We left for the Fairfax Chapel for a 10:00 a.m. meeting. This was a incredible sight. Since Pres. and I were knew to the mission, all the missionaries were invited to this meeting. (Usually it is only for those involved in a transfer). The gym looked like the holding room at an airport. Luggage filled the whole thing. 50 companionships were affected and that is a lot of luggage. We started in the chapel and saw all 160 of our missionaries together for the first time. It was an overwhelming sight. And again they all stood when we entered as they were singing hymns. What an incredible sound, 160 young adults praising God in song. Missionaries love to sign hymns and it is always a treat to hear them. They began with prayer and spiritual thought and then had the luggage switch ( a little bit of organized chaos)
We gathered again in the chapel and I introduced the new missionaries. and then the 9 departing missionaries gave short testimonies and a piece of advice. This was a touching meeting as these missionaries who have come to the end of their service bid farewell to the rest of the mission. There testimonies were strong and vibrant and it was apparent how much they loved their missions and wanted to stay. These departing missionaries included: Sisters Brinkerhof, Winborn, Battseteg, Munkhnaran, and Elders Burton, Hansen, Swalberg, Leiser, Mackay, and VanWagoner.
President and I each spoke for 15 minutes and the Assistants introduced our theme DCTC (DC training center--Back to the Basics, (finding, teaching, and Baptizing).
The new Missionaries left safe in the hands of their trainers.