Oct. 2014 Arrivals
The Arizona Scottsdale Mission welcomed 13 new missionaries on a bright Monday morning in late October – with temperatures finally pleasant all day! Five of the missionaries arrived from Mexico City with the other 8 arriving from the Provo MTC – except for Sister Jesse who arrived from the Temple Square mission in Salt Lake City for her two-transfer mission.
The Elders and Sisters were taken to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center for a guided tour led by Elder and Sister Cameron, Visitor’s Center director and companion. They learned how to use the VC in their proselyting efforts – and the VC will be prominently in the minds of the missionaries as Temple Lights comes on line the day after Thanksgiving.
After group and individual pictures, the 5 Sisters and 8 Elders held a brief testimony meeting at the VC, then came back to the mission office for lunch and a well-deserved nap. Later they were oriented and then left for the highlight of the day – first time contacting in and around Phoenix and Scottsdale. They were one of our top-performing groups with each companionship having success in placing Books of Mormon or getting appointments to teach. Dinner was served at 6:30 pm and after a final meeting to review what they had learned by contacting, these Elders and Sisters were ready for a good night’s rest.
Bright and early Tuesday morning, the Elders joined Pres. Sweeney in the back yard of the mission home for a workout! They were joined by the Scottsdale Zone Leaders, Elders DeBruin and Stevenson. We believe in exercising in this mission – and the Mission President leads by example! Breakfast was breakfast burritos, smoothies and lots of milk and OJ. After a driver training written test (they all passed), it was time for the transfer meeting where they were introduced to their new companions.
This group is quiet dedication personified! We love them already!
We’ve been blessed again! The Arizona Scottsdale Mission welcomed 15 new arrivals on Monday, September 15. Ten of the 15 arrived as scheduled Monday, with the 5 Spanish language Elders from Mexico City arriving 10 hours late due to a flight cancellation. That did not keep them from using their time at the Mexico City airport to talk with others and test their 6-week old Spanish on real people. They had some amazing success stories!
The 10 who arrived Monday morning toured the Mesa Temple grounds and Visitor’s Center, had some time to learn from President and Sister Sweeney and enjoyed a Cafe Rio lunch and a Hawaiian haystacks dinner at the mission home. In between was orientation, drivers tests and some first time proselyting around Scottsdale. Again, these new missionaries “feared no man!” They placed numerous copies of the Book of Mormon and got several referrals.
Tuesday, Sept. 16 was more training of their trainers and the new missionaries on how to be successful. Lunch prepared by Elder and Sister Dale, our service missionaries, was hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and watermelon.
The transfer meeting featured many wonderful musical number, including one flash missionary mob type called One Voice that started with one soloist who was joined by the end of the number by 20 fellow missionaries. FUN!
By 3 pm the new missionaries and their companions were all on their way to their new areas for their first night of proselyting. Somehow, most of these new missionaries ended up either in downtown Phoenix or in the White Mountains.
We love them already!
August 2014 Group
The ASM received a mighty group of missionaries on Monday, August 4th. Coming in were 25 new missionaries (22 Elders and 3 Sisters) all ready to respond to their call to serve! (the influx of Elders seems designed to rebalance our missionary force to the 65/35 ratio the Missionary Department strives to maintain between Elders and Sisters)
The group features 8 Spanish speaking missionaries – including Sister Penalba who is from Panama and is on a 2 transfer assignment to the mission. The missionaries joined the mission on a typical early August day where the high reached 102 – but we let them shed their coats during the afternoon while they went contacting in various parts of Scottsdale joined by experienced missionaries.
Dinner was held on the patio of the mission home – with the misters on – making it a comfortable night for taco salad courtesy of Elder and Sister Dale who serve as housing coordinators and cooks for our large missionary meals. Delicious as always!
Each incoming group has a personality. The word for the August 2014 group: dedicated and confident. Yes, that is two words, but they earned them both with their preparation before their missions and their zeal to do the Lord’s work today. Great things lie ahead!
It’s getting hot in Arizona just now (we say “getting” just to cheer ourselves with the thought that today isn’t so bad) . But it didn’t deter these 14 missionaries (9 Sisters and 5 Elder) from joining our missionary force last Monday. They are amazing! Every group has a personality – and these Elders and Sisters are happy, determined, ready-to-work, prepared, and dignified. Sister Sweeney and I love them already!
One of the 14, Sister Heuea, is from Tahiti and is 11 months into her 18 month mission. She is serving in Temple Square and is on her two-transfer sabbatical to the “real” mission field. We already have French-speaking investigators waiting for her to teach!
The mission now has 91 Sisters serving out of a total complement of 220 (40%)! We are blessed!
