Sunday, October 5, 2014

Outgoing, Incoming and Conference

It has been a very busy week.  This photo is of the outgoing missionaries Monday night just before their dinner.  This is a really good group who went home and we will miss them very much.  We have served with them for a year and have come to know and love them.  After their dinner there was a video of their photos during their mission followed by their testimonies.   Lots of leadership in these elders and sisters...They departed at 5 am Tuesday morning.  Elder Jones had to rent a U-Haul and he took all of their luggage to the airport.  
 This is Sister Sera Malotutoatasi Osovale Fiso.  Because her plane did not leave until Tuesday at 4 pm she spent most of Tuesday with me.  She is absolutely one of my very favorite Sisters.  She is 24, has a degree, is from Samoa and has a cow!  She really did not want to leave the mission.  She was explaining to us that when she got her call she opened it and had absolutely no idea where Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was.  She explained that most of the missionaries she knows from Samoa go to the Phillipines to serve, so because the words "USA" were not anywhere on the call, they thought Philadelphia was part of the Phillipines.  When her mother found out she was going to America, she was so very relieved.  I will miss her!  She has a very sunny disposition and just laughs at almost any trial.  Such a good missionary.
This is Elder Jones with Elder Brant Reynolds from Arco, Idaho.  He is a rodeo guy.  He is a farmboy from Idaho and is a hard working missionary--one of Elder Jones' favorites.  We will miss him too. 
 Tuesday morning we had transfers.  162 total missionaries were either getting a new companion, or going to a new location to serve.  Pictured below is Elder Jensen and Elder Nieman.  Elder Jensen got to serve as a service missionary last transfer for just 2 weeks and really liked it.  He was disappointed he did not get to stay.  So he came up to me and asked that I put a good word in for him so he could be one of Elder Jones' Service Elders.  I explained that I had absolutely nothing to do with it--that was the President's call.  So he was very excited at transfers to get to be a service elder.  These two missionaries serve in our ward, so we have them to dinner regularly and Elder Jones gets to assist them in teaching on occassion.
 This is the 2nd set of service elders.  Elder Tolbert, left is new.  He goes home in 6 weeks.  Elder Bergman has served here 6 weeks so far.  Service elders generally give one day a week to do service for the mission.  This past week they had to take beds to apartments receiving a threesome.  This week they will be taking beds to 2 apartments who have bed bugs.  (Yes, that is a plague out here--the missionaries usually get them from teaching in very humble circumstances).  Anyway, they will take down new beds after a period of "bombing" the apartment with bug spray and then they will dispose of the old beds.  Whenever we set up a new apartment or vacate an old one these elders take care of it.  They also picked up and took back all of the luggage to the elders who live in walking areas who were affected by transfers, etc.  They work with Elder Jones as he determines the priorities of needed service and he sure appreciates their service.
 Tuesday afternoon we had to travel to the airport to pick up all of these new missionaries.  Elder Jones and I were in the U-Haul and took all of the luggage.  Please notice the Elder on the left holding the sign.  He is 19 1/2 but looks all of 14!  We enjoy dinner with them, and then Elder Jones has to interview each of them to see their ability to be a driver.  In this group one had too many tickets (21) so he will not ever drive and a couple asked not to drive.  I think it makes them nervous to drive in a city.  One sister was going to have to drive as her trainer is from the Phillipines and cannot drive.  Elder Jones interviewed each one and found a sister who had driven farm trucks and even a semi--so she ended up with the sister from the Phillipines.  Perfect Match!
 To wind up the weekend we took a trip yesterday to Dover Delaware to deliver a car that had been repaired to a set of Sisters and for Elder Jones to meet with a Sister who needed some help.  He was happy to go.  Then we drove the old car back to Broomall.  We then listened to Conference.  Today in between sessions we took the Ballards and the Wilsons to see our local covered bridge.  This is the Bartram Bridge and it is only about 4 miles from our apartment.  The leaves are starting to turn color here and we look forward to enjoy all the wonderous color of a Pennsylvania Fall.
We are looking forward this week to zone conferences.  They have been moved up 2 weeks because of a directive from SLC.  We will be seeing the movie "Meet the Mormons".  This in preparation of this movie coming out so that the missionaries will be able to answer questions, etc.  It will be great for us to see this movie!

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