On April 30, 2013 we met our group of 12 missionaries at the airport. Sister Djoukeng was missing as she had to remain at the MTC in Provo for medical issues, but the other 11 were finally here. We have been aware of this group of missionaries since mid January. We realized with this many Sisters (I don't know the last time we had sister missionaries in these numbers arrive in the mission--maybe years) we were starting to see the 'flood' of missionaries due to the announcement from President Monson over lowering the age to serve a mission. And sure enough, we received our first 18 year old Elder and our first 19 year old Sisters. We are thrilled!!
It was fantastic to see them walk through the gate--they just kept coming and coming with all their luggage! What a sight!
Sister Hudson, Sister Stevens, Sister Meier, Sister Larson, President Robinson, Sister Robinson, Sister Brown, Sister Anjewierden, Sister Wood, Elder Ruldolph, Sister Mizell, Elder Robinson, Elder Carter
To the Hotel and the conference room to begin orientation, the legal and financial paperwork for the mission.
Sister Hudson, Sister Anjewierden, Sister Brown
Sister Wood, Sister Stevens, Sister Larson
Elder Rudolph, Elder Robinson
Holding down the fort in the back while.........
.........Elder Christensen and Elder Mascon do the legality
Paperwork has to be done!
Then...off for lunch at Oude Lieden for panne koeken.
Sister Wood and Sister Stevens
Sister Meier and Sister Mizell
Sister Anjewierden and Sister Brown
Sister Larson and Sister Hudson
Elder Andrews, our Financial Elder who has been called as a new Zone Leader in Antwerpen and will be leaving the Mission Office
Elder Mascon, our Legality Elder who has been called as a new Zone Leader in Rotterdam and will be leaving the Mission Office. Elder Christensen, our new Legality Elder and Elder Huff, our new Financial Elder.
Elder Ruldoph and Elder Li, AP
Elder Van Rij, AP and President Robinson
Elder Carter and Elder Robinson
April 30 is Queens Day in the Netherlands. This year, however, she relinquished her title and her son became King. So it was a BIG day in the Netherlands. When we stopped to get a picture, we had some of the people ask to join in our picture. They were the same age as the missionaries, and so President invited them to be part of the picture. If they are wearing orange, they are native Dutch young adults.
They then asked to take our picture--so...Elder Li, Sister Anjewierden, Sister Meier, President Robinson, Sister Larson, Sister Hudson, Elder Robinson, Sister Robinson, Elder Rudolph, Sister Brown, Elder Carter, Sister Mizell, Sister Wood, Sister Stevens, and Elder Van Rij
They took over 10 pictures, so here is another from the bunch!
We didn't have the conference room for the afternoon, so back to the Mission Office so President could finish the initial interviews.
Jet lag is starting to set in.....
....they now have been up and going for almost 22 hours.....
...and we are not quite done!
At 3:00 pm we went with them out to do 30 minutes of street contacting and then back to the hotel for a well deserved 2 hour nap!!
After a short nap and a wonderful meal, we held a fireside and Testimony meeting with President and the AP's.
Then it was time to open their letters telling them of their First Area of Service, and their first companion.
Sister Brown will serve in Genk, Belgium with Sister Israelsen.
Sister Anjewierden will serve in Dordrecht with Sister Townsend.
Sister Hudson will serve in Groningen with Sister Jones.
Sister Larson will serve in Amsterdam with Sister Hinchcliff.
Sister Stevens will serve in Heerlen with Sister Nielson.
Sister Wood will serve in Haarlem with Sister Schwab.
Sister Mizell will serve in Zoetermeer with Sister Rigdon.
Sister Meier will serve in Den Haag with Sister Juchau.
Elder Carter will serve in Hilversum with Elder Mortensen.
Elder Robinson will serve in Vlissingen with Elder Mathus
Elder Rudolph will serve in Emmen with Elder Pitchforth.
Elder Van Rij will leave his responsibilities as AP, and will serve in Gent with Elder Alston. Thank you Elder Van Rij for the love and service you have given to President and me. We love you.
One last celebration before we send them off to bed. Tomorrow they will meet their new companions, be trained, and after lunch will climb on the train and head to their new field of labor! Congratulations Elders and Sisters!
The morning of May 1, 2013 we had the new missionaries and their companions meet in the conference room. It was so much fun to feel the excitement and watch the friendships begin, we let it go on for 45 minutes. Here are lots of candid shots of the event.
Sister Stevens found Sister Nielson
Sister Townsend found Sister Anjewierden, Sister Israelsen found Sister Brown and Sister Jones loves them all.
Sister Meier and Sister Juchau are all smiles, and Sister Rigdon and Sister Mizell are just as happy!
Elder Carter and Elder Mortensen found each other in the buzz!
Elder Pitchforth and Elder Rudolph talk while, in the background,
Elder Robinson and his new companion Elder Mathus talk with Elder Burton, who is our newly called AP.
Elder Mascon turns the legality 'reins' over to Elder Christensen
Happy first companions
Maybe happier first companions!
Looks like they have gotten right down to business!
Looks like President is giving some great council, but really...he is just telling one of his jokes before we get started!
Sister Larson and Sister Hinchcliff visit with Sister Townsend and Sister Anjewierden.
Sister Robinson is just the 'visiting authority' in the mission.
Off to a terrific start!
Last picture before Elder Andrews and Elder Mascon officially depart for their new assignments.
Training over, lunch over, grab the luggage and get to work!
Welcome to the Mission--as President puts it....
Make It Big and go have fun!