It’s Spring here in Phoenix! The citrus trees in the back of the mission home are bursting with white fragrant blossoms and anything that went dormant during the “winter” is back growing again. The weather has turned warm – highs are now solidly in the 80s each day – with the forecast of 90s over the coming weekend.
In the midst of this heaven-on-earth we call the Arizona Scottsdale Mission, arrived 16 new missionaries – and 15 of the 16 were new to any mission, with one having served previously in Monterrey, Mexico.
This time, the arrivals got a little – how shall we say it – uhm, “complicated”. Seems our departing Provo MTC group of 9 missionaries “lost” 2 on the way to the airplane and only 7 were on the flight arriving in the morning. The lost missionaries were actually in the bathroom when the boarding calls were made – so they arrived at 2 pm from SLC when the 5 Spanish speaking missionaries from the Mexico City MTC also arrived – giving us a total of 14 + Elder Sands who arrived the prior week from the Provo MTC as an American Sign Language (ASL) missionary + Sister Rasmussen who arrived also the prior week via the Mexico Monterrey Mission.
Unique to this group was the arrival of 3 French speaking Sister missionaries – 2 from Polynesia and 1 from France. These 3 Sisters are the core missionaries for our effort to contact a group of west Africans who dot the landscape here. They may be from Congo, or Cote D’ivoire or even Haiti, but wherever they come from, we are now on the hunt for them. And, we have permission to seek them in the Phoenix Mission boundary, too!
The basics remain the same – Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center tour, lunch at the Mission Home (Cafe Rio) followed by a 45 minute nap (which did little to help the 2 missionaries that stayed up all night getting ready), then orientation to the mission by the office staff, followed by First Time Contacting. Dinner arrived at dusk – 7 pm – at the Mission Home of pot roast with funeral potatoes, salad and carrots with Texas sheet cake a la mode for dessert. The finale of the night was driving safety training and our favorite video – Missionary Work and the Atonement by Pres. Eyring and Elder Holland.
Tuesday dawned bright and clear – time for pictures next to the citrus trees in back of the mission home after a 6:30 exercises with the President and all of the Sister missionaries (it was harder on him than them!) and breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes. After a drivers test, it was time to meet their new companions – followed by lunch of sub sandwiches and fruit. The transfer meeting had no spoken words but was filled with the Spirit as all of the musical numbers for the March 8 Arizona Scottsdale Missionary Musical Fireside were presented. Stunning! Then they were off with their new companions to find those that are prepared to receive them. Quite a group! We love them already!