Monday, June 22, 2015

Mission Tour: Elder and Sister Nielsen June 8 & 9, 2015

We had a wonderful opportunity to be taught by Elder Brent H. Nielsen 
of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Marcia Nielsen.  They held meetings
with half the mission on Monday and half on Tuesday.   

Elder Nielsen began each day by meeting with the Zone Leaders
and Sister Training Leaders. 

Sister Nielsen spoke to the sisters each morning before the general 
session of the conference began.  

The morning meetings included talks and discussions lead by Sister and President Mullen, and then Sister and Elder Nielsen.  Sister Nielsen introduced us to her family and talked about being "Nielsens".  She then talked about the challenges and blessings of blending new members into the family as their children began to marry people who had grown up in other families and brought 
other interests with them.  She compared this to companions who come from different backgrounds and have different interests.  She encouraged the elders and sisters to learn to value and love
their companions.  

Elder Nielsen had asked the missionaries to read two articles prior to coming to the meeting.  These were two talks by Elder David A. Bednar focusing on the atonement.  Elder Nielsen lead the missionaries through a discussion of the justifying and sanctifying powers of the atonement, how they may use that power in their own lives, and how they may, using the fundamentals of missionary teaching bring the power of understanding those principles into the lives of those they teach.  

Following the morning meetings, a wonderful group of 
Stake Relief Society sisters served the lunch they had prepared 
for the missionaries.  It was a great time to visit and 
share thoughts about what we had learned during the morning.

Elder and Sister Nielsen enjoyed visiting with the elders and 
sisters during lunch.  

In the afternoon Elder Nielsen talked with the missionaries about the strength and protection that comes from obedience.  He then invited the elders and sisters to ask questions which he answered from the scriptures, sometimes also inviting Sister Nielsen and President Mullen to share their thoughts.  This was a wonderful experience for all of us, one to be remembered.  

Because you can never get enough pictures of missionaries, 
here are a few more shots taken during lunch.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Mission Leadership Council

May 2015 Mission Leadership Council.

This post should have appeared before the last group of outgoing missionaries.  
Quite a few of the members of the Mission Leadership Council returned home days
after this meeting.  It was a time of mixed emotions as fellow 
missionaries bid each other goodbye.

This was the last MLC for half of the Sister Training Leaders.

Elder McConkie finished his service as an 
Assistant to the President with Elder Anderson.

One last shot.  
Elder McConkie takes a group "selfie".  

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Missionaries Returning with Honor

Seventeen elders and sisters completed their missionary service and returned home to their families.
Some of those trips took a long time to complete.  Sister Asiata returned to American Samoa, Sister Sontoyo to Mexico and Elder Blomfield to Canada.  Sister Vaigneur and Elder McConkie flew cross country to the east coast.  Each missionary's journey was unique just as their missions were.  Each left with the respect of their fellow missionaries.  Each touched the lives of those they taught.  Each left with a strong testimony of the Savior, the gospel and the work to which they had given their all.  Our prayers go with them.

Turning in their favorite mission stories and marking their favorite 
verses in Pres. Mullen's scriptures.    

Enjoying each other's company at dinner.  

Ready for testimony meeting.  We never come to this time in the evening 
without wishing that parents could be with us to hear these last testimonies 
born in the mission field.  The elders and sisters have given much, but they
have also received much in faith and experience.  Listening to them share
what they have come to know is a humbling and sacred experience. 

Enjoying dessert together.  

Tuesday morning.  Time for breakfast, one last prayer together, 
and then off to the airport, their families and their futures.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015


New transfer, new missionaries, new companionships AND new sister training leaders, new district leaders and a new assistant to the president.  Training gets everyone going in the same direction. 

Elder Fisher, new Assistant to the President

New District Leaders.  Notice no one 
wants to sit on the front row.

President Mullen talks with the new District Leaders.

Sorry we didn't get pictures of the Sister Training Leaders.  Look for them
in a couple of weeks when we have Mission Leader Training.

It's Sixes

Mission life runs in sixes... six weeks per companionship assignment, six weeks until the next outgoing group of missionaries heads home, six weeks until the arrival of a new group of missionaries... and, this time, six new missionaries!  Welcome to the Mission.

Sister Parker (center) from Alpine, Utah
and her companions, Sister DaSilva and Sister Asiata.

 Sister Buhler (left) from Salt Lake City, Utah 
and her companion, Sister Simpson.

Elder Dall (right) from Sandy, Utah 
and his companion, Elder Petersen. 

 Sister Garlitz (left) from Mapleton, Utah
and her companion, Sister Palmer

Sister Meza (left) from Lake in the Hills, Illinois
and her companion, Sister Olsen 

 Sister Madrid (left) from Salt Lake City, Utah
and her companion, Sister Rasmussen

 Sister Puskas helps our new missionaries
get oriented to mission life.

After arising at 2 AM, staying awake, even for important
information, becomes a real challenge!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Three More Zone Conferences

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were zone conferences.  We had a wonderful time with all the elders and sisters.  Many elders and sisters helped with training.  Relief Society sisters provided wonderful lunches.

You'll notice in the zone photos everyone is holding a copy of the Book of Mormon.  All of us are reading and marking the Book of Mormon together during the next four months.  (We've decided to go slowly as the elders and sisters also have studying to do each day to prepare for investigator appointments.) We would like to invite family members to join with us!  You will need a fresh copy of the Book of Mormon and colored pencils.  Here is what we are marking:

  • Each reference to Jesus Christ (any of His names or pronouns referring to Him).
  • His words (spoken by Him or by prophets when they say, "Thus saith the Lord").
  • His attributes. 
  • The doctrines and principles contained in the Book of Mormon.  

At the bottom of the page count the total number of items referenced.  Everyone will mark their copy according to their own thoughts, but this experience should help us see how often the Savior is referenced and help us focus on the principles taught in this remarkable book of scripture.  We hope you will enjoy sharing your insights with your elder or sister over the next four months.  We've challenged missionaries who are going home during that time to continue reading and call us when they complete their reading!

Jurupa Zone

Corona Zone

A well documented day!

Lunch time.  Everyone's happy.

LaSierra Zone

Moreno Valley Zone

This was an amazing lunch!  Authentic, homemade Mexican
food, fun decorations, even goodie bags with snacks 
to keep the elders and sisters and sisters energized for the afternoon.   


Ready to go back to work.

Menifee Zone

Lake Elsinor Zone

Birthdays galore!

Role play and practice.