Monday, March 28, 2016

It's a Gift

We walked in to zone interviews the other day and found
Elder Zung and Elder Merriman reading their scriptures.  
Elder Zung, from China, was reading in English while 
Elder Merriman, from Utah, was studying his scriptures in Chinese.  
We don't stop to think often enough about the miracle that
takes place everyday in the mission as elders and sisters
serve in Spanish, Chinese and American Sign Language.  

Senior FHE: Goodbye and Hello

With Sister Malmberg's creative hand the tables are set and ready
for Senior Family Home Evening which is held once every six weeks. 
This was a night to say "Good-bye" to Elder and Sister Puskas 
and to welcome Elder and Sister Cook.  

We are blessed to have twelve full time senior missionaries
and nineteen part-time senior missionaries currently
serving in the mission with two more full time missionaries due to arrive
next month!  Below are Sister and Elder Heaton.  
Home Evening dinner is planned "pot luck".  We have some 
great cooks and dinners are always fantastic!

Our wonderful senior missionaries.  Truly, the mission would not run
without them!  The tend to finances, vehicles, housing, and health.  They 
also serve in specifically assigned wards.

After dinner we gathered to hear the testimonies 
of the Puskases' and the Cooks.  

We miss every missionary who leaves the mission, young or senior 
(notice we didn't say "old").  It's always hard to say good-bye.
Everyone will miss the Puskases.  
We are grateful for the Cook's and look forward to getting to know them.
Front row left to right:  Elder and Sister Puskas - departing
Sister and Elder Cook - newly arrived.  

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Just Checking In

About three weeks after they arrive in the field, 
new missionaries and their companions gather
for the Trainer / Trainee Meeting.  It's a time for new 
missionaries who came together to see each other after
being scattered through the mission working in
their new assignments.  It's a time of training, but 
as often happens in the mission, it's  also a time to greet and eat.  

Sister Lineback and Sister Banks.  Three weeks
into their companionship, and they're already 
starting to look like each other!  

Look closely at this picture to see a very consistent
taste preference for Riverside Missionaries.  
We always have milk, but they always choose 
orange juice.  Is it loyalty to the most important
crop grown in Riverside?  
We're not sure what prompts the disappearance of 
the biscuits with honey butter, but they go as
quickly as the orange juice is drunk!

Breakfast is winding down.  Almost trim for training to begin.

Their comments in the meetings show that in only three weeks 
these new missionaries have grown a great deal and are well
on their way to becoming capable, diligent missionaries.  

MLC, It's a Work of Heart

Missionary work is aptly titled... it is work!  In addition to 
all they do in their regular service the missionaries of 
the Mission Leadership Council put in many extra hours
seeing that the mission runs smoothly, helping to train and encourage 
other missionaries, going on exchanges, making calls, etc. 
Here are the elders and sisters who served as zone leaders, 
district leaders and sister training leaders during this transfer. 

Plenty of work and training gets done at MLC meetings.  

Many lunches are working lunches where missionaries
have topics of discussion to cover while they eat. 

It doesn't slow them down much.  Here is what an MLC 
can do to four of the biggest pizzas you will ever see!  Add
some green salad and top that off with brownies and they're
ready for the second half of the day.  

Our very capable sister training leaders.  

After the meeting is over there's time to take a few pictures...

Talk over some additional thoughts...

And it's back to work!  Many thanks to the leaders who have
served this transfer.  

# Hallelujah

On Sunday, March 13, the Church began a worldwide initiative,
 #Hallelujah.  This initiative focuses on our witness to the world that 
Jesus Christ completed his earthly ministry and lives today.  
To help the missionaries prepare to share this message 
we held two training sessions, one on each side of the mission.  

The opening song for these training session was 
"I Know That My Redeemer Lives."  
It was a powerful experience to be with so 
many missionaries singing this hymn.  

The missionaries saw the new video, 
completed training using a powerpoint presentation, 
and brainstormed ideas on how they could use this initiate 
in their wards to help members introduce their friends 
to the mission of Jesus Christ.