Sunday, August 28, 2016

'Un'usual routine in our week!

This week has been out of our usual routine because we had a group of missionaries go home before the regular transfer date, which is this Thursday.  And because the Calgary Temple is closed for cleaning, we took them clear down to the Cardston Temple to go through a session together with them on Thursday before sending them off at the airport on Friday.  But we were glad we were able to figure it out and take this departing group to the temple.  It is always so touching to see them all come into the chapel waiting room dressed in their white clothing.  It is really a bittersweet time for them as they contemplate their missions and what they have done here, and anticipate going home and what the future holds for them.  We think it is a sweet blessing for them to be able to spend that last day of their mission at the temple.  So we left at 8:15 Thursday morning and drove to Lethbridge to pick up 3 missionaries there, and then the rest met us in Cardston.  We were able to have lunch together in the temple cafeteria, and that was fun.  Then we went through our session, after which President Hardy, the temple President spoke with the missionaries for a few minutes.  We then changed our clothes and came out front to take pictures and headed back to the mission home for an absolutely delicious dinner made by Natasha.  Because of the construction going on downstairs at the  mission home we were unable to use the usual training room for our testimony meeting, so we all went together in the living room, nice and cozy, and had our testimony meeting there.  It was actually kind of nice to hold it in there.  We could do it being there were only 10 missionaries.  I love hearing them share their testimonies.  Every single one spoke of how the Savior had changed their lives, and how they had felt of His atonement.  It is pretty powerful to hear them share their feelings of the Savior.  It was a great group of missionaries, and hard to say good-by to them.
Friday morning we went to the airport twice!  Once at 5:30 a.m.. to take Elder Cervantes out to catch his flight to Costa Rica, and then again at 8:45 to take the rest out to catch their various flights.  I am sad and happy all at the same time to hug them good-by.  Sad for me to be losing them, but so happy for the reunion I know will be happening at the other end!
Following the airport we came back to rush to our New Trainer's meeting, where we train all the missionaries that will be training the new ones that arrive on Tuesday.  We have 23 coming!  These new trainers are always a little nervous, and also excited.  It is a big responsibility to train a new missionary--one of the most crucial leadership roles in a mission.  So, we talk about it and train on their responsibilities and talk about how to minister, and love, and help these new missionaries adjust to real missionary life!  We know these trainers will do a great job.
Tuesday of this week we welcomed a new Mandarin speaking elder to the mission.  We still aren't sure why they sent him before everyone else--but we'll take him!  Elder Hatch!  We picked him up at the airport about 12:30 p.m. and grabbed a bite to eat with him and then brought him back to the mission home to meet his new companions that will be training him.  We have a great group of Mandarin speaking elders.  He was tired but excited to get to work!
Tuesday we were also able to attend a District Meeting in the Foothills Zone where Elder King was the district leader.  This district has no sisters--only elders!  It was a great district meeting and had a great spirit about it.  It is so neat to see these missionaries work together, and pray for and with each other to help the work move forward.
Yesterday we were able to attend the sweetest baptism of the Guzman family.  Yes, a family!  Brother Guzman is actually a returned missionary who had gone less active, and he married a non-member with 3 children.  Our missionaries just happened upon their doorstep, thinking they were going there to find someone else.  It just so happened that Brother Guzman was wanting to get fully active again, and his wife and children were very interested.  So, long story short, they were taught all of the discussions and yesterday Brother Guzman baptized his wife and 3 children.  It was so sweet and tender, I can't even describe it.  And today, following the stake conference we spoke at, we were able to attend their confirmation.  To see a whole family come into the gospel is so amazing.  Yesterday as I sat and looked at them all dressed in their baptismal white clothing, I could also picture them in one year from now dressed in white clothing to go be sealed as a family in the temple.  That's what this work is all about!  Binding families together forever.  Our missionaries' role is of course to teach repentance and baptize converts, but they always begin with the end in mind...the temple!  We want every person baptized to receive all the blessings the Lord has in store for them--and those are through the ordinances in the temple.  It is just so exciting.
We know this is the Lord's work and we know He is involved in the details of our lives.  We are so grateful for His great love and that He would perform the atonement so that we are able to be forgiven of our sins, receive His grace to help us throughout our lives, and be able to be resurrected and return to live with our Heavenly Father again--as families!  It is because of our testimony of Christ that we are able to leave our family and come and be part of this great work.  Our testimony of the Savior guides our lives in everything we do.  He has blessed us beyond measure, and we are so grateful to know of Him.
Our Mandarin elders welcoming Elder Hatch (3rd from right)

The mess in our front yard!

More excavation!

The departing sisters at the Cardston Temple

All of the departing missionaries at the temple.

1 comment: