Sunday, September 12, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I thought it would be good to give you an overview of the mission.
We are assigned 196 full time missionaries. For a variety of reasons the actual number fluctuates around that - usually lower. That number, called mission complement, is broken down as follows:
12 sister missionaries
22 Spanish speaking elders
6 senior missionaries (3 couples)
In addition, there are 8 other missionaries (4 couples) on church service missions. This means that they live locally and come in for 20 to 30 hours per week. Their time is more flexible and they serve in the day and then go home to be parents and grandparents for the rest of the time. They help in mission office with records, finance, coordinate housing, vehicles and other matters.
The Church is very strong and mature here. There are ten stakes within the mission boundaries and over 33,000 members in about 90 wards and branches. The stakes are (from the north):
Bellingham Mount Vernon
Everett Lynnwood Shoreline Bothell Kirkland Redland
Our mission is part of the North America Northwest Area. This comprises stakes and missions in
Most of the members in the mission are part of the
The Washington Everett Mission is a smaller mission, taking in the northwest corner of the state of
- On the north: the Canadian border
- On the east: the Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish county boundaries - which is also the watershed line for the Cascade mountain range
- On the west: a border out in the water between US and Vancouver Island, Canada and the Washington Olympic Peninsula
- On the south: essentially a line along the southern edge of the communities of Shoreline, Kirkland and Redmond
The mission is comprised of the following counties: Whatcom,
For any purist, there is a little tip of a peninsula off of the mainland portion of
The mission takes its name from
It is 90 miles from our house to the furthest missionaries in
The economy is fairly diverse in the area: high tech, aeronautics, agriculture, shipping, military, and logging.
There are four other missions in Washington - three missions along the coast and two inland.
- Seattle: just south of us
- Tacoma: south of Seattle - taking in Tacoma, the Olympic Peninsula and south to Oregon
- Spokane: the northern 1/2 of the state from the Cascades an into part of Idaho
- Kennewick: the southern 1/2 of the state from about Portland to Idaho. It also includes part of northeastern Oregon.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Tuesday was a special day ---TEN NEW MISSIONARIES arrived! These included the six Spanish learners whom we were able to meet at the MTC while we were there, so they were OUR elders! In addition there were four other English speaking elders who were in the MTC after we left. I opted not to make the airport trip so that I could be home with Emily and have lunch ready. We fed them ---same menu--- took pictures, then headed over to the nearby church which houses the mission office. (SO convenient and such a blessing!) While President conducted interviews, the office couples oriented them concerning cars, housing, $$, etc. I took my turn explaining medical procedures. By the end, they were pretty glazed over and tired.
However, soon we could hear and FEEL the buzz of energy out in the hall as, first, zone leaders, and then trainers gathered. As those who will teach the new missionaries, "trainer" is an especially important leadership position in a mission.
There were so many highlights during this day, but my favorite has to be when President announced the new companionships. As each trainer enthusiastically embraced or greeted his missionary, you could sense the instant love and support they felt. Lots of bear hugs and smiles; some just looked very comfortable together. A wonderful moment for each one.
Another highlight was unexpected ---the two assistants came in and told me there was a medical question in another room. I innocently stepped into a little room filled with our 20 zone leaders who proceeded to give me an enthusiastic standing ovation! I have no idea why! Perhaps it was because, medically speaking, I had "done no harm" to that point! As I told them, "There's a lot of power in this room." That was certainly true. I will remember this for a long time.
Finally, I was able to witness TRANSFERS for the first time! The Washington Everett Mission handles these very efficiently, I think. Every missionary who is moving gets a ride from a member to the Mill Creek chapel. They then find out where they are going, make the switch, and head to their next area in another member car. It was fun to watch as missionary friends who hadn't seen each other for a while greeted each other with great affection. Toss in the new missionaries and it looks like organized chaos until suddenly the parking lot is empty again.
The topper for all this came on Friday when we gathered the new missionaries and their trainers back for further training and we listened to some of the experiences they'd had already. As one elder said, "I saw it all yesterday, and it was good."--meaning, he'd had good and bad experiences, but knew that the good felt SO good, the bad didn't matter. We heard some simply wonderful and wonderfully simple testimonies.
This was, of course, our first new missionary orientation, but your Dad did a masterful job. Even I took notes! (I made a short presentation about manners/appearance and why they are important. Dad helped me by portraying the slouchy missionary.) These young men are so ready to do whatever you ask and that is very humbling. Please keep them in your prayers.
THIS WEEK: We are preparing for our first Zone Leader Council
Saturday, July 31, 2010
- Mission Presidents Seminar at the MTC
- Our trip here
- New missionary calendar
- Weather / trees / our mission area
- Ada's time, medical
- Emily and Nathan
- Teaching appts with the missionaries
- Stake leaders
- Cottage meeting in our home
- and more