Tuesday the moving van arrived with all the stuff we packed. I have a cute girl named Megan that helps me care for the home and the kids as needed. She, the kids and I got most of the stuff unpacked and put away that day. I had 3 straggler boxes that I finally put away by the end of the week. As we did this Aaron met with his APs to plan for our "Meet the President" meetings, Mission Leadership Council (MLCs) and upcoming missionary interviews. Later that night he took care of a baptism interview of a brother that had been waiting 4 years to be baptized. The baptism then took place afterwards. He reported that it was Awesome! Also that night he met with the Area Authority, Elder Dan Jones and the Stake President of the Richmond Stake. The kids and I......we enjoyed the pool in our own backyard. Sweet!
Wednesday was an incredible day as we had the opportunity to meet all our missionaries. We held two separate meetings to accommodate their travel and make sure we could fit everyone in. We were able to spend about 30 seconds with each missionary and get to know them a little better. There was a huge line to talk to the kids, just guessing Allie may have had something to do with that. :) Jessie blew all of the Chinese Elders away, she'll do some good work here. They were all very excited to meet us and they loved the "Meet the Hall's" video. We had them fill out a questionnaire on the mission culture and we also allowed them to ask us questions about the family. This was a long day for the kids and the fact it was repeated back to back made it harder for them. They did enjoy the lunch of Potbelly's sandwiches. I have to admit they were great! Aaron presented our vision of the mission (Missionary Purpose & Find, Teach, Invite, Retain & Activate, Begin with the End in Mind) and we had a very interactive session. Aaron's days are long, from sun up to sun down.
Thursday we had an amazing experience with our Zone Leaders and Sister Training leaders. Each mission now holds MLC's, similar to the format of a Ward Council. The idea is for the missionaries to talk about the needs of the mission and make plans to help everyone progress. Aaron taught on Christlike leadership, Mission Culture (using our mission survey results from the day before), goal setting & planning and then we moved to actions and plans. The missionaries ate it up and if we can do a tenth of what we talked about we'll make significant strides. We will set goals differently in the mission and ask our individual companionships to be accountable for the collective mission goal. I loved attending this meeting and can see how my involvement will have a great impact on the missionaries. Aaron spent a few hours with one of our stake presidents that night (President Smith). He will spend a lot of time with local leadership, training, collaborating and trying to get everyone working to hasten the work.
Friday was the beginning of 3 weeks of missionary interviews for Aaron. He spent all day in interviews with one of our 11 zones (Richmond West). Friday for me was spent getting a real workout, making a homemade breakfast for the kids, swimming, a bit of laundry to get Allie ready to catch a flight back to Utah. Can I just say how hard it is to drop your child off at the curb of departure and watch her walk in all alone. I made her call me once she got through security and then again at the gate. I even hung our a the cell phone lot until I knew her plane was up in the air. Oh and she had to call me when she arrived in Denver. I am a little protective of my little (big) girl.
Friday night, we went to a movie with the kids. It was interesting as we walked out one of us said "You know it kind of feels like home" and I know it sounds weird but it does it a good way. Saturday we went to the ward 4th of July breakfast where we met a lot of ward members. Now if I can remember any of their names that will be a good thing. We also went to the Morton's (Bekah Morton is the mission office finance/travel guru) for a barbecue for the 4th of July. Gerry knows how to grill. He has 3 grills going at a time. Chicken, steaks, Texan sausage and grilled peppers. Amazing! They are a great family! One week down and what a week it was.