I want you guys to have a small look into what transfer weeks are like here in the offices in Argentina. So here is a day-by-day lowdown:
Sunday. Let the games begin. We wake up and go through our normal routines just as if it were a regular Sunday. Towards late afternoon, however, all of the old missionaries make their way to the mission home. Our mission has large boundaries, and for some missionaries, the travel time exceeds eight hours. By 8:00 pm, the missionaries have arrived, more excited than ever. We offer them some food and usually end up talking about experiences or random events. Like normal, all of the zone leaders call in with their data from each companionship, and we update all of the files on our computers as they call. So for the most part, Sunday is pretty regular and not much different than any other week.
Monday. This is pday, and we do everything like normal as well. Usually all of the older missionaries hit up main centro, where they buy tons--and I mean TONS--of souvenirs for their families. Sometimes they go to tour/site-see throughout town and by the river. As office workers, sometimes we get invited and accompany them on the adventures. We usually have big assignments for the week and usually can´t go, but it´s the thought that counts :). Then night hits. All of the older missionaries have a special dinner and ceremony with the president and his wife. The assistants are extremely busy, and they hold a special testimony meeting. It´s just a great pday, for both the missionaries going home and for us here in the offices. Before going home, they also receive special memory packets that we prepare and some other letters and official papers for their bishops, families, and stake presidents. There are also other small details, but I have to move on.
Tuesday. The special transport van arrives to the mission home around 11:00 am, and we all sing "God be with you till we meet again" in Spanish and say goodbye to the leaving group of missionaries. This moment is always a mix of excitement, tears, hugs, and more. It´s really powerful, and even though we get all caught up in our jobs and everything, moments like this make us remember our purpose as missionaries and why we came in the first place. After they leave, we start to prepare everything for the new missionaries, which later come in in waves of anywhere from five to 30. At least we know in advance! We prepare food, the workshops, rooms in the mission home, talks, interviews, the beds, and basically everything. Finally, we finsih everything and wait anxiously until the new ones arrive. The van usually pulls up around 3:00 in the afternoon. We get all the suitcases unloaded and help all the new missionaries get situated into one of the main rooms. Behind the scenes, everything is crazy and nuts, but we make it look really good and professional in front of all the new Elders and Sisters. They have a workshop first, get to know the president, have a special dinner, get to know us office workers, go to the police station with me and the secretary for official paperwork, and have a testimony meeting as well.
Wednesday. This is probably the craziest day of them all. It´s filled with workshops, interviews with the presidet, presentations from the financial clerk and the assistants. Plus, all the trainers travel to the mission home this day! Once they all get here, all the companionships get introduced to each other. Then we all eat!!! Last time we had over 50 people eating a HUGE lunch. I helped the president´s wife in the kitchen with Elder Hull, my current companion and secretary to the mission. We made all of the fried onion rings! After lunch, they take tons of pictures--somtimes for almost an hour. After a few more meetings and a special ceremony with all the newly formed companionships, everybody leaves the mission home, off to their respecitve areas to begin the adventure. Finally, we as missionareis have some time to leave and do some normal missionary work with our investigators. It just depends.
Thursday. Cleanup day. I don´t even have to describe this one, as Im sure you all can imagine the remains after all these activities. It takes forvever to clean everything up. We sometimes all eat together just here in the office to celebrate another successful transfer week. haha.
Friday-Saturday. Catch up days. We have to try and do all of our normal weekly duties in just two days. This can be stressful, especially for the financial clerk, as we all get pretty backlogged. Basically the week itself is a long adventure full of fun and stress.
So there you have it! This next upcoming week is transfer week, so I will be SUPER busy. I will still try to write at least a cultural note or something! Thanks for all of your support like always. You guys are the best. Thanks!
Elder Rory Jones