Saturday, May 12, 2012
We made it through our second transfers. Eight new missionaries arrived and ten returned back home after 2 years service. The whole transfer process takes a good two weeks to complete. The week before is planning and organizing. The actual week of transfers goes something like this: Monday, the new missionaries fly in to the Manchester, NH airport, usually about 12:30 pm. I check the flight from SLC several times and update the President. President and Sister Wilkey meet them at the airport and the assistants drive the van (Moose) around to the front of the airport to pick everyone up with all their luggage. For about an hour the new ones go out visiting with some of the local missionaries. Then everyone arrives at the mission home for dinner which the office staff (Benjamins and Davises) shop for and set up and clean up afterward. Right after the President eats, he has an interview with each missionary. I'm in the dining room with their records. They get their picture taken with President and Sister Wilkey and one picture of him/herself and then they come into the dining room to verify with me that all their information and contact information is correct. Then they are off to the family room where they meet with the vehicle coordinator to verify their driving record, etc. Then to Elder Benjamin for their medical and support cards. They spend the night at the mission home or in the assistant's apartment (Elders that is). Sisters almost always spend the night at the mission home. Tuesday, breakfast at the mission home and then driving to the Manchester Ward meeting house to find out who their trainer will be and where they will be living and teaching. In the morning all the new missionaries go into the Primary room for instruction. After that the Transfer meeting starts in the Chapel. All the missionaries who are going to be transferred or assigned as a trainer gather in the Chapel. After being addressed by President and Sister Wilkey, the transfers are announced along with Elders who are assigned to be Zone Leaders or District Leaders or Trainers. This results in lots of hugs and back slapping! Everyone goes out in the foyer for pictures and then into the cultural hall to pick up their bag lunch (which the office staff has shopped for and organized). Then they are on their way to their new area. By 1:30 the missionaries who are going home leave for the Boston Temple with President and Sister Wilkey and the office staff. We attend the 3:00 or 4:00 endowment session and spend a little time in the celestial room. Dinner is in the temple cafeteria at 5:45 pm. After dinner we return to the mission home for last minute details for their flight home the next day. Elder Benjamin and I return home about 9:00 pm. Davises have gone home about 8:00 pm. Wednesday, it's work in the office as usual at 9:00 am. The returning missionaries have breakfast and study and exercise at the mission home. President's assistants take all returning missionaries to the airport until everyone is on their flight. Meanwhile, in the office, I am checking flight status every hour or so to make sure the planes are on time. During that time and during the day, I print out all the pictures that have been taken the last two previous days. All the office staff is working on their respective jobs after transfers. Usually by Friday at 5:00-6:00 pm we are done. And so it goes every six weeks. Two weeks-one getting ready for transfers and one doing all the transfer procedures. It is a busy time, but that is what we do! I figured that while we are here for 18 months, we will go through about 16 transfers. We should have it perfect by then!!!! Here is a picture of the mission office in May 2012. The red azaleas are bloomed out now. The purple ones are early and done. The big purple rhododendron to the left of the red azalea is getting ready to burst forth with blooms. We watch it every day and can hardly wait to see how beautiful it will be. The trees are almost all bloomed out. It is so pretty here! And very much like Washington state.