General Villegas is the furthest outpost of the mission. You don’t make a quick trip there to do an interview because even the best trip takes five hours, one way. Nevertheless, we did go there today for a baptismal interview and we had a great lunch with the missionaries before heading back to Buenos Aires.
As the missionaries do every Monday, they received a message in the Sol from Presidente. Of course, the thing that was different about the Sol today was that it was his last message. I have copied it below.
I want to thank each of you for your participation and kind words and acts last Wednesday during the transfer meetings. The Hermana and I were very touched by everything that happened on that special day. From the banner to the last hugs and kisses it was very special. Each of you had a part in making the day very memorable and satisfying in every way. The book of hand written letters is fantastic and so well done. We thank those who worked so hard putting it together. The other gifts and acknowledgements we received will be cherished forever. I want to recognize the office Elders and the Ashton family for their participation and organization of so much of what took place. They are very busy and I am sure worked very hard to make everything special and just right for such a special day. The spirit that we felt for you and the Lord in the final meeting and during the greeting of each of you at the end will always be remembered as a sacred and special experience for both of us. We cannot thank you enough for what you have done and most importantly who you are.
We are having a wonderful month of June. We will not see the final results until next Monday morning like you when you access your email. However, I want you to know that we will be anxious to see the results of your hard work when we read the final Sol of June 2014 next Monday morning. We have been successful in bringing many souls unto Christ and many more await your efforts to bring the plan of happiness to their homes and their hearts. We will be praying for all your investigators during this last week as we finish completing our efforts in this great work.
I have been communicating with your new mission president during the past few weeks and he and his family are excited to come to the best mission in the world. They will be anxious to meet you and begin working with you. President and Sister Robertson were set apart last Thursday by a member of the Twelve. They are beginning their first full day of training in the MTC in Provo today and will complete that experience at the end of the week. As I mentioned earlier, they will travel to Argentina on Friday and arrive here on Saturday morning. Please refrain from calling President Robertson or his wife for a few days. If you must get in touch with the mission president you may call…but try and direct your calls through the assistants if at all possible for the first few days. Remember that you are writing to President Robertson next week. I feel lucky to receive one more week of letters from each of you.
I want you to know a few things about President Robertson. I know that he has been selected by the Lord to preside over this mission at this time. He has lived his life worthy of such a calling and will be directed and guided by the Lord in all he does. Eventually President Robertson will make changes to how some things are done and what needs to be done to carry the work forward. This is a natural process that happens when there are changes. It does not mean what was done previously was right or wrong, it does mean that you are going to do it different and you are required to follow he who is called to preside over you. Give your whole heart to your mission president and trust in him in all he asks you to do. Do not make comparisons, murmur or spend time reflecting on the “good old days”… the best days of the mission are still ahead of you. Make the most of every new day, every new experience and every new direction or counsel you receive. Embrace change with a willingness of heart that will demonstrate your faith and love for your new mission president. I hope and pray for him and you that together you will be able to take the mission to new levels of success as you strive to build the kingdom here in the Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission.
During my mission in Peru I served in the office as the financial secretary when we received a new mission president. Our experience at that time in the mission and especially in the office was interesting and we learned a great deal from the experience of learning from both men. My two mission presidents were very different and came with different talents and strengths. We cherished what we learned from the first mission president and embraced the new president and his family with enthusiasm and excitement to continue learning. I loved each of my mission presidents equally and consider it a blessing to this day to have known two great men that loved the Lord. Help the new president by being the best missionaries possible in every way. Do not await his direction…move forward with what you are currently doing…his direction and love will come in time.
This work is true and the most important work that can be accomplished on this earth. God loves each of us. Jesus is the Christ. We have a living prophet on the earth today. We are disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Hermana and I love you with all our hearts and look forward to the day we meet again. We will be friends forever!