The Arrivals 5.12.2014
This past Thursday I received an unusual call from Salt Lake City. Our Missionary Department contact, Bro. DeLaMare, indicated that the missionary department was sending 3 missionaries on Friday to our mission. The Ukraine Donetsk Mission was closing due to the ongoing conflict in the region and we were on the receiving end of 2 Sisters and 1 Elder who were being transferred to the Arizona Scottsdale Mission. We hastily devised a plan to put these missionaries infield with a companion through transfers and picked them up on Friday evening – the end of a 22 hour day for them. Elder Bumgarten, Sister Schrecengost and Sister Hopkin (all from the USA) arrived safe and sound and ready for a good night’s rest after a snack of roast beef sandwiches prepared philly style. Between that and the breakfast of Swedish pancakes the next morning, there missionaries were basking in the return to American cooking from their typical meals of borscht (root vegetable and cabbage soup).
Arriving Monday, May 12th from the MTCs in Mexico City and Provo were 5 Sister missionaries: Sister Havea (from Tonga), Sister MacKillop and Sister Knouse (Spanish speaking), Sister Taylor and Sister Hess. The Mission is now about 40% Sisters and we’re loving their “touch” throughout the mission! After a tour of the Mesa Temple Visitors Center where we also did the individual and group pictures, they headed back to the mission office for lunch, orientation and a nap (it’s 2:30 in the morning when the Mexico City MTC awakens the departing missionaries for their trip to Arizona). They each had a great first contacting session where several referrals and Books of Mormon were placed followed by dinner and an early bed time.
Tuesday was the mission-wide transfer meeting where Sister Sweeney and President Sweeney shared thoughts on Faith, followed by the showing of the Church’s recent videos on Mothers and Easter. Soon enough, each new missionary was paired up with their new companions and were off to their new assignments. We love these newly arrived missionaries already!
On Monday, March 31st, the ASM welcomed thirteen new missionaries. Of the 13, 7 are Spanish speakers and 6 of those came from the Mexico City MTC. Elder Barli came from Argentina directly to the Provo MTC where he stayed for 10 days. Two of the 13 were visa waiting missionaries (Elder Bussiere and Elder Erickson). Elder Bussiere got his visa on April 1 and will be off to Brazil on May 5th.
We are so very blessed to welcome these well-prepared missionaries! They were all much needed as several Spanish areas were closed for a transfer awaiting their arrival. The new arrivals were taken directly from the airport to the Mesa Temple Visitors Center where they toured the center, had individual and group pictures taken and had a short testimony meeting. The testimony meetings HAVE to be short because missionaries who arise at 2 an 3 am are pretty tired and sleepy by noon. Sitting down for any length of time produces instant sleep!
After lunch, a nap and some orientation, the English speakers headed to Downtown Scottsdale and a Paradise Valley Community College; the Spanish speakers headed to an area in Paradise Valley rich in Spanish speakers called “the square” because it is about 1 square mile in size. They had much success getting referrals and first-time contacting. It also provided that much-needed breakthrough experience that enables them to say “I’m now a full time missionary and I can do this!” All new arrivals were in bed by 9:30. The Sisters slept in the mission home while the Elders slept at Elder an Sister McConkie’s condo nearby.
After such a long day, morning comes early even when the alarm doesn’t ring until 6:30 am. The next morning (April 1) President Sweeney met the new Sisters on the back patio area for exercising – where they did the mission version of 10-minute trainer while Sister Sweeney made breakfast of eggs, bacon, waffles with butter syrup and smoothies. After some training on what to accomplish during their first 12 weeks, companions were assigned (note the hugging pictures) and by 2 pm they were off to their first areas.
We love them all!
We are delighted to welcome 17 new Elders and Sisters to the Mission!
Arising by 3:30 a.m., this group of 16 from the Provo MTC and 1 from the Mexico City MTC arrived at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix at 10:15 on Monday, Feb. 17. They looked marvelous! President and Sister Sweeney were joined by Elder Tarr and Elder Wilson, the Assistants, in greeting the new arrivals. First stop after baggage claim was the Mesa Temple Visitors Center where they toured the VC, got to know the new VC directors (Elder and Sister Cameron), and took individual and group pictures under the trees adjacent to the temple. It was cool (in the 60s) but the sun shown brightly all day. After a 15 minute trip to the mission office, the group enjoyed lunch cooked by Elder and Sister Dale followed by interviews with President Sweeney and orientation from the Mission Office staff (Elder and Sister McConkie, Elder and Sister Williams, Elder Morgan and Elder Dale).
Then it was off for some “Proselyting 101” at various places around Scottsdale. The entire group performed wonderfully, placing multiple copies of the Book of Mormon and getting referrals for other missionaries. After dinner and a brief fireside to discuss the day’s learnings, the missionaries were ready for bed.
Tuesday began with exercises and breakfast of waffles, eggs and bacon prepared by President and Sister Sweeney. The new missionaries joined in various trainings until noon when their companions were introduced to them for the first time. This group is READY! They have maturity, desire and humility!