Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 13, 2014

TRANSFER WEEK!  It is still a blur!

Things are always busy while on a mission but transfer week seems to speed things up to ridiculous.  And then having one during December with all of the Christmas extras just made this week a bit of a blur.  But here we are at the end of the week and we made it through......

I didn't get many pictures taken.  My phone kept running out of battery.  I guess I need to remember to plug it in eh?  When it gets too busy I forget things even as routine as that.

Tour guides
Monday was our last "official" tour guide meeting with the San Diego Professional Tour Guide Association.  My year being the secretary is over and we aren't associated with the Mormon Battalion any more so we won't have any good excuses to go - except to visit the good people we have met and learned to love there.

They say that we are honorary members and come back any time we want to!  It has been a very good thing to be involved with and I hope that I can find things like this to do when we get home where we are associating with others who are from different religions and walks of life. We met so many good people who I normally would not have been able to know and interact with.  We had a Christmas Party at a restaurant where they made sure it was during the "happy hour" so they could take advantage of that.  They had great appetizers and we all had a gift exchange.

We weren't sure that we should go because there would be drinking but it was a very nice event and we were glad we went to say goodbye.  Some of our favorite people weren't there though.  Vera and Charles are on a vacation to Costa Rica for three weeks.  And Irina is too busy working to come.
Elder Cardiff felt bad for us that
we didn't have presents under
the tree. He is being our gift.

 Tuesday was the day that all of the missionaries leave for home and the new ones come in.  What a zoo that can be!  Salt Lake made a few mistakes that I didn't catch until almost too late.  It made things interesting but we ironed it all out and everyone is here that is supposed to be and the others leaving are all home to the right city.  They had made arrangements for one of our sisters from Taiwan to go to Kiribati and the one who was supposed to go to Kiribati was going to Baltimore Maine.  They had also sent us information about an elder that we didn't have on our lists but came in with the other missionaries from Provo MTC.  We finally figured out that he belonged in the Carlsbad Mission just up the way from us and got him there.

A YSA ward made us a temple
gingerbread house.
Tuesday night was a fun one!  But we were so tired we could almost not enjoy it!  We ushered at the Old Globe Theatre for "Grinch"!  They do such a good job of it.  They have done it for 18 years straight.  It was our second year to do it and will try to stay on their lists for ushering and come to help with plays when we come in town.
Sister Burmedez at transfer meeting.

Wednesday was transfer meeting day.  That is when everyone finds out where they will be serving and who their companion will be.  The chapel is usually full of missionaries and it is a big puzzle to put together.  Pres. Schmitt has made sure that it is a very spiritual meeting and that it is well organized.  He invites missionaries to come up without telling them before hand and give a short talk on the topic for the month that he has assigned.  He is teaching them to prepare short talks to have on hand at any given moment with three components - a scripture, an experience to go with the scripture and bear testimony.  It really is that easy to a great talk  This transfer meeting went without hardly any hitches.  Maybe we are all getting better at this.

We are taking off to take the two
temple square sisters back to the
airport.  They are on the ends.  The other
sisters are their companions and some of my
favorite people on the earth!  
I got the assignment to pick up the two Temple Square sister missionaries and take them to the airport to go back to Salt Lake.  I have done this many times and each time the sister missionaries don't want to go back.  I think that we are all resistant to change.  They really loved serving here in beautiful San Diego and weren't really excited about being outside all day in the Utah weather.  We said tearful goodbyes.  One thing about being on a mission - there are so many changes - so many good byes - so many new hellos.  All so sad and good and mostly wonderful.  If you see Sister Talatoka or Sister Asuro on Temple Square give them a big hug from me.

The rest of the week is when we really get crazy busy.  We have to come back from the transfer meeting and change all of the lists we have.  We don't ever really know what the details of the changes until after the meeting.  With 250 missionaries, it really is a big deal.  We can't get out packages until we know what where all of the missionaries will be serving.  In December that is a huge deal.  So many packages!!!

Also Roger has probably the hardest job.  He all of a sudden has to find new apartments and close up old ones, move missionaries around, etc.  It really isn't that easy to find apartments and get all the things settled very quickly so we have to have missionaries double bunking etc until it all gets ironed out.  One apartment complex actually denied the church because our credit wasn't good enough!  They changed their mind after they checked better into things but it was funny to have them think that the church wouldn't be a good credit risk!

Getting Sub for Santa stuff put together.
We are gearing up for Zone Conferences for next week too.  Usually it takes a couple of weeks to get through them.  The mission president usually meets with one or two zones every other day and has day long meetings with them.  This time we have a General Authority coming, Elder Brent H Nielson.  Don't know that I know much about him.  Zone Conferences will be just two huge meetings and they are two days in a row.  He will arrive Monday and tour the Mormon Battalion, do surprise checks on apartments, go on splits with missionaries and then come to the Mission Office to interview the Mission President and his wife for two hours!  We are in charge of keeping their children busy during the interview.  We have catered a meal for them so we will set up tables for dinner and then leave them to eat there together.

Tuesday and Wednesday will be the Zone Conferences and we will take turns going so that the other couples can keep the office running.  We are having a dinner for the Nielson's, the Mission President and his wife and us on Tuesday evening.  Elder Nielson wants to tour the mission office and meet with us then.

We were hoping that we might be receiving iPad with zone conference but we aren't hearing any rumors - yet!  Probably won't happen.

It has rained a ton this last week too.  Everyone here has been praying for rain so it has been much appreciated.  I even have found myself liking the rain.  Usually I feel that rain is not that cool.  It is too wet.  Give me a good snow storm any day.  But it has been fun to have the rain.  It usually rains while we are at the office and then clears up at night any way.

Hope all is well with you all!  We miss all of the Christmas gatherings and people.  It is hard during the holidays to be so far away.  But we are challenging our selves to make this a "different Christmas".  We will have lots of normal ones when we return.  But we are trying to make this one special.  It is wonderful to have the emphasis on Christ and really have no other shopping agendas.  It is too bad that we have so much glitter and glitz during this time of year.  We are enjoying the gift of the Savior and the emphasis on that this year.  Sharing that gift with others is tons of fun!

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