3 Brothers on a Mission

The Deseret News published a terrific article on one of the Arizona Scottsdale Mission’s finest – and soon to be alumnus – Elder Fletcher Rydalch.  We are proud of Elder Rydalch and wanted to give our mission blog readers the opportunity to “meet’ Elder Rydalch who is typical of the wonderful Elders and Sisters in the Arizona Scottsdale Mission.  Enjoy!

Talk With Everyone! Elder Rydalch and Elder Ronnenberg Deliver!

During our Meet the New Mission President Tour, we thought it best to have our Mission Assistants be drivers to the various ward buildings where we met each zone.  We started the meetings at 7:30  am with a continental breakfast, so we needed to arrive by 7:00 am.  At our very first meeting, while we were unloading the car and oblivious to much around us, I noticed our Assistants, Elder Rydalch and Elder Ronnenberg suddenly took a short break from their temporal duties.  A young woman in her 20’s had innocently decided to use the Church parking lot as a part of her morning jog path.  And, she had strayed too close to these fine Elders.  Everyone “knows” you can’t talk with people about missionary work before, oh say 8:00 am.  Not these Elders.  They flagged her down and did what Preach My Gospel says to do:  talk with everyone!

Yes, they made an appointment for the local Sisters to meet with their new jogger friend!


Elder Rydalch (L) and Elder Ronnenberg (R)

Based on that, we wonder if in a twist to the warning signs posted on some places, those at LDS meeting houses ought to say, “Warning: Joggers will be Proselyted”!

Farewell and God Be With You – # 1

Today we said good bye to 4 missionaries who have completed their missions.  It was hot today, with a hint of moisture in the air as the summer monsoon season blossomed around us, just not over us.  We chose to take a picture in the mission home garden, shielded from the mid-day sun by a large live oak tree.

For these Elders and Sisters, tonight they will have a farewell dinner and testimony meeting with President Jenkins and the other Mesa Mission departing Elders and Sisters whom they labored with until 2 weeks ago when the new Scottsdale Mission was created.

They arrived as young men and young women – they depart as stalwart men and women – having been refined by the Master.  There is no choicer experience than to interview these faithful Elders and Sisters as they prepare to return with honor!

L to R, Elder Richmond, Elder Bybee, President Sweeney, Sister Sweeney, Sister Schneider, Sister Crawford.


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Sister Crawford – Washington, Sister Schneider – Utah, Elder Bybee – Idaho, Elder Richmond – Texas

Next week is transfers and 5 more of their group will depart.  Taking their place are 33 young Elders and Sisters – as a continuing part of the “wave” of new missionaries that are volunteering to serve.  Included in the next arriving group will be 14 new Sister missionaries, almost doubling our complement of Sisters.  More on both departures and arrivals next week….

Our Secret Weapon – Visa Waiter Missionaries!

The Arizona Scottsdale Mission has a rich legacy of missionary work.  Through the doors of the mission office – formerly the office of the Arizona Mesa mission – and mission home have passed over 4,000 missionaries in the +/- 40 years since this mission complex was built.  However, not everyone who serves in the Scottsdale Mission is called to the Scottsdale Mission.  Those missionaries called to foreign missions – like Brazil and Argentina – often encounter trouble getting visas to enter the country they are called to before their MTC training ends.

Weekly, we receive calls asking if we have room for “visa waiter” Elders and Sisters.  Last week, we took 6 of them – and they arrived today (photos below).  These extra missionaries aren’t coddled in the slightest – they are welcomed and then teamed with a companion that has been called to the Arizona Scottsdale Mission.  This unsung force allows us to stretch our missionary resources so that we have 5 or 6 areas open for proselyting that otherwise would not be open.  These visa waiter missionaries are our secret weapon!

Although they generally only stay about 6 – 10 weeks with us, they leave with a love of the people they serve and, in many cases, their first experience with a baptism.   They universally arrive with a determination to serve with honor while they are here.

Our latest visa waiter arrivals are:

Sisters Astle, Wadsworth and Houtz – all bound for Argentina and Elders Goodfellow, Morgan and Faughnan all bound for Brazil.  Welcome to them all!

Meet the Mission President and Companion

Last week, President and Sister Sweeney met every Elder and Sister in the mission in a 3-day dawn to dusk interview-a-thon that endeared these wonderful young men and women to us as our spiritual sons and daughters.  We hugged them (Elders for President, Sisters for Sister Sweeney), fed them, and assured them we felt about them just as their parents did – “instant love”.  And, we assured them Heavenly Father watches over His missionaries as they do His work.  Thanks to you parents who have prepared them so well!  (Click on images to enlarge thumbnail)