Monday, May 13, 2013

TMM T-I-M-E flies

    It's an old cliche to say how "time flies," but it does!  We find ourselves quickly approaching the final months of our missionary service. What a fun time we've had over the past three years- our days have been filled with love, smiles, hugs, service, tears, blessings, miracles... and more. Simply put, it has been an incredible journey for us. 

  Some excerpts from President Trayner's weekly e-mail to the missionaries helps express our feelings about how important our time is:  
Today I paused to celebrate Mother’s Day.  Sister Trayner enjoyed our “last” Mother’s Day telephone calls with our two missionaries in the field.  Zach will return from Chile in about ten days and Nicole from the Philippines a couple of weeks after we return home to Utah.  Our family has never been so blessed from missionary work!  Today, I feel joy! 
I wish to express my love and thanks to each of you for making our mission experience complete (well almost—we have a little more than 6 weeks remaining.)  This has been a happy time full of service for us.  We have been greatly blessed.  There have been tough times as well.  Nothing was harder than receiving news of the loss of our two Elders in November 2011.  Nothing has made us happier than to see missionaries grow.  
As our time of service draws to an end, I wish to encourage you to take advantage of every moment of your mission... At the beginning of most missionaries’ missions, time seems to move so, so, so slow.  At the end time flies.  Great missionaries have told me the same thing in their departing interviews.  They said that they pleaded with the Lord to slow the advance of time on their missions once they learned to give their whole heart, mind, might, and strength.  But time marches ever forward.  For us, three years seemed like such a long time.  Today, we ask ourselves, where did the time go? 
The Lord is hastening this work. On December 27, 1832, in Kirtland, Ohio, the Lord provided us with a message of peace, including these words to ponder: “Behold, and lo, I will take care of your flocks, and will raise up elders and send unto them. Behold, I will hasten my work in its time” (D&C 88:72–73). In the beginning pages of Preach My Gospel, the First Presidency’s message to missionaries states: “There is no more compelling work than this, nor any which brings greater satisfaction. We challenge you to rise to a new sense of commitment to assist our Father in Heaven in His glorious work.”
...In this season of new and greater commitment and the hastening of the great missionary work among the children of men, I wish all to have a greater sense of urgency about this work... May we each be blessed with a greater desire to be about our Father’s work, to hasten our efforts, and to deepen our discipleship...  As you do so, you will more fully enjoy and take advantage of the time God has given you to be in His vineyard and to be a personal representative of His Son.
So much has transpired in just the past couple of months as we see our time flying by. Here are some of what has been going on in the TMM:

1. March's New Companionship Training

2. April's Zone Leader Council was the last ZLC ever held in the TMM. From now on the meeting includes the STLs and becomes the MLC. (Did you get all that?) 

Lunch was All-You-Can-Eat at Cici's Pizza

3. The first Sister Training Leaders in the Texas McAllen Mission have been called, trained, and are already hard at work!

4.The Church is growing. Construction continues on the new chapel in Mission, Texas:

Steeple Raising

Future site of the inner courtyard
Future Baptismal Font
5. Every six months, after the Priesthood session of General Conference, all missionaries assigned to work in areas near the mission home are invited over for ice cream. Here are some pictures from April's "fiesta."

Brothers from other mothers

6. President Trayner interviewed each missionary during April (over 180 interviews!). While waiting for their interview, missionaries attended a District meeting and/or enjoyed "movie and popcorn" with me- The Hermana.  Here are some pictures from April:

There was one DVD player and five remotes...who's the lucky missionary?
Taking advantage of the shoe shine supplies before the interview


The best kind of text message a missionary can ever receive!
7. President Trayner and I attended our last Mission President's Seminar in Arizona. We have gained many friendships as we have served and we will miss the regular association with so many great people at these seminars. 

While in Arizona, we were able to meet with some of our returned missionaries- and former ward members. 

After "30ish" years, President Trayner was even lucky enough to reunite with a former missionary companion from his first mission in Veracruz, Mexico. What fun it was to reunite with all of them and meet their friends and family. 

We were also very happy when we found out on our way home that our flight was delayed in Dallas.  It gave our son time to bring his family to the airport for a quick reunion! 

"Outgoing" Mission Presidents and wives