Every farewell is followed the next day by a welcome. Last Monday we welcomed 14 new missionaries to the mission, 2 from the Dominican Republic, 1 From Guatemala, 1 from Ecuador, 1 from Uruguay, five from the United States and 4 from Mexico. Quite the mixed group!! All of the native Spanish speaking missionaries arrived from the MTC in Mexico, bright and early in the morning. The Americans came later in the afternoon.
Here are some pictures from the day. The first ones are in front of our Tree of Life at our house. This is to remind the missionaries that they are here to partake of the atonement in their own lives and share those blessings with others.
Right from the first moment they arrive we try to teach the importance of striving for excellence--including in the way they dress and wear their hair. Sometimes the hair is a little crazy (especially after an airplane ride) so the assistants get right to work helping the new elders get "missionary ready".
And here are the companionship pictures. Most were taken in our normal spot in front of the temple but unfortunately when we did our training for the Americans the church building was not available so we had to train at the office. Not quite so great for pictures, but an exciting time for them nonetheless.
But I also thought of the mothers who lovingly helped their sons or daughters pack and then sent them off, many to a foreign land, and all far from home. Although we can't guarantee their safety, we can guarantee that God is watching over them and that we will care for and love them like our own.