One of the hard things about this transfer week is that two of our office missionaries are going back out to the "the field". They have been wonderful and have been so good to teach us about the mission. They have taken very good care of us!
We had a fun good-bye dinner together.
Another hard thing about this transfer is that one of our wonderful assistents is going home! He has had the huge responsibility of orientating us to the mission. He has helped us know where to go and how to get there! We have learned to love and appreciate him so much and know he will find much success as he takes this next step in his life.
We have a "Casa Grande" here in the mission. It is about four blocks from the mission home. Elder and Sister Ehmke and the office Elders live there. The garage has been made into a bunk house for Elders during transfers, those coming to zone council, those here taking care of updating visas and any other time the missionaries need to come to Neuquén. The Ehmkes are so good at making everyone feel at home. The missionaries are starting to request Sister Ehmke's famous brownies when they know they will be coming. She can make two pans of brownies and they are gone...just like that!
Sunday night is the night that transfers begin. The "fieles" that live in or near Neuquén come in for their final interview. We don't have a meal that night together but when I offered toast and peanut butter and honey to these Elders, they took me up on it! I will plan something better for next time!
This is such a wonderful time for us. We love to be with these faithful missionaries. This time there are thirteen Elders returning home.
They enjoy being together!
It is so fun to hear them play the piano. Many have been the pianist in their wards or branches throughout their mission. What a blessing they have been to those wards and branches. There are many wards or branches that have no one to play the piano. The conductor just stands up, gives a pitch and the congregation all sing without any accompaniment!
I think our past mission secretary is happy to turn the phone over to the new mission secretary!
Some of the fieles have been in the office during part of their mission and are willing to teach us things they know.
What a great group of missionaries!
Lots of memories on the bulletin board in the kitchen!
President and Sister Peterson made a DVD of memories for each of the missionaries to take with them. It was fun to watch that together. We could all feel the love the Petersons have for the mission and the missionaries.
Thirteen of some of the best Elders in the mission!
This occasion calls for some delicious food!
President wanted to check the bottoms of their shoes. They were all pretty worn out!
There are so many memores in these packets. They have all the letters they wrote to the President Peterson and to President Lovell. There are also other memories included. While they were looking at their packets two of the Elders had some very important family members arrive!
What a happy reunion!
Then we had a very spiritual testimony meeting and then a piano concert that turned into powerful singing.
I hope you can feel the power of these missionaries by listening to them sing their testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
The next morning we arrived at the airport very early.
Our two assistants.
May God bless you as you return to your homes.
Our hearts are so full after saying good-bye. We return home to get ready for our new arriving missionaries!
What an exciting day! We have six wonderful mssionaries to take back to the Mision Home.
They are happy to be here and we are so happy to have them here.
This time they all speak spanish. I did my best to help them feel welcome but I will be so glad when I know a few more things to say! I am so grateful that Presdient Lovell speaks so well.
That first night we went back to the mission home and shared information about the mission. Our new assistant just jumped in in the training. It is such a blessing to have such wonderful missionaries to help lead the mission. The new missionaries were very excited to learn about the mission.
During the meeting the assistants left to take a phone call and didn't come back for some time. I was getting a little worried. When they came back and sat down I could tell something was wrong. Our eyes met and I could tell they wanted to share something with me but didn't want to interrupt. After the meeting they told me they had gone to the kitchen with their phone call and found water all over the floor. There was a broken pipe. They had spent time cleaning it up. With their expert knowledge they knew how to get the repairs taken care of.
We love it when we have new Hermanas arrive because they stay at the mission home. We have breakfast together and then they get started on the necessary paperwork.
Right around lunch time the Trainers arrive. Noone knows who will train who and there is alot of excitement.
Then the Refuesos go to the office for training and the Trainers stay in the mission home for their training.
Hermana Ehmke decided we needed a little break and asked this cute Hermana to lead us in Head Shoulders Knees and Toes in Spanish!
This group of missionaries is trained and ready to go.
While President Lovell and I were finishing the meetings with these missionaries the assistants were at the airport picking up two more excited missionaries.
We enjoyed getting to know these two great Elders.
They met their trainers right away. All of them stayed at the Casa Grande that night and then did training the following day. Together they learned what they needed to know about the mission.
It is great to have these prepared missionaries join the other missionaries in the Neuquén Mission!