Departures September/October 2014

Departures are such bittersweet times! We have grown to love these missionaries and yet we know they must leave us and embark upon their greater Missions in life. In September and October 2014 we bid farewell to a total of 29 missionaries – 2 of whom (Elders Gillming and Carmon) went on to their permanent mission assignments in Brazil and 1 (Sister Heuea) back to Temple Square to complete her mission there. Included among these missionaries were many who had served as Sister Training Leaders, Zone Leaders and District Leaders.  Sister Rudy opened Ft. Apache to Sisters work, an amazing step for that Branch.  All contributed of their energies and talents to grow the Kingdom!  Their departure necessarily will require growth in their remaining missionary companions to step up to those roles.

And, the remaining missionaries WILL step up and grow! That is how the Lord does it. President Hinckley some years ago, when commenting on giving converts “a responsibility” quipped “just think of the chance the Lord took when He called you!” And so it is the order of things. In this dispensation, the rising generation WILL be more faithful than their parents….

We love and miss you, dear Elders and Sisters!

Departures-August 4, 2014

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Sister Sweeney and I have been in the mission field for for a little over a year – and this group of 17 departing missionaries is our largest departing group yet.  To say that we aren’t sad to see them go home would vastly understate our deep feelings of love and respect for each of these wonderful missionaries!  We feel we’ve grown up with them during our first year.  What service they offered to the mission as they each labored in leadership roles while we learned!

It was our pleasure to host them at a dinner and testimony meeting.  The menu was “Cafe Rio” – courtesy of Sister Sweeney and Elder and Sister McConkie who added some delicious sweet pork to the dinner.  Elder Scott provided the PB&J cheesecake – truly delicious!  After a wonderful evening (which featured a rainstorm right as dinner was served – summer monsoon style) at the mission home we left for the airport at 5:30 am Monday morning August 4, 2014.  We wish them all the best in their future endeavors!


March 2014 Departures

Sister Sweeney and President Sweeney hosted 4 departing missionaries on March 30 for their farewell dinner.  The 4 Elders above enjoyed a “Cafe Rio” dinner buffet  as their last meal here in the mission – followed by a mission fireside with each other.  This sacred time was spent sharing testimonies among the missionaries and Pres. and Sister Sweeney.

We will miss them greatly!

Departures – April/May 2014

April and May were bittersweet months as we said farewell to multiple missionaries on multiple occasions. Many of our visa waiters were able to get their visas to Brazil – and thus Elder Bond, Elder Molinaro, Sister Basham and Sister Archibald – who had been in the mission for 7 months or more (Elder Bond reached his half-way point just as he left) all departed during the past few weeks.

We also said goodbye to the May departing group consisting of Elder Pinkston, Elder McNabb, Elder Hernandez, Elder Broomhead, Elder Taylor, Elder Rigoli, Sister Holyoak and Sister Tenney. These fine missionaries have served well and return to prepare for school and their lives ahead. All of them have made significant contributions to the mission and we will miss them.

The farewell dinner was held Sunday, May 11th and featured Sister Sweeney’s version of Cafe Rio – shredded marinated chicken, black beans, Texas caviar dip, all covered with a delicious salsa verde dressing – with dessert prepared by our senior missionary office couples, Elder and Sister Williams and Elder and Sister McConkie. These couples are our assistants in every endeavor we find too much to handle alone and we love them dearly.

February 2014 Departures – Hermanas Sanchez & Garrick & Elders Kawano & Quiner

Hermanas Garrick & Sanchez, Elders Kawano & QuinerOur second group of departing missionaries left the mission Monday, Feb. 17. Two of our most diligent and effective Hermanas (Spanish Sisters) – Sisters Sanchez (from Spain) and Garrick as well as 2 fine Elders, Elder Kawano and Elder Quiner (American Sign Language) departed for home. We held their farewell dinner and testimony meeting the night of Feb. 16 with President and Sister Sweeney grilling steaks and vegetables to enjoy. Both Sister Sanchez and Sister Garrick served as Sister Training Leaders; Elder Quiner was a ZL and ASL missionary; Elder Kawano and President Sweeney spent considerable time his last week teaching a Japanese investigator – and he was an excellent teacher! Sayonara to all!

Pictured L to R – Sister Sanchez, Sister Garrick, Sister Sweeney, President Sweeney, Elder Kawano, Elder Quiner

February 2014 Departures – Elders Davis & Ronnenberg

We’ve had two groups of departing missionaries this past transfer: Elder Davis left two weeks early to accept a job and Elder Ronnenberg extended his mission 4 weeks, serving the Lord in an extraordinary fashion. We held their farewell dinner on Jan. 30th with several other former companions in attendance. The menu featured Philly Cheesesteaks (the missionaries’ picked their favorite) and baked french fried potatoes. Elder Ronnenberg, a former mission president Assistant, finished his last week in the extended part of his mission with 3 baptisms. It was a great way to end things before his return to Denmark.

We love and miss there fine missionaries!