Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Welcome, Welcome!

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.

 We think these two were definitely destined to be companions. Check out those ties!

 And a little bonus picture. Companionship language study!  Learning Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes! (And it wakes them up too!:-)
I was going over items that should be in their first aid kit and asked one elder if he had all those items. He said, "I don't know what it in the kit." Apparently his mother bought it for him. That reminded me that many were just 18 years old and straight out of high school. I was thinking about how much faith God puts in these young men and women to do some of the most important work taking place on the face of the earth at such a young age.

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.

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