In the last two weeks we have welcomed one new missionary, Elder Scalise, and said goodbye to Elder Coleman and Elder Zollinger. Elder Scalise comes from Ogden, Utah. He will be one of our Spanish speaking missionaries. We are excited to have him. Elder Coleman served in the mountains as well as here in the valley. We wish him the very best as he continues on with life back home in Las Vegas. Elder Zollinger has been serving as one of our office assistants. We will miss him also.
On Jan. 21, 2017 we were privileged to have Elder Oaks visit our mission. Elder Wickman, emeritus general authority seventy, accompanied Elder Oaks visit. Elder Oaks had been invited to speak at a Freedom of Religious forum being held that evening in Tempe. A week before he was scheduled to arrive, he noticed that he would have a few hours after arriving in AZ in which he decided he would spend with missionaries. Our mission was the one he chose to visit and we were thrilled. Below is the picture of ALL missionaries who are currently serving in the AZ Scottsdale mission with Elder Oaks seated right in the middle. After the picture, each missionary was able to file past Elder Oaks where they were able to shake his hand. We convened in the chapel where first Sis. Robinson spoke, then Pres. Robinson, then the entire group of missionaries stood and sung “How Firm a Foundation” with Sis. Robinson leading them and Elder Morgan on the organ. The missionaries sang with gusto and power and Elder Oaks was very impressed and touched by their singing. Then Elder Oaks spoke the remaining 1 1/2 hours, taking questions at the end. We felt so grateful to be in his presence and hear his counsel to us. Elder Oaks has a wonderful sense of humor and was very relaxed and comfortable with us. He told the missionaries that he could feel of their powerful testimonies and feel of their genuine love for missionary work as he looked into their eyes. We all left edified and uplifted to go forth and do our best to invite others to Christ.
Below are pictures of all the missionaries divided up in the various zones in which they serve in. Up until now, we were holding zone conferences every 12 weeks. Now, we have been asked to hold zone conferences every 6 weeks. This will allow more frequent opportunities to interact and learn to be better missionaries. We love how our missionaries come prepared to learn, eagerly participate and then accept challenges that will help them become better instruments in the Lord’s hands.
Sis. Ames and Sis. Clipp arrived from the Provo MTC today, Jan. 9, 2017. Pres. & Sis. Robinson picked them up from the airport and took them over to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center where their new sister companions were waiting – Sis. Gulley and Sis. Fisher. We had a great time showing these new missionaries our wonderful visitors center here at the Mesa Temple.
Sis. Cossey arrived later in the afternoon from the CCM in Mexico. She will be a spanish speaking missionary. We are thrilled to get her!
Elder Velasco arrived the next day Jan. 10, 2017 from Chili. He has been serving in his country for 4 mos waiting for his visa to be approved. We finally got him!! He is so excited to begin his ‘real’ mission, haha. He will be great addition to our missionary family.
Below, is Elder Davis. He arrived Jan. 20, 2017. He was suppose to come out with the above sisters from the Provo MTC but had a slight health set back which required about 10 days of recuperation. He is here now and ready to go to work!
We had to say another goodbye to two of our wonderful missions as they have successfully completed their missionary assignments. Sis. Suter above (pictured with two of her companions, Sis. Fisher and Sis. Gulley) will be greatly missed. As will Elder Proctor who is shown with Bro. Romney. Its always hard to say goodbye to these young people. But we know they must go on with life and implement the many good habits they developed on their missions. Farewell valiant missionaries.
On the very first day of 2017 we had to say goodbye to these four outstanding missionaries. Unfortunately the pictures turned out blurry and these two that I attached are the best ones. But we had a lovely evening with these four and hearing about their incredible missionary experiences they have had in the AZ Scottsdale mission. Sis. Ylisaari is from Finland and she had by far the farthest to go the next day to get back to her hometown. We will miss them but know that great things lie ahead for these wonderful disciples of Christ.
In Nov. 2016, President Robinson went in to get a hair cut one day and left with a referral. During his haircut Pres. Robinson got to know Tracy who told him that several years ago she had been interested in the church and had actually begun attending a ward in Scottsdale but stopped going. One thing led to another and she agreed it was time to sit down with missionaries and take the lessons! It doesn’t usually happen that easily but Tracy had been prepared a long time ago. Four weeks later on Dec. 23, 2016 Tracy was baptized (she asked Pres. Robinson to baptize her). Elders O’Brien and Bebee were the lucky ones who got to teach Tracy (along with Pres. Robinson). Just goes to show that there are people everywhere who are being prepared to hear the message that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth again!