We have had a steep learning curve. We worked vigorously the first week on learning how to use Facebook and Familysearch.org. We also went with the missionaries to teaching appointments and had them over to eat. We have 4 missionaries that live about 4 blocks from us. They are the nicest young men. They are great! We also have a district with 4 other young men and a couple. We meet once a week and the couples feed everyone after the meeting. I had my turn this week (Jan. 27) and made chicken roll ups and chocolate cake. (there weren't any left overs)
We drove to the mission office following our Tuesday district meeting for a transfer meeting. We had 23 new missionaries come to the mission and 14 go home. President Francis takes the new missionaries to the Sacred Grove as soon as he can upon their arrival. We were all waiting in the chapel for them to arrive for the meeting. As the new missionaries arrived I could see that they were scared and unsure of their new situation. They were asked to sit on the first 3 benches of the chapel. After the preliminaries of the meeting the President announced who would train the new missionary. The trainer went to the front and extended their hands and hugs to the new missionary. It was the most tender, loving experience--the new missionary was greeted with such caring and excitement. I saw the new missionaries grab hold of their trainer (like a life line) and begin their bond. It was a great experience!
We passed out Ipads to the new missionaries (every missionary has one in our mission) and then we tried to explain that they had been used and needed to be cleaned off and then they could install the things prescribed by the Church for their use. It is a wonderful program. However, the couple asked to administer the program here (us) are not very confident in what we have learned in 4 days of study.
We found out later that evening that we were to go around the mission with the President in the next 3 days; training the new missionaries on Facebook and Family search. We scrambled that night to get things ready and PowerPoint programs for the training.
Training Day 1: We went to Brockport and Westfall (not too bad and the day wasn't too long)
Training Day 2: Hornell, Canandague, Fayette, Lyons, Palmyra, and Pittsford (phew!)
Training Day 3: Orchard Park, Lewiston, Amherst, Batavia
The last one in our own district seemed to be the most spiritual. President Francis was really close to the spirit in praising the Elders for their diligence. We are part of a great District!
We are so grateful that we have Siri on our phones. She only let us down once in our travels. The address in Hornell was wrong on our papers and we couldn't find it. We finally did after asking around and praying for help.
The scenery here is beautiful! We saw large mountains, lakes, rivers, more trees than you can imagine, beautiful farm ground, and small towns. Many towns here have Indian names and names of towns from other countries; such as Greece, Holland, Naples, Warsaw, etc. We have Wyoming also.
We have also seen poverty and wealth. Batavia is a town of about 15,000 and it seems to be made up of a large amount of poverty. There are several large chains here; Walmart, Target, JC Penny, Verizon, Home Depot, Applebees, Long John Silvers, 2 McDonalds, Wendy's, and Burger King. There are several small pizza places and we have been to one called Big Paulie. It is really good and they are very nice there. There are also at least 5 hotels. The high school here is called Notre Dame--who knew? There is a nice hospital also. I think that it will be a pretty place after the winter. It is dreary and white (grey) now. There are trees that line most of the streets and it will be pretty. There are a lot of older, 2 story homes, some are in better shape than others.
I am attaching a picture of Dennis after cleaning the snow off the car and getting ready to go--his face is pretty rosy!