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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More September ATM Pictures

Here is our newest Sr. couple missionaries, Elder and Sister Jex, who are from Montana! They are such wonderful people and we are thrilled to have them in the ATM!

These are our Central and Northwest Zones. This picture was a “No Smile”, “Serious”, or better yet “I’m trying to be tough” picture.

(I know, the Elders insisted.)

Selfie found on Sister Browning’s phone….

Thanks Elder Carr, Elder Taylor and Elder Thompson!

Here is just the Northwest Zone…

…and the Central Zone.

Now we move to the Southeast Zone Conference on another day.

The Blessed LUNCH BREAK!!!  Thank you dear Sisters of the Tucson Rincon Stake for providing such a yummy meal!!

Our wonderful Southeast Zone!

The matching Spanish Sisters. They are unified!

And to end this post, our fun and crazy group photo.

Oh boy…. one Elder decided to bolt right over the top of the Sisters. He shall remain nameless….

[Deep breath.]

 

Tucson Spanish & Sierra Vista Zone Conference Sep 2017

Zone Conferences are a great time for training and learning together as zones. Plus, we have a lot of fun being around each other.

Here are some of the pictures.

The Sisters/Hermanas took advantage of my phone. This is one of MANY group and individual selfies. I just love these happy faces.

Tucson Spanish & Sierra Vista Zones

We taught about the new blessing and tool in our mission….social media. The ATM is now an online proselyting mission. What is that? With MP authorization, a missionary can use FaceBook Messenger, Skype, and some other tools to get in contact with, teach and communicate with those who may be interested in the gospel. It has been amazing and a lot of good is coming of these wonderful technologies.

Here the Assistants are demonstrating how to use Messenger and Video Chat to teach and keep in contact with people that are extremely busy or prefer to use FB or Messenger.

Now for some post Zone Conference pictures.

(My favorite pictures….you get a sense of their personalities.)

This special couple is Elder and Hermana Jones. They regretfully are leaving us next month. (How dare they.)

Dear Jones’, you are an example of being anxiously engaged in missionary work. No matter where you two are, you are always looking for people to share the gospel with. And Hermana Jones, you make the yummiest Mexican food ever. Me gusta!! We are going to miss you terribly. We love you!

The Tucson Spanish Zone.  We are missing Elder Jones though….

(Sorry, that curtain was not shut all the way. That will bother me forever.)

Oh the fun drama of these missionaries….yagottaluvit!

M.L.C.-September 2017

Missionary Leadership Council was here again. A time when the Zone Leaders and Sister Trainer Leaders meet together with President and Sister Browning to be trained, show the successes of the month and then to plan and move the work further for the next month.

It’s mostly an all day meeting/training but it is very enjoyable and worthwhile day.  Especially when they pose for photos like this at lunch time.

Some of the teachings of President Browning on the chalk board. Can you tell the principles taught here?

We are always amazed at how quick these missionaries can strike such silly and creative poses!

We are so blessed by all of their leadership and dedication to the Lord and missionary work here in the ATM.

(Sorry…not all the Zone Leaders and Sister Trainer Leaders were photographed.)

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!

Zone Conferences August 2017

We made it through our first set of Zone Conferences in August. They were wonderful! We enjoyed seeing everyone and having the Spirit there in great abundance in all of the trainings. I know everyone learned so much.

Southeast Zone

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They love their silly poses.

Central Zone

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And yes, that is an Elder in the front doing the splits.

New Mexico Zone

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Both Gila Valley and New Mexico Zones

Gila Valley Zone

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Sierra Vista Zone

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July 2017 Blog Posts

I didn’t have the time to get the ATM Blog created and going before we came to Arizona or during the first month we were here (just a bit crazy busy). However, I did post a few times to our family blog about that first month.

Here are the links to those posts so you can see what happened July 2017 in the ATM and bit of background of President & Sister Browning.

Here we go!! Arizona Tucson Mission

Trip to Tucson

First Week in the A.T.M.

Week 2: Transfer Week Craziness