Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bienvenida!! Welcoming 16 New Missionaries

On Monday we welcomed 16 new missionaries. These days are always a bit chaotic, but filled with great fun.

The day usually begins around 4:00 a.m. when my husband gets up to take the first group of departing missionaries to the airport. (That is the sad part of the day) It takes several trips before all the missionaries are on their way, and as the Mexican missionaries arrive around 10, he and the assistants stay there to wait for them.

I, on the other hand, am at home busily preparing food for the day. By noon Monday we had 9 hungry new missionaries from Mexico in my living room, being interviewed and eagerly waiting for something to eat.
(Most of these elders are only 18)

Lunch consisted of Cafe Rio Pork and Texas Sheet Cake
(A compromise between Mexican and American Food)

 After eating, a few of them tried to catch a couple minutes of sleep. Most had been up since 3:30.

Once interviews and lunch were over (and nap time:-) they were sent off to work with elders in the area and to spend their first night in the office. 

And we headed back to the airport to pick up 7 American elders who were coming in at 4.  It is always so much fun to see the first one come out of immigration. And this elder was actually the first one for everyone on the plane!! But then I learned from his dad that he is first in an even more important way. He is the first person ever with his last name to serve as a missionary for the church!! 
Unfortunately the elder pictured below isn't ours.  He went to the other Guadalajara mission. But we would have kept him! He is from our home stake and we have known his parents for 26 years!
 Here is most of our group getting the thumbs up from Elder M, the assistant.
 We got all the luggage loaded and then headed to our house for dinner--which unfortunately for the assistants who also ate lunch with us, was the exact meal same meal.

As part of the welcoming, I have a quilt I have all the missionaries sign. (Thank you Jean Moore!!)
 And then we eat. However, in the evening I don't have anyone in the house to help me get the food out, and since I was at the airport, everything needed to be done. So everyone was given an assignment. Here Elder M is warming up the tortillas
 While the other Elder M demonstrates how to fill them Mexican style!! See the jalapeños and two bottles of salsa on the end of the counter? They are all pretty hot. The assistants tell the missionaries that if they use one item, it will take at least three months to speak Spanish; two items, and they will be speaking in two months; and if they put on all three, in just a few weeks they will be fluent!
 And then we gather in front of the Tree of Life for a group picture--and to teach them that, Like Lehi,  they are to be partakers and sharers of the fruit.

After dinner and some cultural training, the American elders meet up with the Mexican elders in the office for their first night.

Early the next morning all the missionaries, their luggage and their trainers meet at the church building next to the temple for training.

For the first 90 minutes, the new missionaries meet with me and the assistants to be trained in health, language study, missionary manners, finances, and records. At the same time President Wagner meets with the trainers.

This is an exciting time for everyone. Here a few of the trainers eagerly wait in the foyer.

And here they all are, just before the announcement of who their "sons" will be!!

Following training, it is off to the parking lot for pictures. These are sent to the family members of the missionaries along with a note of where the missionary will be serving. 

After delivering all the missionaries to the different bus stations, we head home, where we crash!!(But only for a few minutes because then we have to start working on our next project.)

We are so excited to have all 16 of these missionaries here with us and look forward to great things from them!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I didn't know Mission President's made so many trips to the airport. lol I love the quilt idea. And the "eat salsa til you speak spanish" theory. That's so fun. The term "wear yourselves out in the service of the Lord" comes to mind after reading this. Go Lori!