Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Making sense of Transfers

How can I not write about such a wonderful day as this one has been?  We didn't slow down from the time we got up at 6 until just now when I immediately got into the nightgown.

I needed to get up before the usual time to finish 2 cakes for today's luncheon.  The jello cakes were in the fridge but needed the frosting, which I'll be using more often.  The Olsen's picked us up and we were off to the mission home for our first orientation.  After seeing those beautiful faces so often I felt like we were already friends.  Maddy Baird, now Sister Baird, came in with this group.  She's the cutie that we met through a mutual friend in Cedar City. (Our mutual friend is Dr. Albrecht, our optometrist. Sister Baird told us that the Dr's son just received his mission call to the Germany Alpine Mission!) The whole group looked like they could use a few more hours of sleep, but they were eager to learn and excited to be here.  Most of the girls had their hair up and no makeup and still looked perfect.  I should be so lucky!

We managed to get through our presentations and even the Olsen's complimented us on jobs well done. That was a nice boost for the confidence level.  We hurried back to the office after orientation and got what we needed for round 2--transfer meeting.  What a joyful experience that was.  I won't go through the logistics of the meeting because I think I mentioned it before.  There was one huge difference.  I actually knew what was going on!  How nice was that to be able to follow along on the "transfer board" and start recognizing names and faces.

Here are just a few highlights of the meeting.  Elder Helie, our AP who was transferred today, conducted the whole opening en espanol! Since I no hablo espanol I missed most of what was happening.  Apparently there's a tradition here that they do something unique to introduce the new AP, so they had him come up and do a little interpreting.  This is making no sense, so never mind.  It was a creative happening.

We have a new elder who arrived yesterday from the Mexico City MTC.  In his district there he met a Sister Drollinger whose brother serves in our mission.  She asked Elder Casillas to deliver it.  How surprised was he to find out that the brother is now his first companion!  No coincidences!

These are a few highlights from the "go homes" who each spoke for 3-4 minutes.  President Wall asked them to share something they learned while serving here.
Elder Knowlton: We have limitless potential if we link ourselves with the Savior.
Elder Morrow: When you're depressed, be more obedient.  When you're stressed be more
Elder Payne: "Hobbles" hold you back. The Gospel of Jesus Christ can cure that.  (Hobbles are used to hold the legs of a horse together to prevent free movement.)
Elder Riendeau: 3 things I've learned.  The Lord is my Savior (power of the Atonement).  The Lord is my Mentor (truths are deeper and richer).  The Lord is my Friend (He is always there).
Elder Scarlet: When you're down, remember you're here for a reason.
Elder Vaughn: Come what may and love it!
Sister Blauer: The Lord is always pushing us forward to where He wants us to be & where we need to be.
Sister Carolan: Trials strengthened me. Sometimes I was given just enough strength to get though one challenge then move forward.
Sister Tiller: Learned the importance of time.  Use time wisely because it goes too quickly.  The Lord is always with you. Friends are angels who will bear you up.  Be someone else's angel.
Sister Toleafoa: I had to leave just as she was starting to speak to help with the lunch:(

We had just enough time after transfers, lunch and cleanup to go back to the office, get commissary for those who needed a few more things, email parents of the new missionaries, and get back to a 5:30 session at the temple.

I'm including some pictures from transfers and also the mission office "waiting room."  But I'll finish writing about that tomorrow.  I drained!  It's time to put this day to bed!

Transfers are such a fun day filled with lots of hellos and good-byes, moving a mountain of suitcases and bikes. Missionaries aren't supposed to hang around for a long time, but it must be difficult to leave your mission family.  They love the camaraderie if even for a short time.  I didn't get many pictures, because by the time we finish cleaning up the lunch most of the missionaries are out the door.  The picture to the right is with Elder Larson.  He and Elder Steele were the first 2 elders we met after arriving in Alexandria.  We followed them to our first apartment in Marksville where they helped us unload our cargo.  I spoke to Elder L's mom not too long ago. We're trying to locate Elder L's Christmas in February.   Now we're good friends and she wanted a picture of her new friend. I hope I'll get to meet her sometime down the road.

And now for the "waiting room" story.  Last month after transfers we had so many missionaries in the office that we felt like the woman in the shoe who didn't know what to do.  Don't get me wrong.  We LOVE our missionaries, but it was pretty bedlamatic.  Some needed more commissary, bike racks that needed to be assembled or tests to take (for a variety of driving certifications). I think others just wanted to say hello before heading to some far corner of the mission, and everyone loves to get a little candy. So this time the office elders worked up this solution.  They set up the waiting room in true medical style and put out a sign up sheet so we knew who was next and what they needed.  It worked!  And the missionaries loved it.  Things went very smoothly and were so much more organized.  Kudos to Elder Adkins and Elder Watkins who both split out their slacks moving couches.  I promised them that I'd do the repairs.  It was so worth it!

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