On March 5, 2018 we had to say goodbye to these two fine elders as their visa’s were approved and they are off to Mexico! Although they were only with us for 6 weeks, they were a joy to have in our mission. Elder Peterson and Elder Tehuitzil will be wonderful missionaries in Mexico. We wish them the best!
On a warm Sunday evening the missionaries taught over 50 African refugees. Elders Gibbons and Castro had contacted a man from Africa in one of the apartment complexes they were visiting. He was very interested in the elders message and wanted them to come back when he could gather a large group of his friends to hear their message. The elders brought a projector, a screen and several Book of Mormons to the meeting and showed the Restoration video as well as some mormon messages. The whole zone of missionaries came out to help. We have one missionary, Elder Kirokiro who can speak a little Swahili but understands quite a bit. That helped since most of the adults could not speak much English. But the children understood quite a bit. We do not know where this might go, but its interesting how we never know where and when we might come across individuals who want to know more about the meaning of life and where we are going after death. Even if they are refugees from Africa. We currently trying to find someone in the area who knows Swahili so the missionaries can converse easier with these wonderful people.
Elder & Sis. Schmitt have completed their mission. Sis. Schmitt has worked in the mission office taking care of everything office related including secretarial duties. Elder Schmitt has worked as our housing coordinator. Our mission is better because of these two. They have been very, very dedicated missionaries serving President and Sis. Robinson and also 160 missionaries. We will miss them TERRIBLY. We wish them all the best in their future adventures. Above are some pictures from a going away get together we had for the Schmitts. Most of our senior missionaries were able to make it including the Geruns who had just arrived. We had a lovely pot luck dinner, played a game, worked on ways we can become better missionaries, and shared testimonies. We have the best senior missionaries around!! Even though its hard to say goodbye to the Schmitts we had a wonderful time with lots of love and laughter. We love the Schmitts!!
Elder & Sis. Gerun arrived in the Scottsdale Mission a few days ago. They are from Pleasant Grove, Utah. They will be serving a MLS mission (Mission & Leader Support). They are anxious to get started in their new ward. We are glad they arrived safe and sound and ready to get to work. Go Geruns!
We had a wonderful time in zone conference with our mountain zones: Snowflake, Show Low and White Mountain zones. We have about 52 missionaries who serve in the mountains about 3-4 hours from Scottsdale. We usually spend 3 days with them in individual interviews and together in zone conference. Following are some pictures of the areas these missionaries serve in.
Below, are pictures of Show Low and Pinetop/Lakeside located about 3 hours north and east of Scottsdale. We did not get a lot of snow this winter. The elevation is about 6500 and is usually 15-20 degrees cooler than in the valley. We have 14-16 missionaries who serve in this area. There are two stakes and the members are absolutely wonderful. The Pinetop/Lakeside town is in our White Mountain zone. The mountain is called White Mountain.
Missionaries also serve on 2 Indian Reservations up here in the mountains called Fort Apache and Cibecue (see pictures below). These areas are both south of Show Low. We have 4 elders who serve in each area. They are about 45 min. apart. We also have a senior missionary couple, the Covingtons, who serve here. They were called on a CES mission, and they teach seminary, institute and recently began hosting the ARP. They have been a great help to the Native Americans in this area. The young missionaries help them whenever they can. The missionaries are a great support to the Indian Reservation and the two branches of the church. There is also a lot of missionary work which takes place in both towns.
The pictures below are of Eager and Springerville. These towns are located 1 hour east of Show Low and rise in elevation to 7,000 ft. The Eager stake actually takes in parts of New Mexico (Luna and Pie Town). The Eager Stake takes in Springerville and surrounding area towns including Luna and Pie Town. We have 8 missionaries serving in this area. The Eager area is in our Show Low zone. The environment is so beautiful that it is sometimes referred to as the Garden of Eager.
Below, are pictures of the Snowflake/Taylor areas. These towns are located about 20 miles north of Show Low. These is a large population of LDS in both towns. Snowflake was settled by early Mormon pioneers. There are 3 stakes between these two towns. We also have the Snowflake temple here. The missionaries are able to visit the temple 4 times a year. We have 18 missionaries currently serving this area.
Lastly, we have missionaries who serve in St. Johns, pictured below. This is a small stake with the surrounding area being quite rural. We have 4 missionaries who serve here. They are part of the Snowflake zone.
We have other small towns such as Clay Springs, Heber, Vernon, and so on where missionaries serve up here. Hope that helps give an overview where your missionary might be serving and seeing what that part of the country looks like.
Elder Pendleton and Elder Vagen have been serving as our ASL missionaries serving the ASL branch for the past year. Up until Feb 3, 2018, the ASL branch was in the Phoenix East Stake which is part of the Scottsdale Mission. But the location of the building they were meeting in was about 45 min. away from most of the members of the ASL branch. For the past year, they have been working on finding another church bldg to meet in that would be closer to the majority of ASL branch members. There was an opportunity for the branch to move to a church bldg in the Phoenix North Stake which is much closer for the members to come to. The Phoenix North Stake is in the Phoenix Mission boundaries. On Feb. 3, the ASL branch officially moved over to the Phoenix North Stake taking Elder Pendleton and Elder Vagen with them to continue to serve the ASL branch. We know the branch and the ASL work needs these two outstanding missionaries to keep serving them, but we are pretty heartbroken about losing them. We will keep in contact with them and will consider them part of the AZ Scottsdale Mission family for the rest of our lives. The Phoenix Mission is getting some of the most dedicated, hard working and obedient missionaries ever.
We have had wonderful zone conferences with our 6 zones down in the valley this past week. We go up to the mountains this next week for their zone conference. Our focus this conference was using the Book of Mormon. Sis. Robinson trained on the conversion process that takes place in studying, pondering and praying about the Book of Mormon. We read in Preach my Gospel “The Book of Mormon combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion.” The Assistants trained on how we can better help our investigators understand the Book of Mormon and how the Spirit is the teacher. Pres. Ezra Taft Benson stated “Combined with the Spirit of the Lord, the Book of Mormon is the single greatest tool which God has given us to convert the world.” Pres. Robinson trained on “The Power of the Word in Us” emphasizing the great promise of power associated with the Book of Mormon. The Zone Leaders and Sister Training leaders led discussions in the zone break out session of using the doctrine of Christ in everything we teach. There was good participation and discussion in each of the conferences. We have obedient missionaries who are here to work and come prepared to learn at zone conference. Love these dedicated missionaries!!