On Monday, March 31st, the ASM welcomed thirteen new missionaries. Of the 13, 7 are Spanish speakers and 6 of those came from the Mexico City MTC. Elder Barli came from Argentina directly to the Provo MTC where he stayed for 10 days. Two of the 13 were visa waiting missionaries (Elder Bussiere and Elder Erickson). Elder Bussiere got his visa on April 1 and will be off to Brazil on May 5th.
We are so very blessed to welcome these well-prepared missionaries! They were all much needed as several Spanish areas were closed for a transfer awaiting their arrival. The new arrivals were taken directly from the airport to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center where they toured the center, had individual and group pictures taken and had a short testimony meeting. The testimony meetings HAVE to be short because missionaries who arise at 2 an 3 am are pretty tired and sleepy by noon. Sitting down for any length of time produces instant sleep!
After lunch, a nap and some orientation, the English speakers headed to Downtown Scottsdale and a Paradise Valley Community College; the Spanish speakers headed to an area in Paradise Valley rich in Spanish speakers called “the square” because it is about 1 square mile in size. They had much success getting referrals and first-time contacting. It also provided that much-needed breakthrough experience that enables them to say “I’m now a full time missionary and I can do this!” All new arrivals were in bed by 9:30. The Sisters slept in the mission home while the Elders slept at Elder an Sister McConkie’s condo nearby.
After such a long day, morning comes early even when the alarm doesn’t ring until 6:30 am. The next morning (April 1) President Sweeney met the new Sisters on the back patio area for exercising – where they did the mission version of 10-minute trainer while Sister Sweeney made breakfast of eggs, bacon, waffles with butter syrup and smoothies. After some training on what to accomplish during their first 12 weeks, companions were assigned (note the hugging pictures) and by 2 pm they were off to their first areas.
We love them all!