Sunday, August 30, 2015

Transfers: Gone, But Not Forgotten

By Rodger Dean Duncan

We've commented many times how much we love and appreciate the young(er) missionaries here in Waco. Their devotion and spiritual focus provide a good model for anyone of any age.

Our daughter Rachel said this photo reminds her of the classic painting 
American Gothic. (Minus the pitchfork, plus the happy friends and frog.)
We become very attached to these young people. Although we operate on our own schedule of meetings, community service and teaching appointments, we see them several times a week. Each Tuesday we have either a District Meeting or a Zone Council Meeting. Then of course there are baptisms on Saturday and Sabbath meetings (almost all day) on Sunday. In addition, we often invite the missionaries to our apartment for meals.

This coming week is another round of transfers. As reported earlier, a transfer is when some of the missionaries are sent to serve in other areas of the mission. Our Texas Fort Worth Mission ranges from the Red River (Oklahoma border) on the north to beyond Killeen which is about an hour south of where we are in Waco. Our mission includes about 250 full-time volunteer missionaries. (Our church has 90,000+ missionaries worldwide.)

Rean certainly knows how to prepare a delicious and
healthful meal. This meal of salmon, roasted vegetables,
steamed kale, and brown rice with caramelized onions
greeted some of our guests last week.
As part of the frequent "redeployment of troops," the two elders who have been serving in the Waco Second Ward are being reassigned to serve in the Fort Worth area. Now the elders who've been serving in the Young Single Adult Branch here will also serve in the Waco Second Ward. That will be a challenge, but they are up to it. As you may recall from previous posts, Rean and I serve in two wards and a branch (three different congregations), as well as in the overall Waco Stake which includes eleven congregations consisting of several thousand members. We will serve here throughout our year-long mission. We have gained many treasured friendships here, and will sorely miss these wonderful people when we return home to Missouri in December.

We stay in touch with several of the missionaries who previously served with us in Waco. If they're still on their mission, we communicate by text. If they've returned home, Facebook seems to be their favorite medium.

Home Teaching, Visiting Teaching

As a community of covenant-makers, Latter-day Saints have agreed (both individually and collectively) to "watch over" or help each other. Much of this can come in the way of effective home teaching and visiting teaching. In fact, nearly every key performance indicator in a ward or stake can be linked to the quality (and quantity) of home teaching and visiting teaching.

In recent months we have helped reactivate a wonderful lady who's a delight. She's 81, but has the energy and vitality of someone half her age. She's highly intelligent and funny. We enjoy her company and friendship.

To ensure that she gets the appropriate level of "customer service," we have arranged to be her home teachers, and Rean will be her visiting teacher. This will entail an additional load on our schedule (we anticipate multiple visits each month), but that's perfectly okay with us.

Fried catfish and hushpuppies may not be as elegant as
Rean's salmon dish, but the meal brought back great
memories of my grandmother's cooking.
Fish Fry and Football

Last week we mentioned plans to attend a fish fry and football game. We were guests of a man we're teaching the gospel. His community group holds a fish fry on every fourth Friday between April and October. The funds raised are used to support children's hospitals. We loved being with many nice people (what great manners these Texans have!), and Rean even survived the football game (the weather was relatively moderate and we sat in the shade).

Coming Activity

In addition to missionary lessons, this week marks the beginning of a round of community speeches, training workshops, and fireside talks.

We're blessed to be busy. And it's astounding to us that our mission will be complete in only 15 more weeks.

1 comment:

  1. That food does look delish!

    You both are such wonderful people. Wherever you go, people are so blessed to interact with you. Don't you forget it! :)

    <3 Virginia Smith

    p.s. I LOVE that quote by Sister Hinckley!!! :)