On Monday, August 17, the Arizona Scottsdale Mission welcomed 23 new missionaries. The flights from SLC and Mexico City arrived around noon filled with excited but nervous missionaries. It takes all of our spare vehicles to get enough room to get this group from the airport to the Mesa Temple Visitors’ Center and back to the mission office. On this effort we had the 12 seater big van (nicknamed by the Assistants the “Arctic Cat”), a 7 seater mini van, Pres. Sweeney’s 7 seater Toyota Highlander and the crew cab mission truck with trailer!
Typical for this time of year, the arriving missionaries were greeted by temperatures that topped out at 108. But, missionaries – if they have water – can do a lot of great things in hot weather. First stop – Mesa’s Pioneer Park where we had lunch of sub sandwiches, chips and (what else) lots of water! Then off to the Mesa Temple Visitor’s Center for a tour where we taught the missionaries to always “begin with the end in mind” and see your investigators in temple white.
The next stop was the mission office and orientation – followed by pairing up with experienced missionaries to go contacting in various spots around Scottsdale. After an hour they have over 30 referrals! This is a dedicated group! Dinner followed – fabulous Cafe Rio burritos or salads – with Texas sheet cake and ice cream for dessert.
The first day ended with the newly arrived missionaries teaching each other about the things they learned from Day 1 followed by videos on driving safety and Missionary Work and the Atonement by Elder Holland.
Day 2 was picture morning and after a 5:30 am workout with Pres. Sweeney, the Elders were ready to go for breakfast (McDonalds sausage burritos and egg mcmuffins), fruit, juices, and cereal) by 6:00 am. They were joined by the Sisters at 7:00 am who also enjoyed the breakfast buffet. Group and single pictures followed – and then off to a nearby chapel for a driver training video where they were expected to answer a quiz on how to drive safely. Everyone passed!
At 9:45 am, the Trainer and New Missionary meeting began – and by 11:15 am – everyone had their first companion and was settling in and ready for lunch – which was hamburgers and hot dogs cooked by Elder and Sister Dale – our fabulous missionary couple that prepares our large meals. They are wonderful!
This is tied for the 2nd largest group – ever – ranking a few behind the July 2013 arrival of 30 new missionaries and tied with the September 2013 group with 23. They are well prepared and ready to work! Zone Conferences are next week and we’ll check in with each of them to see how they’re doing! We love them already!