We have been able to enjoy two wonderful days with these amazing new missionaries. Two of them come from Canada, two from Paraguay, five from the USA, five from Chile, one from El Salvador, one from Argentina and two from Mexico. They each have different strengths and talents that will be a great blessing to the mission and to the people of Argentina.
We have been looking forward to the day when we were going to be able to pick up these new missionaries from the airport. It is so fun to see them for the first time through the frosted glass between us and the baggage claim area.
(Please remember that you can double click on any photo to make it larger.)
President Lovell and the assistants are ready to help with the luggage!
It is such amazing site to stop and look at all of us and luggage that holds important things that will be used for the next eighteen months or two years!
It is fun to see that there is already a bond between these missionaries. It one of the great blessings of the mission to learn that all of us are just the same! These sisters are from Chile, the USA, Paraguay and Mexico and it is so fun to watch them. Those that are learning Spanish are so courageous to speak the best they can and those who speak Spanish are so kind and patient as we learn!
Then we take a few minutes to learn about the mission and what will happen during the next two days of training.
They were each willing to share their talents...even on this first day in the mission!
President Lovell gave them each their "Carpeta". Hermana Ehmke works very hard to put these together for each of the missionaries. We will use them in our training but they also contain important information that these missionaries can refer to throughout their mission!
The next morning five of the missionaries went with our secretary to do the paperwork to get the proper documentation to be here in the country. They joined us after a few hours. The rest of us met in the mission home and did the necessary paperwork for the mission. Each missionary also had their first interview with President Lovell.
There is also time to take the mission photo and get to know one another better.
One thing we like to do for lunch is to have everyone draw a number and sit at the place with the matching number. This way it helps us all to mix up a bit and get to know each other. We invite those that work in the office to eat this meal with us because they will work so closely with each of these missionaries during the training and throughout their missions.
There were so many things we wanted to share with these new missionaries. We want them to feel confident as they start their missions here in the Argentina Neuquén Mission.
Again...the missionaries were so willing to share their talents!
President Lovell enjoys teaching and training missionaries and it is fun for me to see him interact with them!
The assistants are also both excellent teachers and are so key to the success of everything that goes on during these two days. They think of all the necessary details and keep things running smoothly.
It is so fun when they explain where each of the trainers are serving and to enlarge the pictures of each of the trainers as they talk about them. The new missionaries are each so curious as to who their trainer will be and where they will be serving! It is especially interesting right now because the mission will be dividing on July 1st. Since the training of a new missionary takes twelve weeks they know that this assignment will also decide which mission they will be in for the rest of their mission!
One of my favorite parts of being able to train these new missionaries is to talk about the language training. Those who don't know Spanish will of course learn Spanish but also those who don't know English will learn English. The church has a program that they ask us to use in the mission to teach English. This will open many doors in the future for each of the missionaries in their future.
For one of the practices those who are learning Spanish work together with a missionary who is learning English. This emphasis on learning a language is a great opportunity for all of us! They were able to do part of a module in the companionship language study that is put out by the church so they will know how to work together during their daily language study time.
Our daughter, Liz, just created an amazing phonics sheet with pictures that is based on the sounds in the front of our missionary grammar book for those who are learning English. This picture was taken for you Liz to say "Thank You"!
I made a CD with me saying all the sounds in a rhythm that will help them learn these sounds. They were all good sports about it and seemed to be excited!
The next day there was training in the office with those who work in the office. The new missionaries learned about health, baptism records, pensions, the mail system in the mission, the things that are available to buy here in the office, finances, visas and much more! I didn't get a picture of our secretary doing training but he does so much for us and all the missionaries!
While we were training at the Mission Home and the Mission Office, the trainers were being trained at the nearby church. It was very exciting for us to go to the church and eat lunch with the trainers. The new missionaries were so excited to find out who their trainer would be.
The rest of the training was at the church in the chapel so I was not able to take pictures there. I can't even tell you how amazing it was when we put up the power point that the assistants had made that showed the picture of each trainer and then who they would be training. It is one of our favorite parts of being in the mission!
We then went outside to the beautiful trees behind the church to take a group picture and pictures of each of the new companionships.
Now everyone was able to eat with their new companion and learn more about them. I have a lot of pictures of us eating together but we have a lot of fun when we eat! The missionaries tease me and say we could have a book of pictures of us eating! It is probably true!
After a very spiritual meeting together we had a chance to take lots of pictures while we waited for taxis and colectivos.
There were some very tender moments as we share feelings with some of our very favorite missionaries who will be in the Comodoro Rivadavia Mission after July 1st. They will be such an asset to President and Sister Rogers and the people in the far south of Argentina but we will miss them. We are so grateful to remember that these relationships are eternal!
It is a great blessing for us to be able to share this wonderful mission experience with these amazing missionaries.