On a rather warm evening in mid-June (not unexpected), the Arizona Scottsdale Mission welcomed it’s newest dozen missionaries to the field. Of the 12 who arrived, 4 are mini-missionaries who have volunteered to come to the mission to serve a 6 or 12 week mission – often in advance of a regular 18 month or 2 year call.
The arriving missionaries first took a tour of the Mesa Temple Visitors Center where they cooled off and visited the Christus display followed by other interactive displays where the purpose of families is depicted. The missionaries will bring their investigators and less active families here where the Spirit is very strong and often a spark can be kindled by the light of missionary testimonies.
After individual and group pictures under the densest shade we could find (see the pictures above) designed to shield everyone from the heat of the day, the group adjourned to a large conference room where they were taught by the Assistants on various fundamentals of missionary work including the Lord’s pledge to “open the hearts of the people…” (D&C 31:7) Each missionary also had a chance to bear a brief testimony and tell a fun fact about themselves.
With some doctrine taught, it was time to act in faith – so the group journeyed to the Mission Home where they were oriented by the mission staff and then given a brief bit of how-to training on first time contacting. Then each new missionary joined was matched into a companionship with an experienced missionary to guide them and off they went to downtown Scottsdale, parks, “little Mexico” and even a frisbee golf course to find those who are prepared. They had a BLAST!
After a Cafe Rio themed dinner, the new missionaries reviewed what happened during the contacting and shared their stories with each other. Then it was time to get them to bed (many had gotten up at 4:00 am).
Tuesday morning dawned a bit crisp so the group opted for some 6:00 am exercise on the football field at nearby Saguaro HS where they played ultimate frisbee! It was super fun – and except for one strained knee everyone was able to participate for the full 30 minutes.
Our next adventure was to get 30 YM and YW ready to get breakfast (crepes, bacon and eggs), set up the lunch tables and get showered all while being on time to the driver training certification at 8:00 am. And they did it! We then trained the trainers how to be good trainers – then the trainees how to be good companions. By 11:00 am the companionships were ready to be announced. A great summertime lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs closed the training and they were ready to head off to their new areas.