The Arizona Scottsdale Mission welcomed 9 new Elders and Sisters on Monday, May 25th. It was easily the most diverse group of missionaries we’ve ever received in one group! Sister Ho Chee is Samoan, Elder Kaufusi has Tongan heritage (and is a cousin to Sister Kaufusi who went home in April 2015), Elder Kapisi is from Hawaii – with both English and Samoan ancestry, and Sister Teniza and Elder Herrera have ancestry out of Mexico. We feel so blessed!
The Elders and Sisters arrived a 9 am in the morning – after having to board a plane to Los Angeles at 5:30 am and then fly from LA to Phoenix as a second leg. That meant little to no sleep the night before and the promised “to go” breakfast never materialized, so they arrived awake but hungry. Good thing we’d anticipated just such an event – and after collecting their luggage, we headed for the sub shop and got some food and liquids in them (yes, summer is upon us – though it was “only” 95 degrees the day they arrived).
The next stop was the Mesa Temple where they gathered under the shade of some 100 year old live oak trees for some doctrine – Beginning with the End in Mind. Elder Russell M. Nelson teaches missionaries to begin their missionary work envisioning their investigators NOT in baptismal white, but in Temple white – for that is the true meaning of “enduring to the end.”
We also took pictures (note the Mesa Temple in the background of the group picture) and toured the Mesa Temple visitor’s center. By 1:00 pm, the group was ready to head to the mission office and get an hour nap. The rest of the afternoon was spent taking driving tests (for any who have driver’s licenses) and getting oriented by the mission office staff – as well as get acquainted interviews with President Sweeney.
At 5:00 pm, they new missionaries joined some experienced missionaries and went contacting in various parks and tourist areas of Scottsdale and Phoenix. It’s a great experience to have, day 1, and all of the new missionaries came back confident that they were ready to preach the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! Dinner back at the Mission Home of homemade “Cafe Rio” food was devoured – and the day was capped by sharing of the day’s experiences.
Tuesday morning, all 6 Elders joined Pres. Sweeney for exercises in the back yard at 6:30 am. They did various sets of training exercises that work out their entire bodies – and even get aerobic. Elder and Sister Murri prepared a great breakfast of bacon, eggs, pancakes and hash browns – while some ate, the others showered and everyone reported to the chapel next door to the mission home by 8:30 am for a written drivers test. The new missionaries joined 9 newly-appointed trainers and by 11:30 am, they were trained in their respective duties (the new missionary training lasts 12 weeks) and paired as companions, ready to begin their service to the Lord.
These are great Elders and Sisters!! We feel blessed to have them in our mission.