Transfer Week- July 2018- Transfer Tuesday

Tuesdays are always jammed packed on Transfer week….jammed!

We all head out early to the transfer site, the Tucson Stake Center, to have a little bit of controlled chaos take place for just a little bit of time.

We love our Senior Missionaries! They are the backbone of this transfer day. Thank you for all you do.

We meet in the church for our Trainer/Trainee Meeting to have our new missionaries meet their trainers and have some training from President and  Sister Browning and the Assistants.

This is so important because this is the day they officially start to be a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It all is for real now!

Here are the companionships.

 

 Now off to the temple to meet up with the missionaries (22 of them) going home tomorrow. There is a lot of them and only two Sisters!

Back to the mission office for lunch, interviews, weighing bags, and our last dinner together. It is the final hours for these seasoned and choice missionaries.

The two roses among the 20 Elders.

The amount of bags and memories inside those bags, all ready to go home.

 

This is how “sunny” it was today in Tucson. Just a bit on the warm side.

The last meal for our dear missionaries.

It’s an ATM thing….

Oh we love these great people…our ATM missionaries. How we all have grown in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel changes us, for the better.

Tomorrow we send them all home to their families and friends.

….sigh….

Transfer Week-June 2018-Departing Wednesday

Here we are….. bright eyed and excited for the new day. It’s time to depart the ATM for home, family and friends.

It’s quite surreal and daunting, but we must move forward with all that we have learned here in the ATM and go forth into the world and be lights of righteous and true disciples of Christ.

Thank you for all of your hard work and diligence in inviting others to come unto Christ.  Keep that missionary tag forever on your hearts.

We will miss you, but you have family and friends on pins and needles waiting for you this morning.

Well done dear missionaries!

Transfer Week Apr/May 2018-Departing Missionaries

Switching gears now…let’s get to the temple where we meet up with the departing missionaries.

After a special time with our departing missionaries in the temple, we head off for the mission office for some lunch and interviews.

 

Everyone….these are Sonoran Hot Dogs. They are the Tucson bomb!

A good brother from Tucson makes these for us. They are something everyone should try, they are THAT good.

All of the departing missionaries squeal with delight, well maybe not the Elders, when we tell them what’s for lunch… their last ATM lunch.

They are THAT good.

Let’s eat!

Elder Gillespie thank you for being an ATM missionary. We enjoyed getting to know you and work along side you. We love you!

Off to the mission home for our last dinner and special testimony evening. Pass around the tissue box!

Departing Wednesday-early in the morning… doubt none got very much sleep.

Off to the airport and to get them home to their families!  Bitter sweet.

Unloading the precious cargo of eighteen months/two years. Hoping every bag is under 50 lbs! Cross your missionary fingers.

Tickets in hands and hearts a-pounding. Gulp.

 

This sight is the most tender sight of the transfer cycle. Backs to us, and faces toward their futures.  Onward, ever onward!

God Bless you all!! May you take what you’ve learned from your missions and light the world with your Savior’s LIGHT!

Transfer Week March 2018- Departing Wednesday

In the wee hours of the morning, there is a stir at 939 W Chapala Dr in Tucson, AZ.

This morning, our ATM missionaries are leaving their home of the past two years or 18 months to fly home to family and friends excitedly waiting for them. Can words really describe how we all feel?  Simply put, NO.

  But maybe you can read between the lines, seeing the faces in these pictures and maybe feel a little more of what we all are going through.

It’s just hard to explain…

T   H   E      A   I   R   P   O   R   T

T  H  E    U  N  L  O  A  D  I  N  G

T   H   E      S   T   U   F   F     T   H   A   T   ‘   S     B   E   E   N     S   T   U   F   F   E   D

T  H  E    G  O  O  D  B  Y  E  ‘  S

T  H  E    H  U  G  S

   T  H  E     F  I  N  A  L     T  I  C  K  E  T      H  O  M  E

Farewell to all of our dear ATM missionaries.   Safe travels!

Thank you for all your service and dedication to the Lord’s work. May the Lord bless you for your efforts and may He be with you in all of your many endeavors. We love you!

