Thursday, February 18, 2016

Interviews complete!

Tomorrow will make our last day of interviews with our missionaries.  It has taken 3 weeks to complete them all.  This is really such a great opportunity to have personal time with them.  As the missionaries have been in their interviews with Steve I get to chat with their companion as they wait. I've been asking them all how they have enjoyed our Book of Mormon reading that we began on Christmas day.  It has been such a positive, faith building experience for our missionaries.  They all comment about what they have learned, and how they have come to see even more clearly how the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ. They have really loved circling all the references of the Savior.  It has also been fun for them to think that the whole mission is in about the same place in the book--it has been a unifying experience for our mission.
These missionaries are so wonderful.  Each day as we complete the interviews we just comment to each other about how great they are.  They are trying so hard--and sometimes this work can be discouraging--yet they are giving it their all.  We are so proud of them.  They are learning things they would never learn anywhere else but on a mission.  They have come to rely on the Savior and trust in Him as never before.  They learn how to get along with a companion they have never met and know nothing about.  So, they all learn patience and forgiveness and kindness and love in order to do this.
They learn how to love people in a way they never imagined.  So many of them comment on this--that it is one of the best things about their mission--learning to love complete strangers.  And the thing they love the most is watching people's lives change as they accept the gospel and learn more of Christ and His atonement and what it means for them.  They all, also recognize, how their lives change as they come closer to the Savior.  It is such a joy to watch them grow in their discipleship.
We had a fun experience on Tuesday night.  We had about 22 youth from the Spanish branch come to the mission home to learn about what it is like to be a missionary.  We had two of our Spanish speaking elders come, too, to talk to them about it.  We took the youth on a little tour of the mission home and showed them the big table where the missionaries have their first meal.  Steve then showed them the transfer board, so they could see where all the missionaries are and how a mission is set up.
Then our missionaries walked them through the day in the life of a missionary.  Then we opened it up for a question and answer period.  These kids had a lot of was really fun to see their enthusiasm.  After that the elders taught them (in Spanish) the lesson on the Restoration and gave each of them a pamphlet.  They invited them to read it and also to read the Book of Mormon.  It was such a great night.  These youth just had a light in their eyes, and they were so fun.  They are all fluent in English, and so they speak that with each other, but most of their parents speak mainly Spanish--so when they are in church they all speak Spanish with their parents. Once we were done we had some yummy donuts--which they loved!  It was a great night!
The youth singing "Called to Serve"

Good looking future missionaries!

Elders Nuttall & McLaren teaching the youth

All the youth from the Spanish branch (& their leaders)

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