After the usual 'administrative' training that teaches them about finances, vehicles, apartments, health insurance and other various things, they were able to have a nice home-cooked dinner here at the mission home made by our wonderful Natasha Zandbergen. They loved it! They all said they were so tired of the MTC food! Following dinner we had the assistants do a Q & A with them, and also show them a map of the mission and let them guess where they will be assigned. And by then, they are so worn out we just get them to bed. The elders stayed here, and the sisters stayed with Elder and Sister Sefcik, one of our office senior couples.
Then on Wednesday at 9:00 we meet again in the training room of the mission home and do about 1 1/4 hour training with them before their new trainers show up. This is always the exciting part--they are so anxious to get their companions and go to their areas!! It's really fun to have them open up their 'first companion' letter and see who they are with and what area they are assigned to. After that, we send them on their way to their areas--and to really begin their life as a missionary.
Wednesday night Steve had a meeting with his counselors and on Thursday, while you were all eating a Thanksgiving feast, we had our regular transfer day. This transfer we didn't have quite as many missionaries moving as last transfer, but we did have new cars being taken places! I'll tell you, the cars these missionaries are getting are fantastic! Some are these cute candy apple red Rav4's that just don't look like a missionary car! When they first came in Sister Thorley and I had to take one for a spin around the block just to check it out! Anyway, our assistants had a lot of work to do coordinating new vehicles being taken to areas and old ones being driven back up to Calgary. But, everything worked out, and transfer day went smoothly.
We took our 12 departing missionaries to the Calgary Temple on Thursday afternoon. This is always a special time with them. It's their last time to go to the temple as a full-time missionary, and so it is a tender time for them. Following the session we come back to the mission home for again, another delicious dinner, and then we have our testimony meeting. It is such a joy to hear their testimonies at the end of their mission. The sisters in this group came out right before we got here--so we have watched them for almost 18 months grow in their faith and testimony, and it is inspiring. We are so proud of them. Then, on Friday morning we got them out to the airport to send them on their way. The Calgary airport has had huge renovations, and so it was a little confusing this time trying to figure everything out! They have now separated the international flights from the others, and so we have realized that we will also need to separate our missionaries accordingly, because the areas are so far apart from each other. But, we got them all on their way home! We wish them all the best!
Saturday Steve and I were asked to participate in the Magrath Stake Youth Conference. They had a missionary day, where all of the youth received 'mission calls' and were missionaries for a day. It was an awesome event, and we were able to spend about an hour with them talking about how to be a missionary now, and things they could do right now in their lives to share this wonderful gospel.
We shared with them, and I invite anyone who reads this to go to Mormon.org and check out #Lighttheworld.
This is a Christmas initiative from the church inviting all of us to share the light of Christ in 25 ways over 25 days beginning Dec. 1. It is such an amazing initiative and our missionaries will be focusing on it through all of December--but the key is for the members to do it!!! So, get on the site, and check it out and do it with your families. It has so many great ideas of ways to serve and follow what the Savior would do--and by doing so, we share His light throughout the world. It is AWESOME!
We also found out some wonderful news this week that we will be getting our 7th grandchild next June!! Brad and Katy are expecting another little one, and we are so excited and happy and grateful for this news! The big question is: will the streak of boys continue, or will we get our first granddaughter?
|Our assistants teaching a woman at the airport while we wait for new missionaries!|
|Our new missionaries!|
|Missionaries from our Bow River Zone made us a collage|
|Elders Owens, Linford, Fullmer & Marenco putting up a Christmas tree at a senior center in Lethbridge|
|Our departing missionaries at the temple|
|Magrath Youth Missionary Day-Elder Elliott standing at the right|
|Elder Pentz at the Magrath Missionary Day|
|Elders Gray and Fullmer at the Magrath Missionary Day|
|The amazing initiative we will be focusing on during December|