Thursday, August 22, 2013

A New Look and Important Visitors

And now, for the exciting conclusion of the "Bowl" Saga.  The leveling of the new soil was where we left off in last week's post.

The gardeners spent several days getting this step perfected.  The foundation needs to be smooth and free of stones or holes when the new grass is laid.
After dark on Tuesday, August 13th, two huge trailers of sod was delivered to the temple grounds.

By morning there were pallets of grass located all over the area, and the temple gardeners had started laying sod on the western rim in preparation for the volunteers to arrive in the evening.

Another truckload of sod was unloaded during the day.

About 6:30 the young men and women started to arrive and were put right to work.  Girls worked as hard as their male counterparts in the hot sun.  This was not an easy task but these young people were troopers!

Hey!  Here are two familiar faces!  Sister Weedman and Sister Finau joined their ward's YM and YW in helping with this huge service opportunity.  We can use everyone!

The young people and their leaders did an outstanding job.  What a great church we belong to!!! 
By dark the young people had laid half the bowl.  Their combined efforts made the task go quickly.

Already we can see a huge difference from the front doors of the Visitors' Center.

One more night of donated labor and VOILA! - the job is completed.  What a beautiful new look!  (And this is more what we're used to ---- brown is just not as pretty as green.)

A wonderful treat was in store for our mission on August 12th and 13th when Elder Craig Cardon from the First Quorum of the Seventy came to our mission to teach and uplift the elders and sisters.  (He is standing farthest to the right with his wife to his right.  Next to Sister Cardon is Elder Wright, our Area Authority, then Sister Jenkins, President Jenkins, and President Ahlstrom - President Jenkins First Counselor in the Mission Presidency.)  Before the meeting began, all missionaries were invited to come forward and shake Elder Cardon's hand.  He had each person tell him where they were from and how long they had been serving.

 Between sessions this picture was taken in the cultural hall.  This group represents half of the Arizona Mesa missionaries.  The other half attended the Mission Tour on Monday.  We currently have around 140 missionaries, but will be receiving a large new group on August 27th.  Eventually our complement will total around 250 missionaries.

Another important visitor arrived at the Visitors' Center from the Missionary Department on Monday evening, August 19th.  This is Melanie Cottam, Manager of Field Operations for all of the Visitors' Centers in the church.
Our sisters congregated on Tuesday morning at 7:00 am to receive training and instructions from Sister Cottam.  Our choir enjoyed sharing a rendition of "Consider the Lilies" to begin the meeting.
Melanie's training was well received by our sisters.  She has such a warm, fun personality and sincerely complimented our missionaries on the fabulous work they're doing here at the Mesa Temple Visitors' Center.
Sister Cottam enlisted Sister Weedman to help illustrate the process of greeting new guests as they come into the Visitors' Center.  As you can see, there are a lot of things to be considered.

 Following the training the sisters enjoyed 'fruit soup' and banana, zucchini, and pumpkin breads for breakfast.  They like this part of the training almost as much as the actual meeting.
Wednesday morning we were back at the center bright and early (7:00 am again) for more training.  We practiced, evaluated, and re-practiced all we had been taught the day before. 

The Christus area is such a beautiful place to learn how to be more effective as missionaries because the spirit is especially sweet in this area.
We took the opportunity to get a group picture with Sister Cottam and all of the sisters and couples who are serving here at the center.  This has been a very helpful training - we wish she could come at least once a month.

Following the group training, Sister Cottam set up a telephone conference with two men from the missionary department and the MTC who are in charge of the I-pad test program.  Our sisters had a lot of questions that they were able to discuss with these brethren.  It helped a TON!

Melanie shared some final counsel with Sister Valladares and Sister Miller, our VC trainers, before leaving for the airport to return to Salt Lake City.  Thank you SO MUCH for coming and please come again very soon.

1 comment:

  1. Sister Beckstrand

    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog!! My son, Elder Bigler is one of those amazing new missionaries, along with his companion Elder Long, coming to Mesa on the 27th. I hope to see an amazing picture of all of them like you had last transfer. It has been wonderful to see what is happening in Mesa. Do you know if Sister Jenkins has a blog?? It would be great if she did!!