Sunday, July 24, 2016

Transfer week!

This week we welcomed 18 new missionaries to the Canada Calgary Mission.  Six sisters and 12 elders! 16 we will keep, and two are waiting for their visas.  As always, it is so fun to greet these new missionaries at the airport.  This group had a direct flight from SLC to Calgary, which is unusual.  Most of the time they are flown from SLC to either Seattle or Minneapolis before arriving here.  So, this group only had to get up at 4:00 a.m. instead of 1:30!  And you could tell!  They were more alert and awake throughout the day.  And it is a great group.  We are so excited to have them here serving in our mission.  We did our usual bite of lunch and training with them starting about 2:30, when we finally got back to the mission home.  Then we had a yummy dinner about 6:00.  Following dinner we did just a little more training, but this time it's more casual--the assistants did a question and answer time, and the missionaries also tried to guess where in the mission they will be assigned.  We also showed them the video we have that introduces our family to them, so they can get to know us a little better.  After that we got them off to bed since they were pretty tired!  It was a great day.
Then on Wednesday morning we went to the church at 9:00 for an hour and fifteen minute training and then we welcomed their new trainers in to meet them.  That is always so fun.  Everyone is a little nervous--the trainers and the new missionaries.  So, it is good to get them together and send them to their new areas.  By 11:30 they were all on their way! Then I went home to wash sheets and towels!
I counted up, and between the missionaries that stayed here on Tuesday and Thursday nights, I washed 42 sheets and 21 towels!  
Then Thursday was our regular transfer day which went really smoothly.  We had great weather--no thunder storms!  In fact, we have had quite hot weather--25-27 degrees celsius, which translates into about 80-85 Fahrenheit.  Perfect for summer!
We got everyone transferred smoothly and brought back the departing missionaries and took them to the temple.  This time we had only elders going home.  And they were a great group going home--we will miss them.  We had such a nice temple session--this has turned out to be a very special time with our spend their last afternoon of their mission in the temple.  It has become a great tradition with them.  Following the temple we came back to the mission home and had a wonderful dinner with them and then our testimony meeting.  I wish everyone could have heard this testimony meeting.  These elders shared incredible testimonies of the Savior and his atonement and how it has changed their lives.  It was so touching.  And what we realized is that when missionaries are obedient and have worked hard their whole missions, they are blessed with deep, abiding testimonies because of it.  They leave with no regrets, and know their service has been acceptable to the Lord--whether they had a baptism or not, they know they have been successful.
Friday morning we took them all to the airport and sent them on their way!  It is hard to hug them all good-by!  But I just think about their mothers at the other end waiting for their son to come home and it makes it easier to send them off!
So, another transfer week has come and gone.  This will be the last group to spend the night at the mission home for awhile.  When we were having all the rain here in Calgary our basement bedrooms flooded..and we came to find out that the foundation has cracks in it where water was seeping in, and also coming through an improperly installed window in one of the bedrooms.  So, we are now in a renovation downstairs!  Carpet has been pulled up, sheet rock removed, big fans in there to dry it out.  It's going to be quite a project to fix it up right.  So, we are kind of sad we can't house missionaries for a few months!
This weekend we drove to Taber for a meeting with missionaries, then to Raymond to deliver contacts to a missionary there, then to Lethbridge.  Then this morning we drove to Cardston to meet with 2 Stake Presidents, attend a ward council meeting and then speak in a sacrament meeting.  We got back about 5:45 just in time to eat something quick before our assistants came for a meeting.
This week we are looking forward to a visit from two brothers from the missionary department who are coming to visit and help us in any way we need them.  It will be a great week.
This is great work out here.  We know the Lord leads and guides this work and helps us in it every day.  We are grateful to be part of it, and just hope we can be an instrument in His hands as we lead and guide these missionaries.
All of our Mandarin speaking elders at transfers

We always hope all the luggage gets picked up!

Unloading the van on transfer day!

Loading up in the van to go to the temple!

Van ride to the temple!  This was my first time riding in the mission van!

At the temple with our departing missionaries!

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