Our big transfer week is over. The missionaries arrived as scheduled and seem to be doing great. Time will tell. It’s a harder adjustment for some than others. Twenty-four elders and sisters from the Provo MTC arrived Monday on the usual 2:30 pm flight. Three sisters from Europe arrived at 9:30 pm. They had been “visa waiters” for the last 2 to 3 months and were on temporary assignments in their home country while they waited for their visas. Six of our new missionaries are from foreign countries: England, Netherlands, Norway, Samoa, and 2 from Japan. We are happy to have them all here.
Monday I spent most of my day working on the Area and Assignment Histories for the November departing missionaries. I mail a copy to each of their stake presidents and put one in their departing binder. With 16 going home it takes me quite a while. I also worked on the Come and Go Report. We had a new senior MRS (Military Relations Support) couple arrive on Saturday, so I added them to the various contact rosters, and filed papers for other PCC and BYUH arriving senior missionaries. The MLS couple is friends with our England mission president. Also one of the new missionaries is the nephew of my Highland 16th Ward visiting teacher. It is a small world within the church.
Tuesday I emailed arrival letters and three photos to the parents of each arriving missionary. I also printed 18 months/2 years worth of letters between the president and the October departing missionaries to go in their departing binders. I’m so grateful for a good printer and three-hole punched paper. The new missionaries came to the office for orientation and a tour of the Tabernacle. I got a phone call from the mother of one of our zone leaders. His uncle had passed away and she wanted to speak with him. President will handle that. We have had 3 missionaries with deaths in their close extended family this past week. They handle it well. One is scheduled to go home in November and was given the choice to go early, but said no. She wants to finish her mission.
Thursday I made the transfer board cards for all the new missionaries – 27. It took me most of the day. I also filed all the new missionary profile/contact sheets, pulled the departing file folders, and filed the arriving folders. The departing missionaries left at various times today. Four missionaries flying to Philippines, Cambodia, and New Zealand left this morning. A couple of these missionaries were having a hard time leaving. Their life is so much better in the mission field. It sort of breaks your heart, especially after they have been such good missionaries. Those flying to the USA left about 9:30 pm. We had a few new missionaries stop by the office with their trainers. It’s always fun to see the look in their eyes as reality sets in. It’s all so new and they feel lost as first. We give lots of hugs and reassurance.
Devon has been super busy with apartments this week. Having 12 additional missionaries to house creates challenges. He thinks he gets it figured out and then something comes up and changes have to be made. We made another trip to Wal-Mart for more household supplies. Bikes and telephones needed to be switched around as well, so he’s been super busy. Hopefully it will settle down next week.
Friday was another busy moving day for Devon. He dressed in his jeans and spent most of the day moving elders from one apartment to another. He also collected bicycles that weren’t being used so he could deliver them to elders that needed them, and took a new mattress to another apartment. He was gone most of the day. I finished the November Area and Assignment Histories and caught up on odds and ends. In the evening we went to dinner and a movie – “The Magnificent 7.” Nothing like a good cowboy movie to remove all the tension from the week – at least it sure works for Devon.
Saturday we got up early and went to the lab to get some routine blood tests done. Then we headed up to Laie. Our assignment was to find suitable housing for a senior couple. We looked at three units. The first two were dismal, but the last we think will work.
The owner of the apartment we want to rent for the senior couple collects old surf boards and carves designs in them. He carved this one for the missionaries to sign. He is not a member, but loves the missionaries (everyone does). This is a fairly new project as the signatures are all current missionaries.
We also checked out a couple of apartments the sisters were using. They are going to be vacant for the next six weeks, so I think we will use them and stay a couple of nights in Laie when Emily comes to visit in November. They need some cleaning, so I suppose we’ll be going up to do that on another weekend. It was an absolutely beautiful day! When we left Honolulu it was rainy and overcast, but as soon as we hit the other side of the island that all disappeared. Usually it’s the other way around – they have far more rain on the other side than we do.
After completing our assignments we went to the PCC for a short visit and then the Temple Visitor's Center. I never tire of being at this beautiful place, and Saturday was stunning!
We decided to drive home via the North Shore so we could stop in Haleiwa for dinner at Cholos and a shave ice at Matsamotos. It was dark when we arrived back in Honolulu. We made a stop at War-Mart (more apartment supplies) and Foodland before arriving home exhausted, but grateful for a wonderful day on this beautiful island.
Are you wondering what happened to Wednesday? Well, I had my routine CT scan on Friday – results were good - everything stable! But Tuesday morning I noticed a fine rash on my legs. By the end of the day it had multiplied and spread up my torso and arms - and was ITCHY! I was up most of the night. Wednesday I made an appointment with a dermatologist and she confirmed it was a delayed allergic reaction to the IV dye used for the CT scan. I’ve had the dye numerous times, but apparently I’ve developed sensitivity to it. She prescribed a 15-day course of Prednisone. Within about 3 hours I began feeling relief and had a great night’s sleep with the help of Benadryl.
After feeling pretty rough for a month or so - even worried I might have to go home early - I can’t believe how wonderful it is to feel well! I have a renewed source of optimism. I feel so blessed. I was promised when I was set apart that the Lord would take care of me, and He surely has. It is such a blessing to be on this mission. I am where I should be, where I want to be, and with my favorite person...WIN! WIN! WIN!