A week ago, January 6th, we welcomed to the mission 16 arrivals – 7 Sisters and 9 Elders. Each group has a personality – and Sister Sweeney and I have found this group to be “spiritually prepared”. They arrived seemingly “pre-trained” and ready to go find and teach. Just like their predecessor groups, after picking them up at the Phoenix Airport, we went to the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center for a tour and photos. Assisting us were Elder and Sister Kunzler, one of our mission housing inspector couples who took them on a tour of the Center. The mild weather (it has been averaging about 40 degrees at night at 70 in the day) made for a perfect outdoor group picture.
After lunch back at the chapel next to the mission office, the group had a 30 min. nap – then orientation and finally contacting. They were very successful, placing 5+ copies of the Book of Mormon and making teaching appointments for several. After dinner and some more instruction, it was to the McConkie’s (our wonderful office couple that handles secretary duties and finances) for the Sisters and the mission home for the Elders. Breakfast the next day was Sister Sweeney’s famed Swedish pancakes which disappeared quickly.
The new missionaries are now in their field of labor – ranging from Eagar on the far east end of the mission and 7,000 feet to Phoenix on the far west end. Several are in 3-some companionships where we are backfilling for the expected departure of several of our visa waiter Elders and Sisters. This makes for ideal training as two experienced missionaries get to train the arriving missionaries.
Our in-field total missionaries is now 208.
We’ve love all of them and invite parents to write them each week with encouragement to stay and fill the full measure of their callings.
President and Sister Sweeney