Monday, September 28, 2015

Staying Safe and Healthy

Most things in the mission are repeated on a regular schedule:  
incoming missionaries, district development meetings, MLC, etc.
In September we had two days of unique meetings.  The Church,
in an effort to keep missionaries safe, installed TIWIs in every
missionary car.  TIWIs provide a voice in cars that talks  to drivers,
reminding them to put on seat belts, obey speed limits, etc. 
While their cars were getting worked on in the 
parking lot, elders and sisters gathered for missionary training and
to learn about these new devices in their cars.

Brother Russ Fountain, the vehicle coordinator for the Missionary Department, 
trains elders and sisters in safe driving.  

After Thursday's meetings

In addition to safe driving instruction, missionaries who had requested them
received flu shots paid for by Missionary Medical and provided by a 
local pharmacy.  Here's to healthy, safe days ahead.  

An Abundance of Blessings!

The end of August brought an abundance of blessings.  
First Elder and Sister Just arrived from Maryland to
assume assignments and mission secretary and referral secretary.
We are so grateful to welcome them as part of the mission.
The Duvalls stayed an extra couple of weeks so they could
help to train the Justs, which was also a blessing.  The Justs'
training started off with a bang because they arrived only days
before a new group of young elders and sisters.  

In addition to the Justs, nineteen new missionaries arrived in the California Riverside Mission in August.  Here are our new elders and sisters and the companions who will help them train.  

Sister Jensen (R) from Burlington, Wyoming 
and her companion, Sister Spencer

 Elder Phipps (R) from Hyrum, Utah
and his companion, Elder Gill

 Elder Parry (R) from Morgan, Utah 
and his companion, Elder Turner

Sister Pitman (R) from Pocatello, Idaho
and her companion, Sister Carlson

 Elder Macki (L) from Colby, Kansas
and his companion, Elder Reeve

Elder Denning (L) from Elk Ridge, Utah
and his companion, Elder Frost.

Elder Wood (L) from Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
and his companion, Elder Glathar 

Elder Dunn (L) from McCammon, Idaho 
and his companion Elder Catchatoorian

Elder Jones (L) from Ozark, Alabama
and his companion Elder Battaglia

Elder Murphy (L) from Meridian, Idaho
and his companion Elder Giguiere

Elder Jones (L) from Otto, Wyoming
and his companion Elder Anderson

Sister Petersen (L) from Mapleton, Utah 
and her companion, Sister Buhler

 Elder Jackson (L) from Winnemucca, Nevada 
and his companion Elder Andrus

Elder Brinkerhoff (L) from Emmett, Idaho 
and his companion, Elder Foster 

Elder Truman (L) from Nolensville, Tennessee
and his companion, Elder Dall

Sister McGuire (L) from Chino Valley, Arizona
and her companion, Sister Simpson

Sister Turner (R) from El Paso, Texas
and her companion, Sister Cozzens

Elder Drebot (R) from West Valley City, Utah
and his companion, Elder Hoyt

Elder Paxton (L) from Springville, Utah
and his companion, Elder Taylor

The incoming elders and sisters arrived on Tuesday afternoon.  
They came first to the mission home for dinner.

So many missionaries made for a long table in the living room!

Gathered for instruction.  We think Sister Jensen blinked in 
this picture, but if she were asleep no one could blame her.  
Using California time, the sisters who arrived from the Mexico MTC 
had been up since 11:00 p.m. the night before!

After a night's sleep things look brighter at
 lunch on Wednesday.  Everyone was anxious to know
who their new companions would be.

Waiting for the last meeting where new missionaries will share
their first testimonies in the field and receive their companions.  

With the meeting over it was time to grab bags and bikes
and head out to begin the work.  Welcome to Riverside!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

August MLC and Pizza Casserole

Every Mission Leader Council meeting is pretty much the same.  
There is instruction from President Mullen

Training by Assistants.

A group photo. 

 (Yes, this post should have come before the last one.  Sister 
Duvall helped us with lunches many times, but she did 
not return from Wyoming to help with this one!  Still fun 
to see her though!)

The adventure for the day came after everything was ready for 
lunch, but the huge flying saucer pizzas we usually have 
had not arrived.  They were late at the restaurant!  
Hurrying to get back with very hot pizza
one of our pizza delivery elders tripped and two of the four 
flying saucer pizzas went flying!  Instant pizza casserole...

We had a choice... eat two whole pizzas or two whole and 
two scrambled pizzas.  What do you think we did?!!

Leaving the Riverside

August.  School may have started, but here in Riverside summer is a long way from saying goodbye; September is usually the hottest month of the year.  Nine missionaries said goodbye though and left the California Riverside Mission this month...

In addition to the young elders and sisters we bid goodbye to 
Elder and Sister Duvall.  Most elders and sisters have one mission and many companions.
The Duvalls have had the same companions (each other!) and many missions, 
four to be exact. 
Elder and Sister Duvall
Laramie Wyoming

Before the elders and sisters slipped away we had a chance to share that wonderful 
"last night" in the mission.  

Gathering to share memories, mark Pres. Mullen's scriptures and 
share their miracle stories.

President Mullen put on his short sleeved shirt to man the grill
and cook the flank steak for dinner then joined Sister Mullen in 
the kitchen to help serve the food.  (Yes.  That is his very own
Relief Society apron.)

Together in the living room just before testimony meeting.

 After testimony meeting  it was, of course, time for dessert.

Sisters Cultura, Olsen, Sterner and Miller.  Beautiful!

Time for selfies...

and a good laugh!

Connoisseurs? or They'll eat anything!

 Elder and Sister Just, our new senior missionaries, 
at Outgoing Dinner for the first time.

With all the stories shared it seemed there was always 
just one more great moment to remember.

Checking out the photos on Elder Puskas' iPad.  It's 
amazing it hasn't exploded from overuse or overloading.

Always brothers:  Elders Tui'one, Glausi, and Petersen along
with assistants to the president, Elders Dyer and Fisher.

The new second counselor in the mission presidency, 
President Grant and Sister Grant.  Also, Sister Pendleton, 
our mission nurse, and Sister Duvall.

One last time together visiting with President Mullen.

After a "good night's sleep" (which no one ever gets on 
the night before they go home) it's time for breakfast.

 Missing sister formation... Sister Cultura had to leave
extra early for the LA airport and her flight to the Philippines.

Elders Peterson, Glausi, Larimer and Tui'one

Sisters Miller, Sterner and Olsen just before leaving
for the airport.

A final farewell to the California Riverside Mission: 

(Video of "Down By the Riverside" is coming as 
soon as I can get the office elders to help me load it!)