On a cloudy and cool Monday, March 21, the Arizona Scottsdale Mission welcomed 11 new missionaries. These missionaries arrived 1/2 from Mexico City where they had been learning Spanish and 1/2 from Provo – with one (Elder Sefo) arriving a few weeks earlier from the Provo MTC. Picking up the new Elders and Sisters were Pres. and Sister Sweeney accompanied by Elder and Sister Espinoza – a newly arrived senior couple who are laboring in a Spanish branch in the mission.
These Elders and Sisters are a GREAT group – with 6 learning Spanish, one learning English (Elder Sefo form Samoa). Elder Hamson comes from a basketball family and arrived literally towering over the Sisters as they came up the concourse (see picture). One of our Sisters is a recent convert – and the only member in her family. Still another cared for her Mom through an illness that eventually took her life – but through which this Sister developed extraordinary spirituality and charity. They are powerful!
After getting picked up and a sack lunch in the van, the group went to the Mesa Temple and Visitor’s Center where they got acquainted with the interactive displays and had their pictures taken – followed by a brief testimony meeting. Then back to the Mission Office and Home for orientation by the office staff. The highlight of the day came next as they joined a cadre of experienced missionaries for first-time contacting in Phoenix and Scottsdale.
Dinner was prepared by Elder and Sister Adams – a visa-waiting senior missionary couple (they got their visa to India during transfer week and are now in India)of meatballs and rice with some yummy oriental sauces accompanied by veges and a salad. We strive to give missionaries meals that reflect wise food choices – all prepared to be budget conscious. Exactly what they have to do the as missionaries.
The evening closed with some videos of Elder Holland teaching driver safety and Pres. Eyring and Elder Holland teaching on Missionary Work and the Atonement.
Tuesday morning started early as all arriving missionaries and their chaperon’s met at the chapel next to the Mission Home at 6:00 a.m. for isometric exercises and basketball. After breakfast of crepes, they assembled for some additional driver training followed by instruction by the Assistants and Pres and Sister Sweeney on how to be successful as Trainers – and Trainees. By 11:00 a.m. the new companionships were announced – and after lunch driving tests – then off to their new areas and teaching appointments.
This is an extraordinary group! We’re super excited to welcome them and see them grow and progress!