Thursday, July 30, 2015

One Month Down!

Welcome to our first attempt at blogging!   Our first month in the mission has flown by! We were told that we would arrive and jump on a fast moving train never to stop.  The analogy has proven true, but there have been so many sweet surprises along the way.
  Our first week was spent in Meet The President Zone Conferences.  We arrived at the first building on Chad standard time (definitely at least 20 minute early) only to find a chapel filled with quiet, studying missionaries listening to hymns.  When we walked in the chapel, they all stood up.  We were so taken by surprise and overwhelmed to look into the faces of these beautiful missionaries we had been memorizing, praying for and thinking about for so many months.  They were absolutely radiant to look at and took our breath away.  (You may not want to read this if you are disturbed by sappy, emotional things...)  We loved being able to meet them one by one and they loved covering their badges and quizzing Chads memorization skills to see if he could recognize them.  He was very close to 100 percent and they loved it! We were so grateful to the Weston's, the previous president and wife, because they had prepared each missionary to love and accept us openly.  We found that the Nebraska Omaha mission is a happy, loving, obedient and smoothly running machine and we couldn't be more in awe of or grateful for our predecessors.
The train zoomed on after zone conferences with our first Mission Leadership Council.  We are fortunate to have amazing assistants, zone leaders and sister trainer leaders.  We loved hearing their ideas, successes and counsel.  We made plans, set goals and talked about our plan to have every new convert in the temple to do baptisms (preferably family names) within a month of their baptism.  The missionaries have embraced this wholeheartedly and love attending the temple with their new converts.  
The second week, eight amazing, faithful missionaries completed their missionary service and returned home.  Although we didn't get well acquainted with very many of them, we loved them for showing us what each of these young people are aiming to become and accomplish.  Their testimonies were powerful and they will return to continue progressing at home.  Later that day, we received 12 new missionaries!  This group was very special to us because we were in the MTC together and had a chance to spend an evening getting acquainted.  We were so excited to welcome them and had fun sharing two days together before they headed to their areas.
Meeting our Missionaries at the MTC- June 26, 2015
New Missionaries Arriving at Omaha Airport- July 8, 2015

Visiting the Winter Quarters Mormon Trail Center
Elder Chamberlain

Sister Youngberg

Elder Hunt

Sisters Willis, Murphy,Graves, Lewis, and Youngberg

There is never a dull moment, always a meal to prepare, a medical or spiritual challenge to conquer.  There have definitely been challenges, sad times, outcomes that aren't always what we had hoped.  We have felt that we are not alone.  We are keenly aware that this is the Lord's work and it is His mission and His missionaries, not ours.  We try so hard to know His will and do things His way.
  Chad has spent ten full days interviewing each missionary.  It has been a wonderful opportunity for him to visit with them one and one and they seem to enjoy it and look forward to it as much as he does!  While he interviews, I sit and visit with the missionaries waiting for their turn.  I love listening to them share with each other counsel they received or a challenge President gave them in their interview.  Their eagerness to receive and follow counsel is amazing.  They are humble and teachable and truly desire to do and be good.  We really love them!
  We sure miss and love everyone at home.  When I think of home and what we left there I am just so grateful for everything!
Sister Yancey and Sister Johnson

Elder Olsen

Elder Jensen, Elder Olsen, Elder Taggart, Elder Adams

Sister Young