We started out this morning at the mission home with our orientation for the 6 new missionaries. Then it was back to the office long enough to regroup, answer the messages that came in last night and this morning, pick up the sandwiches and off the the Stake Center to set up tables, cloths, make punch, put out cups and napkins then get to the meeting. I took some notes but may have to finish tomorrow as we have 1 hour before leaving for the temple.
One of the things I liked about President Wall's introduction was that if you feel bad about leaving and area that's good--because you've learned to love the people.
Sister Wall talked about an elder who was here before any of our missionaries. Elder C was an 18 year old red-headed, fun, free spirit needing a little taming. He'd been out 18 months when he was assigned a new companion who helped Elder C make some major change and become more serious about his mission and less concerned about himself. She said it was a turning point for him, and he went home feeling good about what he'd done here.
Back to President Wall. This is a very special transfer week because it's Easter. We wear our names and the Savior's name on our name tags. He has called us to be missionaries. We can share his sacrifice with his other children. Your assignment is to serve the Savior in whatever you're asked to do. He'll help you. That's what the Atonement is. He will lift, aid and help you. Heavenly Father brings about circumstances to get His work done!
Even though we only have 2 elders being released tomorrow, we have 2 others leaving before our next transfer, so the 4 shared their "what I've learned" thoughts.
Elder Cisneros: Talk with everyone and invite people to join with you.
Elder Mastache: Love your companions. Unity is how we do the Lord's work. Get over your selfishness and see what the Spirit can do in your life. Give your heart to the Savior. That's how we're converted. He'll engrave His countenance on us as we give our hearts to Him.
Elder Gilbert: Life is made up of how we use our agency. It's why Christ died for us. The amount we change depends on how much we love and give for the Savior.
Elder Jones: I was terrified about my own inadequacies. At my first interview with President Wall challenged me, as Elder Bednar had recently challenged our mission, to study the Book of Mormon and find people who couldn't do something on their own. Study their stories. Because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement we not only receive a remission of our sins but can literally change as we ask His help to do what we couldn't do on our own.
Words of wisdom from some so young. They will have so much to offer when the go home. I'm now running out of time so I'll have to comment on some of the pictures and some of these sweet sisters & elders and how much they mean to me.
The sad part of the day was saying good-bye to Elder Adkins. He and Elder Mapa are the new zone leaders for Baton Rouge, so we won't be seeing him everyday. At least he's still in the area. They'll be living with the Assistants. Our new office elder is Elder Steele, one of the first 2 missionaries we met, along with Elder Larson, when we arrived in LA. He's very knowledgeable and we will love working with him. Yet another Great Elder.