Transfer Week March 2018- Transfer Tuesday

Here we go, bright and early, off to Transfer Tuesday!

It’s such an exciting day, with lots of movement and energy. It’s also a day of new beginnings and sad goodbyes. What complex emotions all on one day.

We love getting to the transfer site to get pictures of all the hustle and bustle. Sometimes we get lots of pictures and other days the camera woman is awful busy. This transfer, however, we got some good photos!

Here the transfer van (which is named Lola) has it’s precious cargo heading out for their new areas. Blessings to you all…we will be praying for you.

 

As the cars, vans, and trucks move out, some of us gather in the church building for our Trainer/Trainee Training Meeting (now that’s a mouth full). Here the new missionaries find out who their trainer is and the area they will be serving in.

E X C I T I N G ! !

Here are the new companionships.

This training meeting is so remarkable to be apart of. It’s such a unique moment in time for everyone involved. To see the anxiousness of our new missionaries turn into hope and excitement, is inspiring. Our prayers go with you all!

 

Now off to the next event….a time in the temple with our departing missionaries that are leaving tomorrow. What a bitter sweet time!

Thank you Elder Duncan for sacrificing your body to get this extraordinary photo.

 

A selfie of the Sisters in Sister Browning’s car going from the temple to the Mission Office. They all didn’t want to be separated so they squished and had a great time. Haha! Elders would never do that.

In honor of our well seasoned Tucsonan missionaries, we had Bro Quijada make these “Sonoran Hot Dogs” for our lunch. They are a masterpiece for your taste buds.  Delicioso!

We meet for a final missionary “Q & A with President & Sister Browning” and then have final interviews and yes….more food at the mission home.

Someone, Elder Ballard, was lucky to have his birthday fall on the day he was going home (tomorrow). So we celebrated the night before.

After our departing missionary testimony meeting, we sing our traditional “Mission Song” one last time.

 

We just love all of these consecrated and obedient missionaries. They truly will LIGHT and BLESS the world where ever they go…just like they did the ATM.  Well Done!

Transfer Tuesday is over, but we still have one more morning of goodbyes. See you bright and early at the airport for Departing Wednesday.

February 2018-Saying Goodbye

How we love these missionaries!!

It’s been a privilege to have known and worked with them all. We know the ups and downs of mission life, and the grit and diligence these young adults show is nothing short of INSPIRING.

Our dear Sisters & Hermanas…. oh how we will miss your influence and bright bright spirits.

 

Our AP’s got this picture with Moroni and the Tucson sun glowing in the background. So cool!

You all are so wonderful…don’t leave!!!

 

This was a pano of the “My Life” discussion we had in President’s office after all the exit interviews were finished…

…our dinner at the mission home…

…and signing the ATM flag.

And don’t forget a couple of selfie’s on Sister Browning’s phone.

Love you Hermana’s!!

The famous mission home stair picture of our stellar, steadfast missionaries on the eve of going home.

Next morning, early early in the morning, we board the mission van (“Lola”) and head to the airport.

It was a little chilly for a February morning in Tucson, but not too bad for 5:00 am.

 

This scene of mass amounts of luggage and people always gets a few stares.

We usually get stopped at least once during these drop offs as people think we work for the airport.

(Haha, I stopped wearing my navy blazer to the airport because I was constantly being asked for directions of lost airport patrons.)

Goodbye our dear ATM missionaries. May you always be kept safe and strong as you head out into your new life.  God bless.

December 2017 Departing Missionaries

Our dear friends and fellow missionaries are going home.

We are always threatening that we are not going to let them go home. Nope. No way. They are staying here with us. By golly, it’s just so hard to have accomplished, hard working, competent missionaries leave!

Before we send these departing missionaries home, they all get to go to the temple. The Gila Valley, New Mexico and Sierra Vista departing missionaries were able to go to The Gila Valley Temple and the Tucson missionaries went to the Tucson Temple.

How we love that time with our missionaries. It truly is a tender mercy to be with them in the temple right before we depart ways.

This is the Gila Valley Arizona Temple and even though it was cold, they still had flowers on the temple grounds!

