The second week of our mission was….. nuts!
No, beyond nuts…… it was awfully crazy.
First thing on Monday we get a wonderful load of new missionaries, 11 Sisters and 2 Elders, fresh from the MTC. (Taking pictures with each of them was my favorite part.) They are so excited to be here in Tucson and to get to work. [Note to self…NO black skirt in the Arizona 112 degree sun!]
After pictures, we load up their luggage in the cargo trailer, and then pile the missionaries into our mission vehicles to set off for the Mormon Battalion Monument in downtown Tucson. It’s a long standing tradition in the ATM.
After getting to the monument, President Browning explains a little history of the Mormon pioneers and the Mormon Battalion to motivate our new missionaries to honor the tradition of hastening the work in this area, just like the pioneers did.
Then we head to the stake center for lunch and training (sorry no pictures) and then to the mission home for dinner and testimonies.
Lucky for this group, the monsoons started to roll in just as we got to the mission home!
After dinner, everyone went to their places and got some rest. On Tuesday morning, we all headed to the transfer site for transfers and the Trainer/Trainee Training! (That was a mouthful.) This is where the new missionaries learn who their trainer is and to begin the 12 Week Training program. We had 11 Sisters so we needed a lot of Sisters to help out this transfer.
Right after the Trainer/Trainee Meeting, the departing missionaries were waiting outside to head north to the Gilbert Temple for their departing day temple trip. We quickly got in the cars and headed to Gilbert. (This was our first and last trip to the Gilbert Temple for departing missionaries because next transfer the Tucson Temple will be dedicated and up and running!!)
After the 2 1/2 hour ride back to Tucson, we are all hungry and ready for dinner so back to the mission home.
The departing missionaries are just about done with their missions….and their shoes show their service.
After we stuffed ourselves with yummy food, we had a very special testimony meeting and enjoyed hearing from each missionary.
Wow! What powerful people they have all become.
Parents, you should be busting your buttons with pride for what your missionary children have accomplished and how they have grown up and become. MISSIONS are the BEST!!
And just before they all go to get a few hours of sleep, they weigh and jostle their bags to make sure they are under 50 lbs for each bag. Some get very creative with our primitive weighing techniques!
Up early and to the airport we go but they all are a little somber (or just exhausted). The last day of their mission and the first day of the rest of their lives IS HERE. The bitter sweet is hard to take in.
Farewell ATM missionaries! You have worked hard and brought so much joy to so many people by bringing them the Good News of Jesus Christ! May you be blessed for your service in His army.
God be with you.