I know I don't need to say anything about Transfer Day, so here are a few pictures from the best mission day in July.
Sister Astle (left) has been transferred to the West Bank in the New Orleans South Zone. What a sad day:( We always love seeing her and Sister Bailey (right), but now we'll get to know Sister Paige (blue blouse). Sister Black will be Sister A's new companion. Aren't they beautiful?
Sister Hansen is with Sister Smith (left), one of the new sisters whose first companion and trainer is Sister Seegrist, a perfect comp for a new sister and an outstanding missionary.
In the group of 5 sisters are Sister Biver, from France (I wonder if they thought we speak French here), sister McEntire, who tells some of the best jokes ever, but you have to hear her to appreciate them, Sister Chausow (remember the Chausow Family Sunshine Package?), Sister Seegrist and Sister Smith.
In between Elder A and Elder B is President Burkart, the Denham Springs Stake President. He's one of the most proactive missionary Stake Presidents I've ever met, except for maybe Doug Rozsa. He attends transfers so he knows his new missionaries, meets with all the DS missionaries after lunch, and I send him a roster every time it changes so he has all their names and phone numbers.
This is our newest senior couple who are serving in Oakdale. What wonderful people they are! They're from Gilbert AZ and have already served 2 or 3 missions, one of them in the Philippines Temple. We're loving getting to know them and are planning a few weekend activities to show them some of the sights. They have 9 children, 8 living, somewhere around 23 grandchildren, 2 more expected while they're in LA, and most of them live in AZ! They're already made their presence known in Oakdale in a very good way and are meeting, reactivating and loving the people there. Apparently the branch meets in a funeral home, but I don't think it serves that function any more. I'm sure there'll be more on these great people in the future.
And one final picture of the July go-homes after our temple session. Notice the the Hansen's are still smiling after successfully completing their first transfer, even though their day is far from over. They went home for dinner with this group and a testimony meeting. Then they'll be off to the airport in the morning by 6 am!
Go-Home Words of Wisdom (not in picture order):
Elder Ackerman--Remember where you came from and who you left behind to come here. You are my family.
Elder Willis--Get to know the Savior and His teachings. He will help you love and serve. Cherish the friendships you've made here.
Elder Rennie--Always have hope and remember you can do it! Have a positive attitude. The Lord is always with us. He loves His missionaries.
Elder Hunt--The Atonement is real. Don't worry, be happy. Always be and do your best.
Elder O'Donnell--Be happy! Mission work is meant to be joyful. If you're wondering if it's worth it, it is.
Elder Miles--God has a plan for us and is looking out of us, so be happy--even on lousy days.
Elder Helie--It's good to know it's not the first time we've met nor will it be the last. John 15:13 says "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." You are friends. This is an opportunity to serve each other.We're here for a reason. Love and serve your companions and you'll be successful. Study the Atonement. It's the force behind everything. It will carry you and bless you.
Sister Bristow--Love everyone--those you teach, your district (they're your family). Heavenly Father knows better than we know ourselves and sees our potential.
Sister Wheeler-- When I was set apart my Stake President told me to work hard and be obedient. I've always done both, but this is the hardest thing I've ever done and also the most rewarding. I worked my guts out and am exhausted. The Savior will never leave us. He's with us through hard times and great times. Use your time wisely and enjoy your mission to the end.
Sister Faulk (she spent her entire mission in Opelousas, did great things and became "the face of Opelousas")--Love your companions because those relationships will be eternal. Love your mission because it's an experience unlike any others you'll ever have. You bear Christ's name over your heart. You'll change lives even though you won't see it. Through the Atonement you can do all things.