I don’t know if I shared a similar experience six weeks ago. I’m going to do it even if I did before. Last Wednesday was transfer day – the day that new missionaries come to our mission, also the day that assignments of many of the other missionaries. Some remain unchanged, but many switch companions or geographical areas.
The morning begins with the new missionaries arriving followed by a short meeting with the mission president and his wife. The office couples are allowed a few minutes to speak to the group. Both times I have had this opportunity, looking into the eyes of these eager young men and women has filled my heart with great happiness and brought tears to my eyes. These missionaries are part of the modern day “army of Helaman.” They have proven worthy of their calls and their opportunity to spread the gospel. What a joy to see them, all together and ready to begin their labors.
Later in the day, there is a transfer meeting. President Poulsen pointed out that not all missions have such a meeting – they receive their assignments by phone and then find transport to their new areas. It is a real treat to be in this meeting with 100 or more of the missionaries. I have felt the Spirit as President and Sister Poulsen speak, as the departing missionaries bear their testimonies and particularly as the whole group sings an opening hymn and later close with the Mission song. After this meeting, the missionaries switch their goods from their old companion’s car to the new companion’s or load up the brand new missionary with his/her trainer and they are off to their assigned areas.
The rest of the day is filled with a lot of hustle and bustle as they pick up their mail, transfer packets and supplies for the next six weeks. Problems with housing, cars, bikes, passports, finances and other sundry things are addressed by those of us in the office throughout the day. Lately there have been problems with e-mail on the new system and we hope that those will all be taken care of tomorrow. In the evening we are assigned to help Sister Poulsen with dinner for the departing missionaries. I didn’t make it this time since my vehicle had a problem earlier in the day and was left at a shopping center not far from the mission office. Elder Watts (the car czar) and I went and tried once more to start it to no avail so we called the man that does all of our body repairs as well as some of the mechanical repairs on the mission cars. We were tied up doing that for over an hour and so we missed the dinner at the mission home.
When all of this is done, we are tired and happy to fall into bed but we are glad that we were able to have the experience. As Peter said on the Mount of Transfiguration, ”It is good for us to be here.”