Up early this morning for delicious breakfast. This breakfast menu is a winner: Waffles (4 batches with 4 waffle irons), homemade cinnamon syrup, strawberries and whipped cream, Santa Fe Egg Casserole with salsa, and bacon because it makes boys happy!
After breakfast, we had a morning of training with President Lewis. We went through the Orientation Packet, which I’ll share from later on. Good Stuff. Then everyone organized their things, packed their bags and stripped their beds. Sandwiches for lunch at 11:30 followed, then we all headed over to the Yakima Stake Center where the fun began.
Welcome to our very first Yakima Mission Transfer Meeting! This was Fun! When we arrived, we met missionaries from all of the southern areas of our mission, waiting in the parking lot. Lots of hugs and joy as we watched missionaries greet each other. These Elders and Sisters are spread out all over the mission and don’t see each other very often. It’s always a joyful reunion when we meet.
We all went in to the chapel. Everyone was excited to meet the new ones. Then the Transfer Meeting began with the traditional hymn, “I’ll Go Where You Want Me To Go, Dear Lord.” I studied the faces of these new missionaries as they sang so earnestly, knowing they were praying in their hearts for the best companions and a perfect place for them to serve. I remembered feeling the same as we waiting for our mission assignment.
Then we had all the new missionaries stand up in front and introduce themselves. Next President Lewis announced who the trainer would be for each. It was SO fun to watch these new trainers jump up out of their seats and run up to the front to embrace their new companions while everyone cheered. Elder Potts ran up, picked Elder Tietjen up off the ground, and carried him in a hug all the way back to his seat. Potts is twice as big as Tietjen. Everyone was happy and excited and cheered for each. Some had comps who weren’t here–too far away, so they got slips of paper with their new comp’s name and the place they would be taken. We cheered for them too!
At the end of the short meeting, we all stood to sing our missionary hymn, “Called to Serve.” I wish everyone could have been in that room this morning. It was joyous. This is God’s work here on earth. I have no doubt of that. These are the finest young men and women out there. They have come to change the world. I have faith in them and love them already. I can’t wait to see what they will do.
Afterwards, we all went back to the parking lot to send each group off to their areas. Lots of hugs and goodbyes. Elders and Sisters don’t do any hugging anymore–not while they’re on their missions. But Elders embrace Elders and Sisters embrace Sisters. There were lots of handshakes and well wishes, as these missionaries headed out.
Here are a few of our excellent leaders who helped and were a part of this transfer process: This evening we received word that everyone was safely tucked into their new areas with their new companions. We are grateful for all the helpers –members and missionaries–who helped us this transfer week. This process repeats every 6 weeks! We had 14 new arrivals this week and 17 departures. Next time we’ll have 27 arriving! I’m already excited for more to join us.
It’s a little bit quiet this evening in the mission home. The dishes are done. The sheets are in the wash, the volumes of food in our refrigerators is gone. There’s just a bit of apple cake left on the counter. We went out on the back deck this evening and looked off into the distance, thoughtful and grateful for the great blessing it is of being in this place at this time with these incredible missionaries. If you have sent one to us, Thank You. You can be very very proud and excited for all their futures will hold. They are right where they should be, doing exactly what Heavenly Father has asked of them. There will be miracles in Washington. You just wait and see!