. So I told them that when we returned home in three years, if they were not busy in school or employed and at least trying to get married, I would track them down!

President Wagner also visited with them a bit more seriously about the importance of keeping their covenants and maintaining their standards after returning to the world. We pray they will all be faithful and remain dedicated to the cause.

One of the saddest things for me about this group going home is most of them had awesome singing voices! Before they left for the night I had them sing our mission hymn so I could record it. You can hear it here:

No sooner did we say goodbye to these missionaries, then we were headed off to the airport to pick up 3 elders and a sister from the CCM (MTC) in Mexico City.  Two hours later we headed back to pick up a sister from Peru, and then several hours later, we went back again to get a group of 12 arriving from Provo--for a total of 17 new missionaries that day.

The first group was fed and sent to work, and the later group was fed and sent to bed. The next day, however, they all got to meet their new companions and be trained before heading off to their areas.

Here they are, new and trainers, arriving at the church building(with enthusiasm) after spending a night in the office.

Awaiting training. They were first trained by myself and the assistants while their future companions were trained by President Wagner.

 Practicing the baptismal challenge. 

The big excitement!
Meeting their new companions for the first time and getting to know them. 
Packing up the luggage for the bus ride to their new home!

The next day it was back to the airport again, but this time to welcome a senior couple from our home town!! We were so excited to have them arrive. We have been looking forward to this moment for a long time and are so glad to have the extra help as well as companionship.

Today was another airport trip but not so exciting. Our two daughters, who have been with us for the past two months, returned to the states. One will be starting her freshman year at BYU and the other is headed on a mission to Guatemala. It was very hard to see them leave, but we are excited to get updates on their lives.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post! When you send out the family emails I would include a reminder link to this blog so people can come here and see the extra stuff! :)