On September 3, 2013 we welcomed 28 Elders arriving from the Provo MTC. It was the most amazing sight to see each Elder, single file, come through the gate. I kept looking back to see where the line ended---and it didn't end. They just kept coming through the door. I will never forget how impressive that experience was for President and I.
Elders, Welcome to the Mission!
Front Row: L to R Elder Losee, Elder Knudsen, Elder Argueta, Elder Frisby, Elder Hunt, Elder Goff, Elder Cutler
Waiting at the airport for the bus to pick up the luggage.
It was almost like Christmas--we are so excited to get them here. I had to keep telling myself--"They are really here!" We have been planning this day since the end of February. Two more Elders coming tomorrow.
We could tell they had developed a unique brotherhood during their time in the MTC. They are a terrific group of missionaries.
President and I were not the only ones excited, they were just as excited.
Wow, what a day.
President visiting while we waited for the bus.
They are ready to get into the field.
Time with President
After we loaded the bus with all the baggage, we headed to the train station and down to catch the next train to Leiden Central.
Train travel was a first for many of the Elders.
However, it will become common and feel very natural in a very short time.
It was so great watching them and seeing how happy they were and the excitement they felt.
Again, we made quite a sight!
Elder Burton, our AP, helped direct Elders so when the train door closed, we had all 28 Elders on the train. (There are stories of a missionary getting on the train and the companion trying to get on right behind and the door shuts. They wave goodbye to each other until the next train station)
Elder Taylor visits with a group of missionaries.
Every where I looked, all I could see were suits and name badges.
Finally, we made it to Leiden Central and walked over to the hotel. Now the paper work and interviews begin.
We take a break for lunch. Elder Loorbach, an office Elder, Elder Taggart, Elder Neptune, Elder Cutler
Elder Fonger, Elder England, Elder Hulet, Elder Brown
Elder Yocum, Elder Vande Merwe, Elder Bean, Elder Elkins
Elder Fowkes, Elder Huff, outgoing Financial Office Elder, Elder Suckow, Financial Office Elder, Elder Christensen Legal Office Elder
Elder Womeldorf, Elder Bosco, Elder Lindstrom, Elder Frisby, Elder Claflin, Elder Lundberg
Elder Losee, Elder Goates, Elder Besendorfer, Elder Argueta
Elder Taylor, AP; Elder Pugh
Elder Burton, AP; Elder Sudweeks
President Robinson, Elder Knudsen, Elder Peterson
After contacting, a nap and a nice dinner, we again met together for a fireside and they opened their 'First Call' letters tell where they will serve and who their trainer will be during the coming transfer.
President Scheltinga, councilor in the Mission Presidency, spoke to the newly arriving Elders.
We begin to open the "First Call" letters:
Elder Yocum will serve in Zaandam with Elder King as trainer.
Elder Pugh will serve in Genk Belgium with Elder Chantry as trainer.
Elder Frisby will serve in Tilburg with Elder Lind as trainer.
Elder Hunt will serve in Heerlen with Elder Ipson as trainer
Elder Goff will serve in Zwolle with Elder K. Hansen as trainer
Elder Taggart will serve in Den Helder with Elder Kemp as trainer
Elder England will serve in Groningen with Elder Nelson was trainer
Elder Cutler will serve in Leuven Belgium with Elder Giles as trainer
Elder Fonger will serve in Delft with Elder Endicott as trainer
Elder Brown will serve in Leiden with Elder Moscon as trainer
Elder Lundberg will serve in Sint Niklaas Belgium with Elder Cooper
Elder Claflin will serve in Schiedam with Elder Harvey as trainer
Elder Knudsen will serve in Spijkenisse with Elder Farmer as trainer
Elder Peterson will serve in Heerenveen with Elder Sanderson as trainer
Elder Vande Merwe will serve in Amersfoort with Elder Stanley as trainer
Elder Bean will serve in Diemen with Elder Mower as trainer
Elder Elkins will serve in Enschede with Elder Alston as trainer
Elder Bosco will serve in Ijmuiden with Elder Carter as trainer
Elder Hulet will serve in Rotterdam with Elder Shoemaker as trainer
Elder Womeldorf will serve in Rotterdam South with Elder Alfaro as trainer
Elder Neptune will serve in Hoorn with Elder Romer as trainer
Elder Losee will serve in Roosendaal with Elder Burgess as trainer
Elder Fowkes will serve in Antwerpen Belgium with Elder Gomez as trainer.
Elder Lindstrom will serve in Hilversum with Elder Christensen as trainer
Elder Sudweeks will serve in Geel Belgium with Elder Rozendaal as trainer
Elder Besendorfer will serve in Groningen with Elder Muse as trainer
Elder Goates will serve in Brugge Beligum with Elder Bishop as trainer
Elder Argueta will serve in Tiel with Elder Swingle as trainer
On Wednesday, September 4, 2013 they met their trainers, has more training and was sent out into the field as Missionaries of the Lord Jesus Christ. Inviting others to Come Unto Christ and receive all the restored Gospel has to offer.
Elder Argueta and Elder Swingle
Elder Fowkes and Elder Gomez
Elder Carter and Elder Bosco
Elder Alfaro and Elder Womeldorf
Elder Lindstrom and Elder Christensen
Elder Elkins and Elder Alston
Elder Mower and Elder Bean
Elder Neptune and Elder Romer
Elder Endicott and Elder Fonger
Elder Vande Merwe and Elder Stanley
Elder Harvey and Elder Claflin
Elder Knudsen and Elder Farmer
Elder Peterson and Elder Sanderson
Elder Giles and Elder Cutler
Elder Nelson and Elder England
Elder Ipson and Elder Hunt
Elder Yocum and Elder King
Elder Pugh and Elder Chantry
Elder Goff and Elder Hansen
Elder Burgess and Elder Losee
Elder Kemp and Elder Taggart
Elder Bishop and Elder Goates
Elder Rozendaal and Elder Sudweeks
Elder Cooper and Elder Lundberg
Elder Brown and Elder Moscon
Elder Frisby and Elder Lind
One of our Elders arrive today! Elder Tjong-Ayong will serve in Apeldoorn with Elder Hansen as trainer.
Elder Krebs, Elder Sliingerland, Elder Nish
As the last Elder out into the field, we paused to have our picture taken with Elder Slingerland.
A noteto all the mothers and fathers and other adults in the lives of these incoming Elders. You have done an outstanding job in preparing these missionaries. They are prepared, committed, they have strong testimonies and they know why they are here. They are taking their responsibilities and their roles in the seriousness of the calling, but with the excitement and joy of serving the Lord. Thank you, all of you, for a job well done. Our commitment to you is to return your sons to you with a greater and more sure anchor in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and truly converted members of the Church of Jesus Christ.