The Arizona Scottsdale Mission welcomed 7 new arriving missionaries on Monday, April 6. The Elders and Sisters arrived in two waves – 5 from the Provo MTC and 2 from the Mexico City MTC. The split arrival creates a bit of scheduling problems – especially when the arrivals are 6 hours apart. So, for the 2 arriving from Mexico City, Elder and Sister Murri went to the airport in place of Pres. and Sister Sweeney.
After arrival and getting the luggage on the trailer for transport back to the Mission Office, the arriving missionaries were given a tour of the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center by President and Sister Cameron – who serve as Directors of the Center. It’s always nice to sit for a few minutes and contemplate the Christus – then get a review of the Plan of Salvation in the display “God’s Plan for Families”. Missionaries regularly use the VC to impact investigators’ understanding of the Church – with Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration and Meet the Mormons being the 2 favorite videos shown there.
We elected to do pictures in the afternoon so that every one could be together – so after touring the VC we headed for the Mission Office and Mission Home. After a Cafe Rio lunch – it was nap time for 45 minutes – probably the only nap time they’ll get for the next 1.5/2 years – but needful when you either get 1-2 hours or no sleep the night before.
After the office staff oriented them and introduced themselves and pictures – it was time to go “first time contacting”! In this activity, experienced full-time missionaries come and take the newly arrived missionaries to parks and streets of Phoenix and Scottsdale for their first chance to “talk with people everywhere we go.” The new missionaries did wonderfully!
Dinner of roast beef, funeral potatoes, salad and veges followed – with Texas sheet cake with ice cream for dessert. Food better than the MTC? Yes! Food better than they’ll cook for themselves. Yes! We spoil the new missionaries a bit – it’s to let them know we love them “instantly” and remind them of parents and loved ones all over the world who are praying for them.
After dinner, the day concluded with a discussion of their experiences, some instruction by Pres. Sweeney and a video – Missionary Work and the Atonement – which is available on youtube and well worth watching.
Tuesday, after exercises (the Elders led by Pres. Sweeney) and a hearty breakfast at the mission home, the new missionaries passed a written drivers exam and behind-the-wheel test. At 9:45 the joined their trainers for orientation on the “First 12 weeks” which sets expectations for trainers and trainees. Finally, the hour of being paired with their first companion arrived. Four of the new missionaries stayed in the valley and three went to the Mountains. All were excited to finally get started on their “real” missions! We are excited to have each of them!