Sunday, October 4, 2015

Transfer #13 - 42 New Missionaries- General Conference!

This week I am so very, very grateful that we do not have 42 missionaries that come into the mission on every transfer!  We are grateful for all 42 of them.  We are also grateful that this week is behind us, and that we have all survived!

We had Hermana Clements and Hermana Braun spend the night with us on Sunday night.  Monday morning, the elders picked up Hermana Braun to take her to the airport.  She is now serving in Las Palmas.  I wanted to fold myself up and put myself in her suitcase.  But, instead, I just sent my love to all the people that we love and miss.  Hermana Clements spent the day with Karen, a wonderful lady who was baptized back in May.

Hermana Pack and I headed to the grocery store to get things for our busy two days of cooking.  We were working on the meal for Monday night for the missionaries who were going home.  I made Chicken Bundles.  I found a type of refrigerated dough that is something like crescent rolls.  It isn't quite as light and flaky, but it works.  Hermana Pack made a yummy bread pudding.  I was grateful for the help of these two good elders, Elder Regehr and Elder Daniels.  Caroline didn't get to help until after school, but I always love having her help in the kitchen.

We were two tired but happy ladies at the end of the night!

It is always a little sad to say goodbye to these missionaries.  
Best wishes to them in their new adventures!
  Elders Dampt, Rawson, Rawlinsons, Norrell, Mullins, Pres. Pack, Barahona, Larkin, Mower
  Hermanas Pack, Clements, and Kuhn

It is always a busy night after the testimony meeting as the missionaries weigh their luggage and figure out what to do with their overweight suticases.

These two sweet girls, Hermana Kuhn and Hermana Clements spent the night with us.  We were back at the mission home by 7:00 a.m. so that they could head to the airport.  And I went into the kitchen to start the preparations for the breakfast for the 14 new missionaries who were arriving from the the Provo, Utah MTC.  The Packs picked them up at the airport and they had rented a bus to take them to the mission home.  

The bus then went to Pavones, our temple square, where Elder Larsen performed his magic with the 42 pieces of luggage, and the 84 pieces of luggage of the 28 missionaries that were at the Spain MTC. It took an amazing amount of organization to put the luggage on the right side of the bus and in the chapel.  Elder Larsen was the perfect person for the job.

After the Provo group had a chance to clean up and eat, then the 28 arrived from the Madrid MTC. They met in the front yard, and then they were divided into three groups.  They were taught by the Packs, the APs, and by the office elders, and Elder Larsen and me.

I was very busy in the kitchen preparing barbeque chicken sandwiches, pasta salad, baked beans, and chips.  We also had pumpkin bars.  I sure was glad that we had prepared some of the food the day before.  I was also very grateful that these three ladies helped serve and clean up.
 Patricia, Sister Verbuken, Teresa, Hermana Larsen

Feeding almost 60 people in a home is quite the feat.  We had a marvelous idea of passing their food to them out the window, our on "Walk-Up Window."  Teresa was in charge of getting their forms before they could have food.  It worked great!
Hermana Maza and Herman Weaver

Here are our busy office elders who do lots of work behind the scenes!
 Elders Daniel, Barlow, Regehr, Veiss

And here we have the Packs and the 42!  What a group!

We had the opportunity to take Hermana Milne to the train station.  She is headed to Oviedo to be companions with Hermana Ross.  I was very impressed with this young woman.  She will be an amazing missionary!

Most of the missionaries were able to head to their areas on Tuesday night.  But, the missionaries who were headed to the island and two who were headed up north spent the night at the mission home and left on their trains and planes the next morning.  We had a nice time visiting with these great missionaries. 

And here we have the missionaries and their luggage, trying to get organized for the night.

At the end of a very long day, it is good to be with these two wonderful ladies.

And here we have a glimpse at the relief after the stress of a transfer week of 42!

 Thursday, Hermana Pack and I drove over to Alcalá to have lunch with these two cute hermanas.

And we also got to visit with the Schwartz for a few minutes.  They are serving as Family History missionaries in Alcalá.

Even though we had finished the 42 transfer, Hermana Pack and I had another couple of big meals to prepare for.  We did our shopping at Makro.  Hermana Pack surprised me by putting this shrink wrapped pig in my arms.  My scream might have embarrassed her a little bit.  And then we were entertained with this fish display.  The stores always have unusual displays in there large seafood departments.

Friday afternoon, Elder Larsen and I went to pick up our renewed residency cards.  It is hard to explain the relief when a missionary gets their residency card and they are "legal."  This is our last time to do this before we go home.

But the fun part was that we were able to see some of the missionaries who have just arrived from the Madrid MTC, who were beginning the process of getting their residency cards.  We will welcome them to the Spain Madrid Mission in 6 weeks.

The Packs invited us over to watch General Conference with them on Saturday.  We have conference every April and October.  It is a two day "feast" when we have the opportunity to hear from the apostles of the Lord and to hear Thomas S. Monsosn, the Lord's prophet on the earth today.  I love conference weekend.

What a beautiful message President Monson gave on Sunday!  I love this man and the example he is of a man who has lived a Christ-like life.  I would like to share just a small part of his message.  You can watch it here.

To be an example of faith means that we trust in the Lord and in His word. It means that we possess and that we nourish the beliefs that will guide our thoughts and our actions. Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in our Heavenly Father will influence all that we do. Amidst the confusion of our age, the conflicts of conscience, and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives. Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other. I reiterate what we have been told repeatedly—that in order to gain and to keep the faith we need, it is essential that we read and study and ponder the scriptures. Communication with our Heavenly Father through prayer is vital. We cannot afford to neglect these things, for the adversary and his hosts are relentlessly seeking for a chink in our armor, a lapse in our faithfulness. Said the Lord, “Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.”

Sunday morning, the Packs invited all the missionaries over from the San Sebastian Ward.  The Elders watched the recording of the priesthood session of conference at the Packs house, and the hermanas went next door to the bishop's house to watch the women's session of conference from the week before.  

Hermana Pack and I had an adventure at the grocery store as we tried to find a rump roast.  But, we must have been succesful because Hermana Pack made us delicious French dip sandwiches.  I made coleslaw and we had fresh vegetables with precious "Ranch Dip."  Then we had brownies and ice cream for dessert.  It is always fun to be together with these good missionaries!

A very busy week, but we survived!

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