We were also able to have our Retrainer's Meeting on Friday with all of the missionaries that came in 4 weeks ago and their trainers. It was also a great meeting where we had a lot of good discussion on what we have learned in the last 4 weeks, and how we can improve as missionaries going forward. This group had lots to share, and everyone went away feeling edified. It is so awesome to hear them speak about how they have learned the value of a companion--how they support and lift and help and love each other. And how important it is to communicate lovingly, and how they are learning patience. We always tell them that a mission is a great training ground for marriage--you get thrown into a companionship not of your choosing, and have to learn to work together, and get along and be with each other 24/7. You have to learn patience, and love, and compromise, among many other things! The difference in marriage is that you actually get to choose your companion!
We also this week had our interviews with all of our departing missionaries which will be going home this Friday. We drove south and interviewed the 3 down there on Thursday, and then interviewed the ones in Calgary on Friday afternoon. We had 3 leaving early, for unique reasons, so one sister, left last Tuesday, and 2 left on Saturday. The other 10 leave this Friday. It's always hard to say good-by to these missionaries we have grown to love, but we are excited for what the future holds for them!
Our mission home is under full construction now! At least the basement, and outside. Bathrooms are torn out, and excavating is going on around the side of the home to put in new drainage systems. All of the carpet downstairs is torn out and its kind of a mess--but it will look great when it is complete. So, it does mean that all of the new missionaries coming in, and the ones that are leaving won't be able to sleep at the mission home as they have done in the past. It will be a few months before we can do that again!
As I write this blog I usually write about all of the wonderful things going on. But I do need to address a real issue, and that is missionaries that need to return early for mental health challenges. We have had a few needing to go home for various reasons--depression, anxiety, panic attacks, not being able to sleep and others. We do all we can to keep them here--working with doctors, our therapists at LDS Family Services and others. But sometimes their challenges are more difficult and they need more help than what can be provided in the mission field. And besides that, they need to be in a different environment than the stressful environment of missionary work. We send them home with our love, and tell them that they have served an honorable mission and that they can answer proudly when someone says, "Did you serve a mission?" They can say, "Yes, I served in the Canada Calgary Mission." We tell them they don't need to then add, 'but I could only serve 3, or 6 or 8 months', whatever the case may be. They served as well as they could, and the Lord was proud of their desire to come. We always hope that when they return their ward families and friends will embrace them and put their arms around them and give them all of the support they need. They need people to give them hope and love them. We watch with them a video produced by the church under the Mormon Messages on the church's website called, "Like a Broken Vessel", with Elder Holland. I would encourage everyone to watch it. We all need to become more aware of those facing mental health challenges and their feelings and what we can do to be of support.
The weather is so funny here--it can be 85 one day, or even one morning, and then drop to 55! We have had both the past week. So warm on one day you want a short sleeved shirt on, and the next day was cold and rainy! It keeps you guessing! We've been told that they are predicting the winter to be a rough one. We will see!
|Sisters Allphin, Ratliff, Schnebly, Padron (saying good bye to Sister Allphin)|
|Saying goodbye to Sister Allphin at the airport|
|District meeting in the Confederation Park Zone|
|District meeting in the Calgary Zone|
|Our oldest grandson, Miles, starting his first day of First Grade!|
|Elders at Retrainers Meeting|
|Cute sisters at Retrainers Meeting|
|More elders at Retrainers Meeting|
|and more elders!|
|Saying good bye to Sister Tilley|
|Saying goodbye to Elder Weidner|