Transfers week! Transfer days have been so smooth as of late it was bound to change. Today was the day to throw in a little bit of chaos. We had flights cancelled and late arrivals. The new transfer plan works awesome until something goes wrong with the airlines. Two trips to the airport in one day is never fun. It really throws the schedule off for lunches, training and then dinner for those departing. We received eight new missionaries and know they will be amazing. They’re all a little bit older and the year out of high school makes a huge difference in their maturity and preparation. We had six going home in our departure group (another 7 will leave during May). We had a great FHE with them as we learned our Family Home Evening song in Samoa. What a fun expressive language. Our departure temple trip is a highlight and it allows us to give them some great instruction before they return. I am having more and more sweet moments with the missionaries at that temple departure trip. I am loving it.
Tuesday afternoon, Allie asked me to critique and give her suggestion for a project proposal she was doing for her English class. Her project addressed teen suicide which has hit our community in North Ogden more than it ever should. One suicide is one too many. It is a complex issue but one that can have positive solutions for prevention. One thing Allie found is research in using mindfulness as a means to address depression, anxiety and peer pressure that is associated with those that attempt suicide. A way to help individuals see beyond the pain and hurt of here and now and equip them with skills that address what their very real feeling. It has been interesting what she is finding and learning on the subject.
I had an opportunity this week to do another sister companionship study after a district meeting on Wednesday. Zac met with the orthodontist to get scanned for his invisaligners. Hopefully he will get those in the next couple of weeks. He will be using a device called the acceladent to speed up his treatment so that it will be completed by the time we move back to Utah. If used as directed it can count the procedure time in half. The invisaligner treatment on Bode has been pretty impressive. He only started in September and his teeth are getting the space they need.
Our new missionary training meeting was on Thursday and it is ever evolving and improving. We always have administrative items the new missionaries need to know and it sucks the life out of them. During this time I try to keep the office staff on track and keep it timely while Aaron is meeting with the trainers. The highlight of the meeting is when Aaron helps the missionaries expand their understanding of the Savior and His Atonement still. After lunch, I added training on just approaching people and engaging them. We shared the importance of shaking hands with those they meet and introducing themselves with a smile and then asking for the person’s name. The physical touch of a handshake and a smile puts them more at ease and a simple introduction reassures them you are not with the FBI or immigration office. ;) Next I introduce the CASH approach. Our message about Christ’s church is worth far more than cash, 100,000 grand in this case (I give them a 100,000 grand candy bar). Compliment the individual genuinely, Ask them a question that will lead to a gospel topic i.e. What brings joy into your life? And then share how the gospel brings joy into your life. Ask them if they would be willing to learn more with a SMILE, either way offer to Help them. If they decline ask if there is anyone they know that could use some help at this time. We hope this helps the missionaries to be more engaging and helping people with their needs.
Jessie had gymnastics at 4. Zac had a physical therapy appointment at 4:45 to assess his ankle for treatment. Then Bode had a game at 5 so I was going from one thing to the next. This was the first game of Bode’s that we got to watch. He played the whole game and his team won 5 to 1. This is so good for Fort Settlement. Seems like every sport they participate in they struggle. Although I shouldn’t be surprised because academically and musically they are exceptional.
We simply didn’t have enough to do this week so we also held our monthly MLC on Friday. It was an amazing meeting. The MLC truly has become a council of our leadership. They are seeing needs and driving the outcomes they want for the mission. The sisters and elder have an equal voice and it is so fun to watch them lead. From the discussion, they felt like we need to create greater accountability and so they came up with a game plan to create more urgency. It’s amazing to watch 18-19 year old missionaries step up, lead and do it so well.
Today the Jones are in town for a basketball tournament. We took the opportunity to have the boys watch Chomp and Jessie and I took Madden to the Children’s Museum in downtown Houston. We all had a great time!! It was good to see the Jones even if it was briefly. Aaron wasn’t able to join us because he was busy getting ready for our meetings with Elder Zwick for the Richmond Stake Conferences. Aaron had three speaking assignments and then I joined him for Saturday night and Sunday morning. We haven’t had a lot of sleep the last couple of weeks. I feel like I’m running on fumes. Hopefully next week the pace will slow down a bit so we can catch our breaths. and there are days where I wonder how I’ll ever get everything done, but it always works out.
Zac went to the Mormon Prom Saturday night, a local tradition that takes the LDS kids out of the garbage that happens down here during regular proms. His date was a friend from the ward and we’re grateful he went. Weather is beautiful, humidity and heat are upon us, but it’s all good.