Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September Transfers in the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission

Anyone serving a mission counts their days by transfers. Transfer days are always very busy in the office. This is the typical schedule:

Tuesday morning: New missionaries are picked up at the airport and are taken to El Morro, the fort in Old San Juan, where they do a quick tour and have a devotional.

Tuesday noon: New missionaries are served a delicious barbeque at the mission home. 

Tuesday afternoon: New missionary orientation at the mission home. They learn about finances, apartments, mission culture, and receive a pep talk from President Boucher. During this time President interviews all the new missionaries to help him determine where they should serve. 

Tuesday evening: New missionaries are picked up by their companions at the mission home and take off for their new area.

Wednesday all day: Departing missionaries receive employment and education counseling from the self-reliance department. They are interviewed by President and pick up their departure packets at the office. 

Wednesday night: Departing missionaries are served a delicious steak dinner at the mission home.

Thursday morning: Departing missionaries head to the airport.

Tuesday and Wednesdays are always very busy in the office because everyone wants to stock up on supplies and order items from the little mission store.There's always plenty of excitement in the air as former companions see each other again.

Elder Helm, our mission secretary, was transferred to Dominica, one of the three small islands where young missionaries serve. The other two are Nevis which is off St. Kitts and Vieques which is off Puerto Rico. 

Elder Helm had to pack and repack to fit everything into one suitcase. He is storing some items in our apartment until he gets back. 
Elder Helm is off to the airport for his adventure in Dominica. 

This is a typical parking lot scene on transfer date as missionaries wait for their new companions. 
A new sister missionary and her new companion will be working in Guaynabo here by the office. The new missionary is from Great Falls, MT where we used to live. 
Our new office elder from Hawaii is bidding farewell to his cousin who just arrived and is also serving in the mission. 
It's getting late and some of these missionaries have a long drive ahead. The farthest area is two and a half hours away so compared to other missions that are much larger, it really isn't very far. 
The happy new missionary on the right is excited to be with her first companion. 
These three missionaries are waiting to go to the mission home for their farewell dinner and testimony meeting. I'm sure that the longer we are here, the harder it will be to say goodbye to our missionaries.  
We met Elder Frampton's parents at Bonnie's wedding reception. He was a wonderful missionary in the Bayamon Ward where we attended so we were able to get to know him pretty well. He headed home this transfer. 
After transfers, we relaxed with the office elders at a Mexican restaurant in San Juan. We are happy to have Elder Scott in the office with us. He is very good natured, spiritual, and hard working. He says he used to office work because he used to be the executive secretary in his ward for his dad who was the bishop. 

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