We arrived at the airport first thing this morning to meet our most incredible missionaries. I have been like an expectant mother waiting for and thinking about the elders that we met in the MTC. We have been so busy the past 7 weeks, but they have held fast their place in my heart.
And they arrived with the most incredible story!
For just a little background, when we were at the MTC we were given a list of the missionaries that would be coming to our mission. President Benton had previously sent us a list as well. However, the evening we met them, we had an extra missionary, Elder Nesbit. We joked around with him a little bit and told him that he didn’t exist and carried on with our meeting.
Yesterday, when the elders got to the Salt Lake airport, Elder Nesbit was told that his carry-on luggage was a little too big. He set a packet of papers on a shelf near where he was standing and proceeded to move a couple of items from one suitcase to another. When he turned back to get his papers…they were missing, including his passport!
Of course, he thought that he had put them elsewhere and searched all of his pockets and then all of his bags and then checked with his 24 traveling companions, all to no avail—at which point, he talked with one of the agents.
She started asking questions, but pretty soon, so much time had gone by and the luggage people told him it was now, or not on this flight for his luggage. In an act of faith, he told them to send it.
Meanwhile, Elders Kent and Kimball had noticed a young man placing “church travel documents” in his backpack. When the agent began to question them, they hesitated because they didn’t want to be false accusers, but they said that it did seem a little odd that he was wearing a t-shirt. When she asked for a description of the person, they said, that he was standing just at the top of the stairs. She went over and asked him to empty his backpack,
and…sure enough…he had the papers and the passport. We are so grateful that Elder Nesbit arrived safely in Argentina with the rest of the group, considering the fact that not only did he not exist…he didn’t have a passport either!
P.S. “The thief” also traveled. The elders said that it was more than a little weird seeing him sitting there on the plane with them.
Eleven of the elders on the flight were ours, and after loading up their luggage in the cold and rain, we went to the CCM, aka the MTC in Argentina. It is next to the only blue temple in the world. Of course, they are in the process of renovating it and we keep assuring the taxi drivers and others that ask, that it WILL be white again, eventually.
We picked up 8 more elders. Four of them are waiting for visas to Venezuela. We would be quite thrilled to have them permanently in our mission and are happy they are ours for now, at least.
We showed them some mission orientation videos and Presidente interviewed each of them while they did some paperwork. After lunch, meaning around 5:00pm, we went to the mission offices.
The reinforcements sat on the left side of the chapel, their trainers sat on the right side of the chapel and they all waited for Presidente to announce the companionships;
at which point, they met with an abrazo and moved to the center pews.