Wednesday, September 14, 2016

New Arrivals 9/12/16

What a CRAZY day for the arrival of 18 missionaries.  Three were coming from the CCM in Mexico and suppose to arrive in Santa Barbara at 3:30.  Elder Brodie called President in the morning from Dallas airport because the shuttle they were on broke down and they missed their flight to Santa Barbara.  After calls to Church Travel who said to let the airline handle it, they were flown to LAX.  The Iversons were asked to drive there and pick them up. Unfortunately their luggage was not taken off of the plane and ended up in Santa Barbara.  We drove to Santa Barbara and picked up the luggage. We got back to the mission home about 15 minutes before the Iversons got there with the three missionaries.  
Meanwhile we received a call that the 15 elders coming from the MTC were having troubles with their flight to San Francisco because it had been delayed.  This would cause them to miss the connecting flight from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.  It was a bit stressful wondering if all of the 15 elders would make it onto the flight from San Francisco to Santa Barbara.  The flight to Santa Barbara did not wait for the elders. It was determined they would be flown to LAX.  It was the airline's fault so they would shuttle them to Santa Barbara but we asked if they would drop them off at the mission home in Ventura.  
I had the meat and rice cooking while we were gone so that it would be ready to eat at 7:00.  The three elders, assistants, Iversons, and us ate the pork tostadas, chicken taquitos, watermelon, and oreo ice cream dessert.  I kept the food warm or chilled, whichever was appropriate, for the elders who we figured would arrive after 10:00.

We had planned on keeping 10 of the elders at the mission home for the night.  Four member households were planning on two each to stay with them.  I called Sister Jones to see if the members could come later to pick the missionaries up.  While these elders were waiting they sang hymns and Elder Hiltschler learned to play our mission hymn, Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise.  Two of the elders were picked up just after 9:00 and one of them went home with the assistants.  We had to cancel one of the houses and we kept 11.
Two vans brought the elders from LAX arriving about 20 minutes apart.  We fed them and four elders were picked up and everyone got to bed.
We were all united at 7:30 for breakfast.

Since pictures had not been taken upon their arrivals, we did that after breakfast before President Felix had a short interview with each one.
Elder Powell
Elder Young
Elder Campbell
Elder Snider
Elder Robins
Elder Bundy
Elder Bickham
Elder Johnson
Elder Nielsen
Elder Hiltscher
Elder Stevens
Elder Snow
Elder Haslam
Elder Brodie
Elder Harris
Elder Gardiner
Elder Pereira
Elder Mitra
While President was having interviews Sister Felix was playing Jeopardy with the rest.  The questions came from Preach My Gospel and the white handbook.  This opened up discussion also as to questions regarding the culture of the mission.

Before going to the mission office we went to the 
Father Serra Cross. The views are spectacular!

President Felix is talking about being committed.  
President Uchtdorf tells of two young brothers who stood atop a small cliff that overlooked the waters of a blue lake.  They had often talked about jumping into the lake.
 Even though they both wanted to make the jump, neither wanted to be first.  Their courage was fading.
Finally one brother put one foot at the edge of the cliff and began to move forward just at the moment his brother whispered “Maybe we should wait until next summer.”
The first brother’s momentum was pulling him forward and he responded, “I’m committed!”
He splashed into the water and surfaced quickly with a victorious shout.  The younger brother followed.
It is like diving into the water.  Either you are committed or you are not.
Either you are moving forward or you are standing still.  There’s no half way. 
Each missionary made the commitment of jumping in with both feet and saying "I'm committed!"

These missionaries come from:  Arkansas, California, Idaho, Iowa, Ohio, Utah, and Virginia.
Assigned to Spanish speaking.
Visa waiters assigned to Russia and then the Ukraine.
Visa waiters assigned to India.
Assigned to English speaking.

Of the 162 missionaries that are in the mission now:
10 arrived in 2014
80 arrived in 2015
72 arrived in 2016

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