Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Exodus Has Arrived

This is the day I plan and prepare and wait for every 6 weeks. It's what recharges my battery and renews my energy. LOVE IT! The Spirit, the hugs, the excitement, the chaos, and the food. No Subway sandwiches today. Elder Fontenot made enough pastalaya for the masses.) Today was no different, except that it may have been the largest transfer since we arrived in LA. There must have been close to 150 missionaries here, which included the 23 incoming and 20 of 21 go-homes.

One elder actually had to go home about 3 months ago for surgery but was hoping that he could return, since this was when he would have been released if he hadn't broken his ankle. With the extensive surgery I didn't think he'd make it back, but he did, complete with parents and walking boot. Way to go Elder T!

Today was Elder Griffin's last time to conduct a mission meeting as an Assistant since he'll fly home tomorrow morning to be honorably released by his Stake President. This will be a difficult good-bye. But, happily, he'll be replaced by Elder New Assistant, Elder Morrell, who was serving in Plaquemine when we first moved to Baton Rouge.

During the meeting Sister Hansen spoke and quoted this poem used by Elder Holland>

If you can smile when things go wrong and say it doesn't matter,
If you can laugh off cares and woe and trouble makes you fatter,
If you can keep a cheerful face when all around are blue,
Then have your head examined, bud, there's something wrong with you.
For one thing I've arrived at: There are no ands and buts,
A guy that's grinning all the time must be completely nuts.

Quoted by Jeffrey R. Holland who learned it from President Boyd K. Packer

Thoughts from the soon-to-be-released-missionaries:

Sister Leiter: Work hard every day. If you do God will make our work acceptable to Him.
Sister Paulson: Have no regrets. The Atonement makes it possible to give our regrets to the Savior. If you want to be better sing "If the Savior Stood Beside Me." If you feel alone sing "I Feel My Savior's Love."
Sister Maxfield: Made a tortoise and hare analogy. Don't be arrogant like the hare, but steady and diligent like the tortoise. Love and serve your companions.
Sister Haskell: No Test . . . No Testimony! By the end of your mission you'll not only have a testimony but you'll be converted.
Sister Schmutz: I've learned many things on my mission, but the #1 lesson is the Gospel is the answer to everything!
Elder S. Crane: I wish my name tag had a video camera to record all the good things I've seen. I found my favorite hymn--#169 especially v.2. "As now our minds review the past, we know we must repent; The way to thee is righteousness--the way thy life was spent. Forgiveness is a gift from thee we seek with pure intent. With hands now pledged to do thy work, we take the sacrament." Missionaries have pledged to do Christ's work.
Elder B Crane: I have been a member for 3 1/2 years and thought about my friends and missionaries who converted me every day of my mission. Learn to use the Atonement so you'll have no regrets.
Elder Powell: When we put our confidence in the Savior we can become what God wants us to be.
Elder Virgin: The only acceptance you should ever worry about is being accepted of the Lord. Base the success of your mission on what you've become. Alma 5:46 is my testimony.
Elder Murray: When you find out the Church is true hold onto it tighter than anything. Don't compare yourself to other missionaries. Be yourself and let your talents shine.
Elder Mejia: Be grateful for the challenges you have. They'll help you grow. Love and love every moment. Think of the "Why" not the "Why Me?"
Elder Bischoff: Seek the Lord's will and do it. Be an answer to someone's prayer. Who you are is more important that what you do.
Sister Evans: Say what you think and be bold. There'll be days when you're down but "just do it!'
Elder Mapa: Those you teach you'll come to love as the Savior loves. This is His work. We have to do it His way.
Elder Carter: The Lord places us with companions we need and in areas we need to be.
Sister Pike: Love the people and love your companions.
Elder Stucki: Stop it if you're having bad thoughts about yourself. Go to work, quit worrying about yourself and worry about others.
Elder Araujo: Teach everyone that they are a child of God. The Savior loves them. We represent Him and His Church. "Be a Christlike missionary. Don't just do what missionaries do." (PMG)
Elder Griffin: You will spend 175,000 hours as a missionary. 500 will be spent proselyting. Then someone distracted me and I missed the point! Boo:(

With young people like these, the Church is in good hands.
Just one room in the Stake Center filled with belongings for the newly transferred missionaries
Elder Watkins, his new comp, Singing Sister Dixon and Sister Lyons--joke supplier
Sister Worthington and Sister Baird are Sister Training Leaders in Opelousas
Two of our newest sister--Sister Groesbeck from Alpine UT and Sister Ochs from Yucaipa CA--already have a place in my heart!

Sister Dixon and her new companion
Some of our New Orleans Elders picking up commissary at the office after Transfers

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