In December 2018, we welcomed two new senior missionary couples into the AZ Scottsdale Mission. Elder & Sis. Lauritzen will be serving as our office secretary and housing coordinator. Elder & Sis. Patterson, are church service missionaries who live in Scottsdale at home and will serve as our bike and vehicle coordinators. We love our senior missionaries and feel so grateful to serve with them. These four have already been a tremendous help as they have helped with the many, many responsibilities of administering the affairs of a mission.
Every six weeks we welcome new missionaries and every six weeks we have to say goodbye to missionaries completing their mission. Such was the case this week. We said farewell to six outstanding missionaries. Each one of these six missionaries were tremendous instruments in the Lord’s hands. It is always so hard for President and Sis. Robinson to send these wonderful, valiant disciples of the Lord back home to family and friends. We will never forget these wonderful sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. Good luck to you all.
On the second day in the field, our new missionaries wake up at 6:30am, do morning exercises, shower and dress for the day. Then we eat a huge breakfast prepared by Sis. Robinson of her famous scrambled eggs that have 5 different cheeses and yummy spices mixed in, sausage, muffins, yogurt, oranges, grapes, cereal, milk, chocolate milk, orange juice and cranberry juice. Sis. Robinson wants to make sure they are well fed on their first morning in the Scottsdale mission. After clean-up, we move into the RS room for personal study time. Then, as President Robinson begins to pull out individual missionaries for interviews, the assistants and sister training leaders do some trainings on missionary skills which always include having the new missionaries do some role playing. Later in the morning, Elder & Sis. Patterson who oversee our cars and bikes come in and do some training on car and bike safety. In the meantime, the missionaries who will be the trainers/companions to these new missionaries assemble in the Primary room where the assistants, sister training leaders, Pres & Sis. Robinson do some training.
At around 12:15pm, President Robinson assembles both the new missionaries and trainer/companions into the RS where he announces the new companionships. Its always thrilling and fun to see who the new companionships will be. After the excitement settles down a bit, we break for lunch. Elder & Sis. Zeigler, a church service missionary couple who live in Phoenix provide these lunches. They do a wonderful job. We had pulled pork sandwiches, salad, fruit, beans, and cookies and ice cream bars for lunch. After lunch, we assemble back in the RS where Sis. Robinson does a training on Online Proselyting. The assistants do a little training next. And Pres. Robinson concludes with some counsel to these new companionships. We close with prayer and then the new missionaries do some behind the wheel car training, get their bikes, gather up their new bedding supplies which Sis. Robinson provides and by 4pm everyone is off to their new areas.
On Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, the AZ Scottsdale mission welcomed 10 new missionaries. They are a diverse group. One missionary is from Hawaii, one is from Korea where her family is stationed, one is from Puerto Rico, and the rest are from stateside. We can tell this is a great bunch of eager and dedicated young missionaries.
Except for Elder Kersee, all the missionaries arrived in the afternoon. Elder Kersee came from the Mexico MTC and came in around 5pm. To give you a glimpse of what that looks like I have included pictures that were taken at the airport. Pres. & Sis. Robinson and the assistants greet our new missionaries at the airport as they make their way down the gate ramp. After hugs and greetings we go to the baggage terminal to retrieve everyone’s luggage.
Then we get everyone loaded up into vans and cars. Today the van was driven by Elder and Sis. Gemar, a senior missionary couple. The luggage goes in a big trailer which Elder Lauritzen has hooked up to his truck. We head to the mission home/office and church bldg located next door to the mission office. Lots of nerves, excitement and high adrenaline.
When we get to the mission office/home, we deposit the luggage there or at the apartment we keep across the street and have all missionaries meet at the chapel next door. Sis. Robinson had a snack of chicken croissant sandwiches, chips, oranges and water. After the snack, its picture time. Then all the missionaries are taken out by veteran missionaries to do some street or door contacting. Today, our schedule included some orientation as well. After about an hour of contacting the missionaries came back and were given instruction by our office staff missionaries. By 6:30pm, Sis. Robinson had dinner ready. Tonight it was Taco Salad with all the trimmings, grapes, oranges, and water. The missionaries love taco salad because they can build their salad the way they want. After dinner, we move the RS room for some fun introductions to the mission via a power point slide presentation, a meet the Robinson Family via power point, and a wonderful video on the atonement which features Elder Holland and Pres. Eyring. Pres. and Sis. Robinson also do trainings about what it means to be a SCottSDale (strictly obedient, competent teacher, sensitive to the Spirit, diligent in hard working) missionary and what a ‘successful’ missionary looks like according to Preach My Gospel. About 8:30pm we close with a kneeling prayer and then had pie and ice cream. Then the elders go to their apartment with the assistants across the street and the sisters come with the sister training leaders to the Mission Home and all are ready for a good night’s sleep.
We had another round of fantastic zone conferences with these incredible missionaries. As always, the missionaries came prepared to learn. We are always amazed by their understanding of the gospel and their desire to improve their teaching skills. The assistants trained on the Faith to Reap. We all learned better how to improve our faith and belief that this is the Lord’s work and He is in charge. But we need to have faith each morning as we walk out the door that there are people who have been prepared and are ready to receive the message. Pres. & Sis. Robinson trained on Teaching People Not Lessons by having the missionaries break up into groups of 4 companionships each and role playing scenarios. President, Sis. Robinson, and assistants each took a group into a designated area and played the role of investigator. All role play scenarios were derived from real life situations and had been carefully thought through to give the missionaries realistic situations to learn the skill of How to Begin Teaching or gathering information listening thoughtfully to assess the needs and concerns of the investigator(s). After each role play we evaluate what went well and things that could have been improved. We learn much by doing role plays. We enjoyed wonderful lunches at each zone conference.
The Paradise Valley zone were invited to participate in the Paradise Valley Stake youth fireside. All the missionaries in the zone were invited to be on a panel. The missionaries came prepared to ask the youth one question. The second part was the youth asking the missionaries questions. Such an inspiring meeting. Good questions and even better answers. Testimonies were born and all felt the Spirit. Valiant youth and incredible full time missionaries. What a combination!
This is a little late but wanted to post about our Christmas Eve we enjoyed with the missionaries. We were only able to meet Christmas Eve with the missionaries in the valley since we did not want the missionaries who serve in the mountains to travel 3 hours. Also, we included two pictures of the office at Christmas time. We usually get 20-40 packages everyday during the Christmas season and the office fills up fast. Pictured is just a very small sampling of the packages we get at this time of year. We are thankful for family and friends who make the missionary’s Christmas very special. This year, President and Sis. Robinson were able to purchase a special memento representing the AZ Scottsdale Mission. A lapel pin for the Elders, and a gold or silver necklace for the Sisters. They loved it and we loved giving them something to remind them of their time in the AZ Scottsdale Mission.
We started the evening in the chapel where we were able to hear testimonies from individual missionaries, messages from Pres. & Sis. Robinson, and listen to each zone as they performed beautiful music by singing Christmas carols. Then we closed with prayer and gathered in the cultural hall for last minute packages that arrived, the small gifts from Pres. & Sis. Robinson, visiting and ice cream sundaes & cookies. We sure love these missionaries!!