Monday, August 7, 2017

One HUGE transfer week!

Well, last week we had our huge transfer week where we welcomed in 29 new missionaries on Tuesday afternoon!  It took a long time to get them through customs, so we didn't even get to the church for training until about 5:00 p.m.!  So we just took pictures with them to send to their parents, and then had dinner and did the training afterwards.  They are a great group of new missionaries straight from the MTC, and we love the enthusiasm and faith and excitement they bring to our mission!  It kind of re-energizes us, because we want to lead them and help them become the best missionaries they can be, and help their testimonies and faith grow as well.  We are so excited to have them here!
Wednesday they all met their new trainers--some got them by 11:00 that morning-up here in Calgary- and the ones serving down south were able to meet theirs about 1:30 in Lethbridge.  We always love seeing them meet their trainers and head to their new areas to really go to work.
Then on Thursday we had our regular transfer day where everyone else that was getting transferred was moved.  Because we had so many training this transfer, it didn't leave that many left to be transferred to new areas, so our Thursday wasn't as crazy as it has been.  After transfers were complete we loaded a rented yellow school bus to take the 37 departing missionaries to the Calgary Temple prior to their going home on Friday morning.  It was pretty fun for them to all be on one bus together!  We felt like we were on a big field trip!  The bus driver, Brent, told us we were a pretty 'tame' group--he is used to driving kids in elementary, and he said they are much rowdier than us!
Our temple session was very special.  The prayers offered in it for the missionaries were so touching that they brought tears to my eyes.  It was really a tender experience for all of us, and I think our missionaries left there feeling the love of the Savior.  We then loaded up on the bus again and headed back to the church for dinner and our testimony meeting.  Usually we do all of this at the mission home, but this group was so big we couldn't accommodate them, so we had to do it at the church.  We had a wonderful testimony meeting with them--as I've said before, I wish everyone could listen to a 'final testimony meeting' of departing missionaries.  It is quite incredible to hear them share how much they love the Savior and what He means to them.
Friday morning we got up at 4:20 a.m. to take the first 8 to the airport.  Then we came back and showered and got the next group of 28 and took them out.  Then we had one left that was taken out about 5:00.  It was quite a feat by our senior couples serving in the office and us to get it all done!  We are so grateful for our senior couples serving with us in the office.  They are wonderful and this mission couldn't run without them!  It is always sad to say good-by to these missionaries, but we are also very excited to see what life holds in store for them. We know if they will stay true to their covenants and stay faithful in the gospel they will have happy lives.  We always share with them how blessed our lives are because of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the joy and happiness we have had because of it. That is what we want for them!
On the weekend we had visits from our dear friends the Funks and Schmidts, who were Steve's counselors when he was the stake president.  It was so great to see them!  One of the great blessings of serving in the church are the incredible friends you make.
Elders Assily, Wolfe (our new assistant) Stringam, enjoying Chik-fil-A before the new missionaries arrive!

Our new missionaries!  All 29 of them!

Loading the bus to go to the temple!

Bus ride!

Selfie with sisters after the temple!

Our wonderful departing missionaries!

Sisters Rasmussen, Sears and Schnebly slept at the mission home because they left at 4:30 a.m.

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