Last Monday morning we ran the departing missionaries to the Salt Lake City airport early in the morning. As we drove, they expressed their thoughts and feelings about the mission. Many memories were shared. Their feelings ranged from enthusiasm to concern, remorse and fulfillment, sadness and joy. It was a learning experience. Those who had consecrated themselves fully as missionaries left with their heads held high. Those that could've done more questioned the worth of their mission. I hope they all feel that their missions were acceptable to the Lord.
Monday night we went back to the airport to pick up Elder Jordan who flew in from the Mexico MTC. We waited and waited and after 1/2 hour someone from a different terminal found us and asked, "are you looking for a lost missionary?" We said yes and he said he was in a different terminal. We ran over there and found a distraught missionary who had just disembarked a plane with 17 "returning" missionaries from Mexico. He was just starting and they were just ending and he couldn't find his mission president. What a way to start a mission! ;( We gave him a big hug, took him to dinner and I think he's recovering.
Tuesday morning we picked up the other 15 missionaries from Union train station in Ogden. The missionaries take the front runner train from Provo. They all came off the train happy and smiling and had placed a few Book of Mormons. Their enthusiasm was infectious. Their commitment strong. I sat one on one with each of them and they shared their desire to be great servants of the Lord. They bring a wonderful spirit from the MTC. I know they will be outstanding. We did a bit of training, fed them, had a testimony meeting and the 3 sisters spent the night in our home while the Elders spent the night with some senior couples.
Wednesday morning was transfer meeting. Every missionary being transferred came to the chapel at 8:45am. They stood up for the new missionaries as they arrived. Sister Jaggi and several of the Zone leaders shared wonderful testimonies. We paired the trainees with their trainers and you could feel their energy ready to explode. After the meeting we went into the cultural hall where the seasoned missionaries welcomed the trainees with cheers and smiles and even lifted up one of our Thai Missionaries over their heads and he smiled from ear to ear. I love the spirit the new missionaries bring.
The rest of the missionaries went to their new areas and begun the work. Only 13 companionships were not affected by this transfer. It was big.
Sister Jaggi and I attended our first stake conference yesterday. One of 59 we will attend in the coming months. It was held in the beautiful Ogden Tabernacle, immediately adjacent to the Ogden Temple. It is a new, beautiful facility. The new stake presidency spoke on the importance of the Sabbath day, the law of the fast and forgiveness. It was a beautiful Sunday morning session.
After we met with Lisa we had a chance to grab lunch with Scott and Jana DeReuyter. They shared with us their experience being sealed in the Provo temple last Thursday. Their daughter Shanti was in the MTC and leaves as a missionary to Mongolia next week. It was so sweet to meet with them and feel their spirit and their love of their family and the temple.
We are looking forward to welcoming Elder Ballard of the quorum of the 12 apostles this Saturday. The missionaries are ecstatic about the opportunity to meet an apostle.
This is an amazing work. Never a dull moment. I'm grateful the Lord sustains our bodies and minds as we continue helping our brothers and sisters find greater peace and joy in this life.