We only had a net gain of 6 missionaries this time around. Four Elders and one Sister went home, after completing their missions and 8 Elders and 3 Sisters joined the SCCM. The surge, or tsunami, as Sister Mihlberger used to call it, has pretty much ended. We are now at 277 missionaries. Our cap is 300, but I don't think we'll get that many. Then again, who knows?
When we got to the church Wednesday morning, we went right into training meeting, where the office staff trains the incoming missionaries on housing, mail and other office procedures, cars and finances. When our part was done, and Elder Fenton put on the CARS video, we went out to make sure the mail and media was all in order. Bless the hearts of the APs and the Sister Training Leaders! They had everything set out in rooms, according to zones. It was all so well organized! All we had to do was set up tables and put out the cards and letters for the missionaries to search.
The transfer meeting went VERY smoothly! I took a few notes on the short introductions of the new missionaries and the testimonies of those who were leaving. All, such GREAT missionaries!!!
From the greenies:
- I want to teach the people how they can feel peace in their lives. I feel great peace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I want to share it with others.
- I want to help the people of SC find peace and joy in their lives.
- I want to leave with no regrets.
- I want to see the change that comes into lives when people accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- I want to be obedient.
From the departing missionaries:
- I vowed to work hard, love the work, love the areas where I was sent, love the people and love ALL my companions. If I had companions that were different from me, I tried to look for the good in them and asked myself, "What does the Lord want me to learn from this companion."
- I have never been so loved and so hated.
- I found a new respect for myself and have a new appreciation for my circumstances.
- I have a new appreciation for the bodies we've been given.
- I always tried to be about my Father's business. (That's what my grandpa always taught me.)
- I learned to look at all people through the Savior's eyes.
- I learned how to love.
- My friends and I had a motto for our missions... "No Regrets" I had some regrets, but I repented and asked the Lord for forgiveness and He took them away.
We have four new senior missionaries. For the Winwards, this is their 3rd mission together. They have served twice in the Washington DC Temple. There's going to be serving in Cowpens. The other two are single sisters, Sister Munsen and Sister Barton, - out on their first missions. They will be working in the West Columbia Ward as WAS Sisters - Women's Auxiliary Support Sisters. They are both such cute and devoted Sisters. One of them is Chris Koford's mother-in-law. :o)
After the transfer meeting, we went out to the Temple for an Endowment Session with the departing missionaries - then to President's home for dinner and a little farewell meeting. Elders Taylor, AhKuoi, Bailey and Barker and Sister Titus all bore such sweet testimonies of the Gospel. They will be missed!