Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Largest Transfer in Mission History (Slideshow)

On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, thirty-eight (38) newly assigned missionaries arrived from the Provo, UT Missionary Training Center.  They constituted the largest group to ever arrive and expanded the total mission population to nearly 300.

Days and days and nights and nights of prayerful pondering led to assignments of newly arrived missionaries to labor where the Lord would have them labor – and with whom. 
The ripple effects are felt almost everywhere across the mission: which new missionary will become the companion of which senior companion as his or her trainer; which ward or branch will they serve; who will replace other senior companions, trainers, district and zone leaders who are completing their missions and returning home? 

Outside the Birmingham Stake Center, everything appears to be quiet, serene and orderly.  Inside, though there’s excitement - Two groups wait with great anticipation what’s to come:

Newly arrived missionaries get their final administrative and safety briefings, yet all the while wonder about their new companions and what that ward or branch is going to be like in a place they've probably never heard of;  

Meanwhile, companionships that have been together for weeks or months ready themselves their new companions, whether fresh from the MTC or from another area.

At 10:00, the seats reserved in the front two rows of the chapel begin to fill with nervous glances as the new missionaries file in.  

President Hanks turns the meeting over to  his assistants to present the most anticipated part of the day: who’s going where, with which new companions.  As they read the names and show the pictures of each new companionship, warm and sometimes tearful embraces follow as missionaries leave the companions they’they've spent virtually every waking moment with – and sit down with their new companions. 

Later in the parking lot, seeming chaos again, but wonderful relationships are being built in new companionships in just moment.  Vehicles  are emptied and then filled, and then off to new horizons, new faces and names, new adventures, new experiences, new languages (“Southern,” being one of them) and most of all, new joys.  And the challenge to “run through the tape, everyday.”

  Unseen by cameras , the great missionary work commences almost immediately upon arrival in the area - unpacking can wait for later.  Right now, it’s no time to lay back and relax after a long day of travel and wholly new environments.  It’s time to fulfill the mission motto of “Steadfast in Christ!”


  1. Thank you to those who've set this blog up, this is fantastic!! I'm SO happy to get to 'see' a little of the mission my son has been assigned to serve in!! Again, thank you!! =)

  2. You're welcome! We'll continue to add more content each week so keep checking back!!!

  3. Thank you for this, it is a great idea and helps us parents get a little bit better picture of their life out on their missions.

  4. Thanks so very much for setting up this blog! I've enjoyed all the photos.