What a week! Yesterday afternoon was the first time we were able to do proselyting work in five days! But that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been busy in the Lord’s work.
Last Monday was transfer day. That meant that Saturday and Sunday were spent with the heroes, the missionaries returning home, and Monday and Tuesday with the heroes, the newly arrived missionaries. I had many interesting experiences with these two groups.
The most interesting experience was Monday morning in the airport. First, we said goodbye to the heroes. It was interesting to see them and how they were feeling. The departing generation has some of the best missionaries our mission has seen, as well as some of the worst. Among the eight missionaries returning home were two assistants and other true heroes, but also a few missionaries who did not make the best choices during their missions -- including one who, in spite of the fact that he had endured to the end of the two years, was not returning with honor. Their feelings of excitement, contentment, or regret and nervousness were evident.
Then we waited to receive the heroes. As we were waiting, we saw a missionary returning home from his mission. A group of 20 or so of his family and friends was waiting with signs and balloons. The first thing he did was hand his luggage to his dad and give his mom a big, long hug. The joy was tangible.
A few minutes later a group of missionaries arrived from the Mexico MTC [Missionary Training Center] (this transfer we aren’t receiving any American missionaries). Eight of the Mexican missionaries arrived for our mission and about five for the other. You could feel their excitement but also nervousness. I remembered how I felt that day not so long ago. They had a spirit much brighter than several of the returning “heroes.”
My experiences in the airport made me think. I realized that these two years truly do fly by. We come, we make choices, and we go. Depending on those choices we leave better and more prepared than we came, having done good in the lives of others, or we leave just the same or even worse than when we arrived. Life is like that too. It really is a short time. We arrive, make choices, and depart. I wonder how I will feel in my homecoming -- both my homecoming after my mission in Mexico and my homecoming after my mission on earth.
After picking up the new missionaries, we took them to the mission home, where Sister Mendoza prepared a delicious breakfast (she is an amazing cook), and we spent some time learning from President Mendoza. Then we went to the mission offices, where we had the transfer devotional. That is where I made my debut in front of more than half the missionaries. I was nervous, but I think it went well. I stole an idea from Dad and talked about how we are all like Mom’s bread: with the ingredients to be a good missionary, but having to go through the oven to reach our full potential.
Monday and Tuesday we spent with the Tutors and Disciples. (One of the tutors is Elder Dominguez, the missionary I trained. It is great to see how he has grown these past 6 months since I last saw him.) Wednesday we made a trip to the border, bringing the tutors and disciples to their areas. Following the instructions of President Mendoza, we took advantage of the time we were there to bring supplies to the zone leaders. I returned to Reynosa, and also got to know the cities of Rio Bravo and Matamoros.
Yesterday we worked in the office in the morning, and after the 2:00 meal we started to work in the area. It felt great. I love missionary work!