Monday, July 21, 2014

2014-7-20 The Longest Day

So, transfer day during a typhoon.....not a great time to try something like that....especially when it's your first transfer day ever!  :)  But we are in a mission with the most incredible, consecrated people.  Everyone pitched in and did whatever it took to make things run smoothly. 

The missionaries, who had been at the hotel so they could fly home, had their flights cancelled and the hotel was already fully booked for the night, so some of our senior missionaries went and picked them up and brought them to the mission home.  It was the second night they had barely slept.  But they put on their p-day clothes and went to work cleaning up the mission home yard from all the leaves and debris!  Where in this world do you see young adults like these????? 

The Assistants and a set of Sister Training Leaders as well as several office couples came to the house as well to help with the orientation of the new missionaries.  The leaders got all the information we needed from the new missionaries and checked to make sure they had the supplies and clothes they needed.  Sister Chong-Nee, a sister training leader, just took charge and did a wonderful job.  While President Ostler interviewed the new missionaries, the other leaders oriented the missionaries to the Manila mission and gave them all the information they needed.  Angel fixed sack lunches for all of them instead of the rice and pork dinner she'd planned because we had no electricity.  Caleb really was convinced we should just put the pot on the gas bbq grill and cook the rice in it, but Angel opted for sandwiches!  :)

After lunch, the trainers for all the new missionaries arrived. By then, we had about 50 people at the house with no electricity.  But they went ahead with the training and just opened all the doors for ventilation.  Soon, the Facilities Management people arrived and replace the battery and got the generator going.  Lights!  They are so wonderful!  :)

 During the orientation, Elder Atoigue and his family came to see the mission home with his aunts and uncle.  What a wonderful family!

Angel changed the menu to bbq chicken and rice and was miraculously able to whip up a delicious dinner for the whole group.  The electricity came back on in time for dinner!  What a blessing to have lights that evening!  

 Then we had the transfer meeting.  It was wonderful to watch the warm and happy, loving way they greeted each other when they found out who their companion was going to be.  I had never see it happen like this before.  Of course, the sisters squealed and hugged....but even the elders hugged like they were old friends, and one huge new elder even lifted his smaller companion off the floor in a bear hug.  It was the funniest thing!  How wonderful these missionaries are at helping their new companions feel good about themselves!

For my message, I shared the story of our son Josh, when he was 3-4 years old getting locked in a bathroom.  He was unable to get out.  We tried everything.  It was a very old house with a solid door and a deadbolt lock.  I was imagining having to feed him under the door!  But we remembered a lesson I had recently taught the primary children about how Heavenly Father can answer our prayers any time, any where.  Josh and I talked that day long ago about whether or not Heavenly Father could help us and open that door.  Josh was confident Heavenly Father could.  I knew He could, but my faith was shakey. I asked myself if I really believed what I had taught those Primary children, and I had to answer that yes, I really did believe that.  So, exercising our faith, we knelt and prayed for Heavenly Father to help open the door.  After one failed attempt to open it, and after exerting continued faith, the door opened and Josh said, "Mommy, Heavenly Father opened the door!"  I testified to those precious missionaries that Heavenly Father is aware of them.  As they begin their missions, they will need His help a lot, and He can and will help them any time, any where.

What a special time, with such a special group of missionaries!  Then it was time for pictures with the president and his wife!  I have never had so many pictures taken of me at one time!  I guess I'd better get used to it!  :)  Wow, do we love these missionaries!  I cannot imagine having more fun!