Monday, August 27, 2012

Goodbyes and Hellos

Friday morning, August 17th, we had the missionaries come to our home for a Preparation Meeting and Farewell Breakfast for Sister Solorzano, who will be returning home in just two weeks.  They look amazingly fresh and alert for 7:00 am, don't you think?

They always enjoy visiting and catching up with each other.  Sister MacKenzie looks especially happy this morning - look at that smile!

Sisters Cottrell and Larson were companions in the MTC.  They both have native speaking companions now, which helps them perfect their Spanish-speaking skills.
Breakfast is served!  We enjoyed a hot casserole of eggs, sausage, and hash browns, served with cornbread, fruit, and juice. 

The kitchen here is not large, but is adequate for our needs.  We live in the home that is officially intended for the Temple President, but since he lives just a few minutes from the temple, he and his wife opted to remain in their own home.  That was nice for us - it's so convenient to the Visitors' Center - just a 3 minute walk. 

Once all of the sisters had been served, I got pictures of each table.  It takes three of them to seat everyone since we have 29 here this morning.

Table number two...

And table number 3....  These young women are so fun!

 Following breakfast we returned to the Visitors' Center for a short meeting and a picture at the Christus with our departing Sister Solorzano. 

She sat center stage as all the missionaries sang, "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again."
We have some excellent singers in our group, but tears can cause their voices to tremble a little.

Following the song everyone converges for a group hug!

I wanted one, too.  It's a long way to Nicaragua - we don't know if we'll ever see this young woman again.

To offset the goodbyes, we're always excited to say hello to new sisters.  On August 21st Sister Miller came to our mission, specifically called to work in the Visitors' Center .  Sister Miller comes from Oregon, so the oppressively hot weather here is a bit of a shock! 

Her trainer and first companion in the Mesa, Arizona Mission is Sister Dashjav.  They are destined to be a dynamic duo! 

Our other new sister is Sister Mendoza from Eagle Mountain, Utah.  She will be speaking Spanish here, which will be a snap for her since she has been bi-lingual almost since birth.

Sister Mendoza's trainer will be Sister Cottrell.  They look great together, don't you think?  (We asked Sister Cottrell how she felt about being a trainer and she replied, "I think I'm going to throw up."  We got a chuckle from her reply, but we have no worries that she'll do a great job!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Waldie Weddings at the Mesa Temple

It was a BIG day for the Waldie Family on August 10th - a day when five of the siblings were married in the Mesa Arizona Temple.  We know only one member of the family - Walker, who was an elder in the Netherlands Mission when we were serving there.  (Walker is the young man standing on the far right.)  At a luncheon for the guests of the brides and grooms, the Patriarch of the Waldie family welcomed everyone and thanked them for sharing this important day with their family.

The guests enjoyed a lovely meal of chicken salad sandwiches, fruit, salads, and lots of yummy desserts.  It was cool and pleasant in the Udall Chapel where the luncheon was held.  It certainly was thoughtful of the family to reserve the Udall building to take the pressure off the Visitors' Center - the usual place for most family members to wait while sealings are taking place in the temple.

We were delighted to visit with three other Dutch returned missionaries:  Elders Marshall, Fritzler, and Hanks.  I guess I should say Ian, Matt, and Mike now.

By 3:30 pm, all of the sealings had taken place.  These are the lovely brides and their handsome grooms.  Two of the young men are Waldies and three of the brides.  They pose on the steps of the temple for family members and several News stations to take pictures. 

ABC was one of the news channels who covered the remarkable event.  It isn't every day that a family has five children married at the same time!  We understand it even made "Good Morning America!"  The story certainly made the Arizona news channels, as well as KSL News in Utah.

This camera man was busily moving his equipment to the best location to film the brides and grooms as they walked down the sidewalk to their waiting limousine.

Here they come!  Walker and Julian are the couple in the middle.  Just as a humorous side-note:  Walker made a quick trip to our home during the lunch hour to have me repair the back of his suit pants after an accident caused him to make a large rip beside the pocket.  His jacket was the only thing preserving his modesty!

That evening we drove to East Mesa to the airplane museum at Falcon Field.  These airplanes were placed to create an entry into the large hanger where a delightful reception was being held for the newly wedded couples. 

The guests walked into the reception beneath the airplane wings.


Our Dutch missionary friends told us Mrs. Waldie made all of the cakes for the brides.  Each bride chose their own design and colors.

When the young men from Utah arrived at the Waldie home on Thursday night, Sister Waldie was hard at work decorating the various cakes.

At 2:00 am she was still putting the finishing touches on the cakes.

They are truly works of art!

Walker and Julian in their canopied reception area look perfect together.

The newlyweds didn't take much encouragement to share a kiss.  Good Luck to you both!!

 The fun airplanes on display added a their own charm.

People were milling around enjoying the ambience and the many choices of refreshments.

Another beautiful plane on display in the hanger.

It was a lovely event - so much work and planning went into it and the family and guests all seemed to have a delightful time!  This will be a day long remembered with joy (now that it's over) by the Waldie family and their friends.