Sunday, March 5, 2017

Now Arriving at Terminal Two

Everyone else took the escalator.  
Elder Thorpe took the stairs.  
We applaud how anxious he was to 
arrive.... nothing to do now but wait!

Here they are now!  If it's the bottom 
of the escalator this must be Riverside!

President Mullen, you're pointing the wrong way.  

Headed to get luggage.

After an afternoon of orientation, trainers and
new missionaries enjoyed dinner together.

Gathering to get acquainted, receive new companions...

and share first testimonies.

Introducing our new missionaries and their trainers:

Elder Bryner (L) 
with his new companion, Elder Smith

Elder Hansen (L) 
with his new companion, Elder Moss. 

Elder Hansen (R)
with his new companion, Elder Eldridge. 

Sister Harper (L)
with her new companion, Sister Garcia.

Sister Harris (L)
with her new companion, Sister Keith. 

Elder Hite (L)
with his new companion, Elder Wood.

Sister Moran (R)
with her new companion, Sister Stone.

Sister Palmer (R)
with her new companion, Sister Wilde.

Elder Riding (L)
with his new companion, Elder Cornaby.  

Elder Thorpe (R)
with his new companion, Elder Frost.

Elder Williams (R)
with his new companion, Elder Young.  

Sister Tonini (L)
with her new companion, Sister Chandler.  

Welcome to the California Riverside Mission!

Moving On

Sometimes visas don't arrive on time.  When that 
happens, elders and sisters who are supposed to be 
heading to foreign countries are sent to stateside missions
to await the arrival of their documents.  The same
morning the most recently homeward bound missionaries
left, another group of missionaries bound for India also left.

Because Pres. Mullen wanted to talk with each of
them before they left, the group arrived at 6:15 a.m. so they
could finish in time for breakfast at 7:00 a.m.

Here they are with the members who were willing to 
bring them at that very early hour!  

The weighing "ritual".  Because there are weight limits on
on all luggage, every bag is "hung in the balance" to see if
it passes.  It takes strong arms to heft these bags up
by the scales to see how much they weigh!

The elders had done careful packing.  Every bag passed!

Ready for an amazing adventure serving in India!

As these elders readied to depart that morning they showed no 
sign of trepidation though the changes ahead for them were huge.
They showed great joy at the prospect of heading toward the
people they had been called to serve in a country they were
already thinking of as home.  

Now Departing!

February 27-28 six missionaries completed their missions
and headed home to families and new experiences ahead.
On Thursday we attended the temple together.

The afternoon of the 27th they arrived early to visit, 
share stories and mark their favorite verse(s) 
in Pres. Mullen's scriptures.  It was a cloudy afternoon,
but the mood in the mission home was bright!  

This was a small group, so by adding on an extra 
table we were able to seat everyone in the dining room. 

Here's a closer shot of the missionaries that were
returning home.  

 After dinner we gathered in the living room for testimony meeting.

After testimony meeting, everyone took a few minutes to 
read travel plans...

 and letters from fellow missionaries. 

Three missionaries from
mainland China have or are serving in the mission, 
a remarkable opportunity for us.  One of them
returned home on this transfer.  He had to remove
his missionary tag before he landed at home.
He is standing next to a picture done in traditional
Chinese style entitled "The Path to Eternal Happiness."
By clicking on the picture you can adjust it to larger sizes
if you would like to see the details.
The story depicted starts in the lower left corner, a 
man receiving a copy of the scriptures.  As you follow
the picture path, you can see him reading the book, 
praying, getting baptized, confirmed, going to the
temple and returning with his bride to their heavenly home.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ... just as it has been taught
to many Chinese speaking people here in the mission.  

Companion study with President Mullen at the end of the evening. 

The morning sun was just too bright!  We didn't get any pictures
with everyone's eyes open!  

 A last farewell from those who departed from Terminal 2. 

The six missionaries who departed were an  
especially brave group of elders and sisters.  
Each of them faced particular trials and prevailed.  Our 
prayers go with them as they return home!

Friday, March 3, 2017

A New Year and a New Experiences Ahead

January 12 began a new tradition we wish we had done from
the beginning, going to the temple with outgoing missionaries.

Here are two pictures of that first visit.  Both are included 
because someone had their eyes closed in each of them.  It's
a group worth seeing twice, don't you think?!!

Here is the group of outing missionaries just prior to sharing 
their last testimonies as missionaries in the field.  

 Dessert always hits the spot.

Saying goodbye to mission friends.

After guests left, the group sat down for a last 
companion study session with President Mullen.

French toast and sausage,
a little milk and o.j. to tempt nervous missionaries
to eat breakfast the morning they departed.

Ready for going on to new adventures with
so many memories tucked safely in their hearts.