Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A typical change day in the mission . . .

 I know it is different from other missions, but due to distance, cost of travel and lack of sleeping space, this is what currently works best for us.

Early Monday morning, President Wagner and the assistants take the outgoing missionaries to the airport and then stay there to pick up the new ones coming from the MTC in Mexico City. They are brought to our house where they sign the mission quilt and eat breakfast.

Following breakfast--while still at the house--President Wagner interviews them all, Kathryn meets with them to introduce the English language program, and I meet with them to go over health policies and to see if there are any health issues they might have that I need to be aware of. (Many times they arrive with health issues that were not disclosed before the mission.)

Meanwhile the assistants shuffle everyone between meeting with the three of us. I am not saying we run them ragged, but when you need to hold three "security" pillows . . . :-)

Following all of the above, we are off to the stake center near the temple. Here President Wagner trains the trainers, and the assistants and our senior office couple train the new missionaries.

Then comes the moment we are all waiting for! It is when the trainers and the new missionaries meet their companions!! This is always my favorite. The new missionaries sit on one side of the chapel and the trainers on the other. Then President Wagner announces the companionships and they meet in the middle where they get to spend some time getting to know each other.

I loved this!! One trainer brought matching ties for him and his new companion!

Next comes more training.  President Wagner goes over security training, I go over more health, "Please don't take your new companion out for street tacos" and Kathryn reviews ideas of how to help your companion learn a new language. "Can you find your 'nose'?"

Meanwhile--chaos is going on out in the parking lot. Because missionaries are not allowed to travel alone, all missionaries being transferred come to the church building to pick up their companion. This is a bit chaotic but also a lot of fun for the missionaries.

I loved this as well. Here is when the new missionaries first arrived and this kind elder ran over to meet and welcome them. Thank you Elder O, for your thoughtfulness.

 All companionship exchanges take place within an hour, but during that hour we get to see a lot of the missionaries. Like four of our awesome sisters!
 And five more . . . 

Along with three great elders.

And here are a few who took advantage of the church's close proximity to Dairy Queen. Always eating healthy as you can see.:-)
It is alway fun to see old friends

Before loading up the taxis (and I mean loading up!)
 And heading off to new adventures. (The elder in the front seat just got his first transfer after one year in the mission!)

Then . . . President Wagner jumps in the car and "rushes" through terrible traffic back to the airport to pick up the American missionaries. I am also jumping back into my car and heading home to get dinner ready before they arrive at the house. Following their dinner and some training, they are sent to the office to sleep.

The next morning they meet their trainers. This time, since there were only four missionaries, we met at the office for the training meeting.

I seriously can not brag enough about what a great job the assistants do with everything. (They also arrange for food for the new missionaries and their companions after the first shift of training) And see the assistant on the left? He did about 75% of the training to the Americans in ENGLISH!! I was so proud of him!! Good Job Elder C!!
After this training, two companionships headed to work here in town and the others we took to the bus stop to send them on their way . . . but not until we fed them lunch! :-) Hot dogs anyone?
In addition to our assistants, a HUGE special thanks goes to our office secretaries! On Monday they set everything up perfectly in the cultural hall so everything would be all ready to go when we arrived. Their hard work was essential to the day's success and we appreciate them very much!

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