December 2017 Arriving Missionaries

December was a crazy month. Lots of things to do and places to be.

But gratefully, even with all the holiday chaos, a week before Christmas, the new missionaries arrive (yippee) and our seasoned ones go home (boo hoo).

Here we have our three AP’s waiting at the airport to pick up the new arrivals.

Welcome Elder Creason to the AP assignment, and thank you Elder Medina for all your help and goodness.

 

And here they are!! All fresh from the MTC.

Walking to the Mormon Battalion Monument in downtown Tucson.

It’s an ATM tradition.

 

Pictures of our new missionaries, day one of boots on the ground!

 

Lunch was served at the Mission Home (sorry no pictures were taken) and then to the ATM Mission Office for New Missionary Orientation, training, and interviews with President Browning, Sister Browning & Sister Pershing, the mission nurse.

Our Assistants always have fun helping the new missionaries feel comfortable in the ATM and to teach and familiarize them with the area.

 

Early next morning, Transfer Day, the missionaries are off to find out who is their trainer! This is an exciting morning and hopefully they have gotten some sleep. But realistically, sometimes the adrenaline just won’t let them.

All the other missionaries that are being transferred, are also meeting to get a new companion and new area.

The logistics of bags and stuff (and obviously milk and bread) getting to the right place and with the right missionary can be a little mind boggling….

 

New missionaries quietly waiting for the training to begin. What could be going on in their minds?

 

Role-playing with their new companions. Right out of the gate, we get them into why they are here….missionary work.

Here are the new companionships!

WE LOVE OUR TRAINERS. They are the BEST!

We love our new batch of enthusiastic missionaries too. We will be praying for you all!

November 2017- New Missionaries

November brought us a new group of wonderful missionaries.

(Sister Browning sadly was missing from these pictures as she was in Utah at a family funeral.)

What a great way to finish off their first day of training with an evening walk around the grounds of the Arizona Tucson Temple. Beautiful!

And here are the new companionships.

Welcome to the ATM!

 

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.

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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.

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

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

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!