By the time we were done with the session, it was dark and our pictures were full of shadows. But the temple at night was breath taking.

One last dinner for these missionaries we love so much and a touching testimony meeting that just can’t be described with words. After one of those heart filled, spirit filled meetings, you just cannot be the same.

 

Elder Bryce was picked up by his family. It is always so delightful to meet in person the families that are behind these missionaries we serve with.

And finally, before everyone heads off to bed, we hear a musical number that was requested by President Browning of these two musically inclined Elders. What a cherry on the top of an inspiring night!

Here we are, bright and early, on departure morning at the ATM mission office. We wait for everyone to arrive and make sure the bags are under weight.

We make it to the lit up Tucson airport…

…and here we go!

This is my favorite picture of this transfer. I love to see the friendships that are forged on missions that will last a life time. My eyes filled with tears and my heart was pained a bit when I took this picture.

These goodbyes NEVER get easy.

God speed ATM missionaries. Be strong and of a courage, never forgetting that which you have treasured up. We love you forever!

November 2017 Departing Missionaries

We just can’t explain how hard it is to say good-bye to these wonderful seasoned missionaries. It should get easier, but  we have yet to feel that. In fact, it’s the opposite….it is getting more and more difficult.

Sigh.

We let the missionaries that are going home go and spend the entire morning in the Tucson temple. Then we join them right before noon. What an amazing group of missionaries.

(Sister Browning was on her way home from Utah so she missed being in the temple with this group.)

Our wonderful lone Sister Nuttall. The rose of the whole group.

Dinner at the mission home.

Oh we love all of you!

Getting their packet of flight information and other important things as they get ready to leave in the morning.

Elder Bradfield’s parents came to pick him up. It was wonderful to meet them in person. We don’t get that chance very often. Thank you Bradfield’s!!

Our amazing AP’s (Elder Medina and Elder Duncan) and Elder West (one of our office Sr Missionaries) who do so much to make our transfer weeks run as smoothly as possible. THANK YOU!!

Up early early the next morning to get everyone to the airport on time.

Last minute shuffling of items and trying to make sure the bags don’t exceed the weight limit.

Sister Nuttall knows how to get her suitcase to close even though it’s bulging. Something every missionary becomes expert at!

Now off to the airport!

Checking in and saying the last good-byes. We don’t like this part.

Thank you ATM Missionaries for your service!!

We love you and wish you the best.

October Events

General Conference was the very first part of October… And the very next day, Oct 2, Transfer WEEK!!

Off to the airport on Monday morning, to pick up our new missionaries coming in from the MTC. There is a buzz of excitement throughout the mission and a flurry of activity and preparation for them all.

IMG_0577IMG_0578

Here are our two wonderful Assistants with President Browning to help with driving “Lola” (our mission people-mover van) and getting our new missionaries and their stuff to the Mission Office.

IMG_0579

Oh boy, look….here they come down the escalator!! It’s so exciting!!

IMG_0580IMG_0581

After the hugs and handshakes, we all wait for the luggage and then head out to take personal photos with President and Sister Browning.

IMG_0584IMG_0585IMG_0586IMG_0587

This spot is perfect for pictures to show off the beautiful Saguaro cactus (pronounced Sa-WAH-ro). The sun is shining and all the missionaries are in a weather shock… it’s October and it’s in the 80’s!

IMG_0588IMG_0589IMG_0590IMG_0592IMG_0594IMG_0595IMG_0596IMG_0597IMG_0598IMG_0599IMG_0600

IMG_0601

We head to downtown Tucson to show the missionaries the Mormon Battalion Monument. This is a memorable first impression of being in the Arizona Tucson Mission!

IMG_0602IMG_0603IMG_0604IMG_0607IMG_0609

Before we head back, we get a selfie waiting at the cross walk.

These missionaries are such a great group! President and Sister Browning are so grateful to have them and we are looking forward to getting to know them and to hasten the work of the Lord together here in the ATM.

IMG_0610

Next day, is Transfer Day. Here we are getting everyone transferred and the new Trainers ready to meet their new Trainees. It’s an early start of the day, but everyone is up and ready to get going!

