Sunday, March 22, 2015

WOW! What a Week! Transfer Week; Mission Conference

Wednesday was Sister A's last time at Eikaiwa.  The children had a karate class to go to, but they came by first to tell her goodbye!

We had several new people come this week.

Since we had so many missionaries going home this week, President Smith started with some of the interviews on Wednesday.  The rest came in on Thursday.

And we sent another senior couple home also.

Friday morning, we started the runs to the airport and the train eki.  All I could think is "Wow!" when I looked at this group!

We got to take this group to the airport.

Then Alan drove these missionaries to the eki.

In this group, we sent missionaries home to Utah, Australia, Colorado, California and Japan.  23 counting our senior couple!

And we had three that were picked up by their parents.

It was such a sweet experience.  These missionaries will be missed!

But we did get some treats from Costco!

One of our elders and his father went out to do some missionary work.  He called us shortly after he left to give us a phone number.  They found a woman who wanted to come to church on Sunday!

During the day, training was going on for the new trainers and leaders because later that evening, we were headed back to the airport to meet our new missionaries!

They were tired from their long travel, but happy to be here.  We love them already!  Eleven new elders and one new sister.

Normally, we have orientation for the incoming missionaries the morning after they arrive.  This time, we had a special mission conference at the Kamisugi Stake Center.  So everyone went there instead.  There was a big group of elders waiting at the bus stop when we left the mission home.

The Japan Sendai Missionaries

The new missionaries met their trainers just before the meeting.  Those being transferred were going to their new areas at the end of the meeting.

We were asked to help drive Elder Evans and his party from their hotel to the stake center.  We had Elder and Sister Aoyagi with us and the Evans' and their translator and Brother and Sister Randall rode with President and Sister Smith.

We had figured out that Alan and Elder Evans were serving in the Japan Mission around the same time, so we asked Heather to look in his mission book and figure out if there was an Elder Evans with her dad.  She found out that they were together in Kofu.  Elder Evans was the district leader with Elder Cheketts and Alan and Elder Clark were together.

We met at the hotel and Alan introduced himself, drove to the church and the meeting started.  The first thing Elder Evans did is show this photo.  This was taken prior to the baptism of two Japanese people in Kofu.  The missionaries are E. Checketts, Evans, Clark and Anderson.

Elder Evans has lived and served in Japan for many years.  He knew where all the other elders in this picture were except Alan.  That he was able to pull this photo out so quickly to share was amazing!

Then he talked about how the sons of Mosiah met each other after 14 years.  And now 44 years had passed without these two missionaries seeing each other!  It was a tender mercy indeed.

Our so called "Ipad Training" meeting was really misnamed.  We were taught by Elder Aoyagi (by assignment from Elder Nelson) and by Elder Evans about spiritual preparation.  Brother Randall from the missionary department spoke about how the distribution will be handled.

Notes from Elder Aoyagi:  The digital devices are just another tool.  The 3 reasons / purposes are 1 - To find and gather the family of Israel; 2 - Seal families in the temples; 3 - Prepare for the 2nd Coming.  Do not focus on the device, focus on the Purposes.

To be prepared and to be protected from the evils that can be accessed with devices. (Immunized against evil).  Not totally quarantined, because the devices can be useful tools.

To develop good habits concerning use of devices.  To follow Christ and avoid temptation as returned missionaries.  A comparison was made between an automobile and how it can be dangerous if you have an accident, but if you use safety precautions, the damage is less severe.

The best "filter" is the Spirit of Christ.

Notes from Elder Evans:  30 missions have been testing the use of devices.  28 missions in the US and the two Tokyo missions.

It is not a matter of "Missionary Work in the Digital Age" it is a matter of "Saving A Generation" from the evils so prevalent in the world.

The Sons of Mosiah were all injured, but none were killed.  Almost all of our young people will encounter pornography at some time.

Elder Evans said that he does not like the term "addiction".  It is really all about choices and using the enabling and redemptive power of the atonement to overcome any issue.

Use technology worthily.  Obey the rules.  Choose to feel the Spirit of the Lord and have joy.

There will be three phases to implement:  1 - Learning & Teaching; 2 - Planning; 3 - On Line Proselyting

Notes from Brother Randall:  The most effective teaching is done person to person.  Fulfill the purposes of the Work of Salvation; Develop righteous habits; Improve learning and teaching

Filters:  1 - Personal Testimony and Righteousness; 2 - Holy Ghost; 3 - Mission Rules; 4 - Technology; 5 - Auditing and Reporting  (ipads are specially configured)

Summary:  It is about consecration and discipleship;  The Family is the most important thing.  Promise to be faithful.  When you meet your old companion in 44 years, you will be thankful to know that you are both still faithful.

We're thankful we were able to participate in this event.  And that all the missionaries made it to their destinations safely!

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