Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hellos, transfers & goodbyes

This week has been an action packed week.  It was transfer week--which means we welcome new missionaries, transfers many others, and say good bye to those who have completed their missions.  So it is full of excitement, some anxiety, and some tears.
On Tuesday we welcomed 27 new missionaries fresh from the MTC in Provo.  They got up at 3:30 in the morning to catch the train to the airport.  They arrived in Calgary just a little after 12:00 p.m., but by the time we got them out of customs it was 4:30 p.m.!  They were exhausted--yet so excited to be in their mission!  We had 19 elders and 8 sisters arrive--all English speaking except one sister who is Spanish speaking.  We are thrilled to have them here, and feel of their enthusiasm and faith as they begin their missions.  We brought them straight from the airport to  the ward building by our home and gave them a snack while they put their luggage in a room where it would stay for the night (except their overnight bags).  Dad then began interviewing them and we let them just sit and relax while their dinner was being prepared.  I have had a cook help with these meals--her name is Pam Leavitt, and she is expecting her 3rd little boy in October, so this is her last week of cooking missionary meals.  I'm hoping I can find someone else soon!  Following dinner we had a little activity where they tried to guess where in the mission they would be assigned on Wednesday.  It was fun to
see them guess these places they knew nothing about.

New missionaries in front of the horse statue at the airport.

First dinner in the mission field!

Trying to decide from the map where they will go

Hmmm..where will I be sent?
On Wednesday we held an orientation meeting for the new missionaries, had lunch with them, (fixed by a wonderful Relief Society group of sisters) and then they met their new trainer companions and were sent on their way!  It was so fun to watch them take off and see how excited they were!  We already love them.
On Thursday we had our huge transfer day where everyone that is getting transferred all around the mission meets at different chapels to be assigned to their new companions and sent to their new areas.
This is quite an event because we have missionaries coming from all over--as far as 7 hours away.
We do 3 different transfer meetings- the first in Calgary, then 2 hours south in Lethbridge, and then back up to Calgary.  It is a crazy day, but somehow it all works out.  This transfer has really been weighing on Steve's mind--he has been praying and thinking about it for two weeks, and trying to determine where the Lord would want these missionaries sent and with whom.  It is quite amazing to watch it all unfold.  It is also so funny to watch them with all their luggage and belongings!

Elder Corning loading up his things

Bringing all their baggage to move

Turning in keys and phones to their areas  



Thursday evening after we got everyone transferred the missionaries that are going home came to the mission home for dinner.  We had 21 going home, plus our two assistants for dinner.  You can tell there are really mixed feelings about  going home.  They are so excited to see their families, yet a little apprehensive about their futures.  It was fun to have them in the mission home instead of at a church.  Even though we have only had this particular group for 6 weeks, we have grown to love them, and we wish them all the best.  Following dinner we go to the ward house by the mission home and have a 'departure fireside' with a little slideshow, and testimony meeting.  The missionaries are allowed to invite 12 people each to the fireside--recent converts, investigators, etc.  The chapel was full of people to wish them well.  It was a nice night.  Then the 4 sisters leaving stayed with us in the mission home and the 16 elders were put up in a hotel for the night.
We took them all to the airport at 9:00 so they could go through customs and make their flights.  I was excited for them, and a bit sad all at the same time.  I just kept thinking about when our boys came home from their missions how excited I was to see them...so I was excited for their families to see their missionary.  All in all it was a great week.  It was a good one to get under our belt.
This is great work here in the mission field; and it is also the busiest thing we have ever done.  We always feel inadequate, and not equal to the task; so we feel a real reliance on the Lord to bless us and strengthen us in the work.  The words to the hymn "I Need Thee Every Hour" ring constantly in our minds..we truly do need Him every hour in this work.

Our departing missionaries            

The elders shoes in the mission home

Sisters Matheson, Pippert, Condie, Hernandez-Alfaro-we love them!

Last departing picture!



Oh, and we had one more broken wrist this week!  That makes 3 since we have been here!
Next week we begin our first round of zone conferences!
































































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