IMG_0617

IMG_0619IMG_0620IMG_0621IMG_0622IMG_0623

Here are the Trainers and Trainees.  Sometimes they are in trios, but most of the time they are just in a companionship of two.

IMG_0624IMG_0625IMG_0626IMG_0627IMG_0628IMG_0629IMG_0630IMG_0631IMG_0632IMG_0633IMG_0634IMG_0635

Trainers, please take good care of our new missionaries…we already love them so much.

Now we switch gears and concentrate on the departing missionaries.

We head to do temple work and we all love that part of the day. The Arizona Tucson Temple is just radiant and gorgeous. So blessed to have it up the road from the ATM office.

Here is our small band of seasoned, wonderful missionaries finished with the temple and getting ready to head home.

IMG_0636IMG_0637IMG_0638

It’s so hard to let these almost perfect missionaries just leave us… I’m not a fan of that part of Transfer Week, not a fan at all.

IMG_0644

Dear ATM missionaries, thank you so much for your hard work and for sharing your life and the gospel with the people of the Tucson area.  May the Lord bless you and your next steps in life. Until we meet again.

IMG_0649IMG_0650IMG_0651

Transfer Week for August 2017

Transfer weeks (which translate into Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday) are full to the brim with ATM activity. We get in brand new missionaries from the MTC, we assign new trainers, we transfer some missionaries and have the departing missionaries leave for home. It is a thorough “mixing” of the mission every 6 weeks.

Here are some photos of our transfer week for August 2017, starting on August 21 (the day of the eclipse mind you) and going through August 23 when the departing missionaries boarded planes and flew home.

First off, the group of 19 missionaries fresh from the MTC came off the plane all smiles and excited to finally be in their mission!

Next we took photos with each of our new missionaries by Tuscon’s amazing Saguaro cactus. This was also the same time as the eclipse and it was a bit hazy and cooler. What a memory for these amazing missionaries!

Here is a group photo minus one Elder that had not yet arrived from the Mexico MTC.

We had them grab their luggage (their life for the next 18-24 months) head for the van and trailer to load up and head to Tucson. Our wonderful AP’s also helped the large group. (They are the ones without suit coats.)

In keeping with the ATM tradition, we drove our new missionaries to the center of Tucson and President Browning lead them up the street to the Mormon Battalion Monument. (We also ran up the street as an ATM tradition of hastening the work in our mission but we didn’t get those pictures…we were running along with them!) Aren’t they a sharp and unique looking group of young adults!!

The rest of the afternoon was spent being trained and interviewed by President Browning, Sister Browning and Sister Pershing (the mission nurse). It was a lot of information to take in, and they were extremely tired from being up since 3:00 am. We fed them at the mission home for dinner and had a special testimony meeting right after. We are so excited to have them all here!!

Next day, they all had more training (yippee!) and they met their most important companion, their TRAINERS!

(Sorry, by the time the camera came out, some of them had already left so we didn’t get all the new companionships.)

Now to our wonderful, seasoned and experienced missionaries. How we love them and hate to see them go!

They spent the first of the day in the Tucson temple, the very first group of ATM departing missionaries to attend the newly opened temple on their last day of their mission. (Before the Tucson temple opened, the missionaries had to drive two and a half hours one way to the Gilbert temple. Not any more!!)  Look at that gorgeous blue dome!!

After the temple and exit interviews with President Browning, we had a dinner at the mission home, testimonies (my favorite thing in the world) and our sweet final embraces that were filled with tears.

Thank you parents for raising such beautiful and righteous children. Thank you for lending them to the Lord and the ATM mission for these past 18-24 months. They have BECOME such powerful and refined missionaries and amazing master teachers. How the Savior loves them! In our eyes, they are just about perfect.

 

And now, early on departure day, we head to the airport with missionaries, bags, memories, and stronger testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We hate to see them go because WE have grown so attached to them and love them so dearly. But they must “depart”, go home to their patiently waiting families, and start the rest of their lives. May they always be faithful and diligent in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We know they will do GREAT things!

God be with you, ATM missionaries, until we meet again!