To the Friends and Family of President and Sister Russell

To the Friends and Family of President and Sister Russell

Thursday, April 14, 2016

 Introducing the newest missionaries to the great mission on earth, the OEM!!!



 Front left: Sister Mann, Sister Tolfilau, Sister and President Russell, and Sister Gubler. Back left: Elder Hoskins, Elder Snyder, Elder Miller, Elder Larsen, and Elder Wangsgard. 
WELCOME TO THE OEM!!
*******



 After a restful night's sleep, we had a little breakfast before heading to the church (Sister Mann was still getting ready).

 The Elders stayed at the Assistants duplex and the Sisters stayed at the mission home. The Assistants grab a little bite to eat before we leave.


When we got to the Church, the missionaries in the area form a choir and sing "As Sisters in Zion/We'll Bring the World His Truth". It's so beautiful! Then President Russell and I talk for a few minutes and then we go into the cultural hall for some training. They get some information from our nurse; Sister Phipps. our housing coordinator; Elder Phipps, our vehicle coordinator; Elder Sutterfield,  Elder Christensen who is over finances (he gives them their support cards, the missionaries like him best!), The president's secretary; Sister Christensen, and our referral secretary; Sister Sutterfield. Then comes the moment they have all been waiting for!

TIME TO MEET YOUR TRAINERS AND TRAINEES!!!


Sister Gubler meets her trainer; Sister Hart!




Sister Tofilau meets her trainer; Sister Pearsson!!




Sister Mann meets her trainer; Sister Vittitoe!!



Elder Wangsgard meets his trainer; Elder Harrison!!

Elder Hoskins meets his trainer; Elder Falatea!!

Elder Larsen meets his trainer; Elder Gage!!!









Elder Miller meets his trainer; Elder Watson!!























Elder Snyder meets his trainer; Elder Simms!!



 Our newest missionaries...
 ...with their trainers!!!



At the airport, when our new missionaries got in it was cloudy outside. They asked if it was always cloudy. I said, "No, in fact it should clear up by tomorrow".
(Apparently I should keep my day job and not go into predicting the weather.) After the new companionships had pictures taken, picked up their snacks for the road, and gotten their luggage, they walked outside to torrential rain. Two of our brave missionaries who had stopped by the church for something else agreed to go out into the rain and take pictures of everyone leaving for their areas. Thank you, Elder Mafi and Elder Cluff!!



                President Russell helps Sister Mann and Sister Vittitoe with their luggage.



 Elder Wangsgard won't let a little rain stop him from smiling!

 
Sister Tofilau is pondering how they are going to fit all this luggage into that little trunk! 'No problem', says Sister Pearsson!!


 Elder Watson tells Elder Sutterfield, "Oh, but it IS going to fit in here!!"
 Sister Gubler and Sister Hart are ready for anything! Bring it on!!







Elder Simms and Elder Snyder give us the 21st century answer to a thumbs up!






Oh yeah, Gene Kelly has nothing on us, we're singin' in the rain!!






Mad dashes to the cars!!





Sister Vittitoe goes back in for her stuff.





Elder Falatea seems to have lost his companion.






 Sister Tofilau and Sister Pearsson come back for the snacks.




...and their off!





 Elder Snyder and Elder Simms need their snacks as well.





Hooray! Elder Falatea has found his companion, Elder Hoskins!





Elder Arias stopped by with his sombrero...don't want the rain to mess up his 'do.




One last stroll down the hallway for Elder Miller and Elder Watson, then it's out in the rain and hittin' the road!




Time to clean up and get on our way, too!
Here's to a new beginning!!

The departing missionaries come to the mission home for their exit interview with President Russell. They also have a delicious turkey dinner and then a testimony meeting.

 After the dinner, these missionaries have been interviewed and they have a moment to write in each others travel journals.
 The Assistants sit on the stairs during the testimony meeting.
 We're ready to start the testimony meeting!




One last parting shot of our returning missionaries; Left front: Sister Linstedt, Sister Hall, President and Sister Russell, Sister Sands, and Sister Stenberg. Back row: Elder Allred, Elder Campbell, Elder Godfrey, Elder Blackwelder, and Elder Enman. 
It's transfer time again! This transfer was 7 weeks instead of 6 because the missionaries are spending three weeks at the MTC now (it used to be two weeks). The time goes by at an incredible speed!



We go to the 'transfer spot' for the Eugene, Santa Clara, and Springfield zones, which is the stake center for the Eugene stake. Most of these missionaries are being transferred and will ride in the vans. The other missionaries gave them rides to the transfer spot. We have four transfer spots around the mission. It's amazing how organized this is!




 Missionaries get an opportunity to tell their friends good bye.
And some see the president taking pictures!!

      



These two Elders are the president's assistants; Elder Whyte and Elder Hinton, it's a long day for them.




Sister Yeung and Sister Chang are our two Chinese Sister missionaries. They are amazing!!
Elder Crowell has a deep conversation with the Assistants