Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How Do Missionaries React To Getting A New Mission President

Elder Bryson Wilding, Elder Ben Glade, New Mission President Richard Ben Canevari, and Elder Landon Cooley

When I was a missionary I had three different mission presidents.  Each mission president had his own unique style and personality.  One was a business man, one was a dentist, one was a Every three years mission presidents are changed usually on June 30th right after the mission presidents seminar.  It may take them from one to three days to arrive in their mission.  Missionaries are pretty anxious to get to know them and see how they fit in.

I thought it would be interesting to see how current missionaries who blog reacted to seeing their new mission presidents for the first time.  So I put together a few observations from missionaries to see the range of emotions or non-emotions.  Missionaries can be intimidated by the new mission president since change is hard or they can see him as someone they can get along better with.  Impressions can run the gamut.

Elder Derek Munoz of the Chicago Illinois Mission said:
I haven't met the new mission president yet, but it is now officially the Chicago Illinois Mission! another big change. we have a meet and greet this week on friday. so i should be able to tell you a little more next week. it's going to be... different... but i know i'll love the new mission president. i just thought President and Sister Roach were so amazing. I'll miss them!

Elder Robert Prina from the Hawaii Honolulu Mission says:

We got a new Mission President last Friday, President Dalton from California, I haven't been able to meet him yet but he will have a district meeting with us on Friday and interview us. That is cool that you and I got new mission Presidents at the same time Rob. It will be difficult parting with President Peterson. All the missionaries loved him, he was like my dad on the mission. But I am excited to work with this new President and get a clean slate.

Elder Jonathan Oviatt of the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission describes his feelings toward the outgoing mission president:

Anyways, my family asked all about the last transfer meeting and President Martineau leaving and about my new companion. Things were awesome. It was a really neat meeting and I think grandma and grandpa hit the nail on the head, it definitely was very bitter sweet. All of the elders who came in with me are just solid missionaries and we really grew to love and respect President Martineau. We all looked like a bunch of babies with all of our red puffy eyes but it was worth it. President Martineau and Sister Martineau are incredible people and it was a blessing to be able to serve with them in this mission. President gave the leaving talk that he usually gives to all the missionaries who are leaving the mission. The talk was about the things that they need to keep doing as the return to the real world in order to keep the change of heart that occurred in the mission. It was great advice and its a blessing to be able to try and develop these habits now so the adjustment wont be as hard in the future!

Anywho, our new mission president. President Alvarado, touches ground tonight at about 7 o'clock. When that happens the missions will be officially combined and we will be the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission (lose the West) with President Alvarado as our mission president! We are all really excited to work with him as well. He is such a great man and he is going to work wonders here.
Sister Katy Talbot from the Virginia Norfolk Mission got a former Area Authority Seventy as her new president:

We just met our new mission president, Pres. Perry (formerly an Area Seventy out west) and so cross your fingers that he also will keep all sisters in cars. Haha I might melt out there if not. It makes for a funny day though. Some of the houses are pretty warm, but our half of the house is the hottest though. The night I hurt my finger it was 85 degrees in our rooms.

The Perry's are very nice. His wife is funny and I think will be quite involved. They have 2 daughters here (Eliza, 14 and Emma, 11) and they are just so cute. One of them is blonde. Yay! Of the 28 sister missionaries, only 3 of us are blonds. Weird! There were a lot more when I came out I think. Pres. Perry knows a lot of the General Authorities, so he drops a lot of big names. Maybe he'll be able to get some of them out here to speak to us! He is already starting to make some changes, but the ones for now are from SLC, not just him. The first order of business is that P-Day will now be on Monday.

Elder Ross Matthew Watkins, of the California Los Angeles Mission in his Tuesday, 6 July 2010 email wrote:

We met our new mission president on Saturday! He seems like a really nice guy. His name is President Baker, and his wife's name is Sister Baker haha, and together they are President and Sister Baker. Sister Baker seems pretty shook up by everything, but President Baker is doing really well. They have lived all over the place, including Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., and Utah. They were living just outside the boundaries of our mission when they were called to serve here, so they aren't too far from some of their family. They came to the soccer activity yesterday. He knows my name too! He has been studying everybody's names so he knows all of his missionaries.
On Monday, 5 July 2010 Elder Nick Holton of  Chile Santiago West Mission wrote:

Friday: Now this was a huge day. First off We had to go meet our new Mission President. We had to leave the house at like 7:45 to be there at 8:45 and we were still five minutes late. He is huge. He´s 6 foot 5 inches and he is as broad as Ed Kehl just ripped. It was kinda hard to give him a hug. Plus He has an incredibly deep voice. His Wife I´ve actually already met in the MTC. She´s pretty cool too. The interview went good.

Sister Stephanie Smith, one of the officially blogging missionaries of the New York Rochester Mission wrote:

So my life is subject to change every six weeks.  Yes, its stressful but I have grown to love it.     I‘ve come to learn that change is good.  I would’ve missed out on a lot of awesome experiences if I rarely got transferred or nothing ever changed.  Also just recently we got a new mission president.  That was a BIG change.  I did not want the last mission president to leave.  At the time I would have been perfectly fine with no change.  Inevitably the old one left and the new one came.  BUT I have already learned so much from the new mission president.  I have learned things that I probably wouldn’t have if things did not change.
 Elder Michael Piercy of the Armenia Yerevan Mission wrote:

Thursday was an interesting day because it was President Dunn’s last day and President Carter’s first day. We didn’t see President Carter of course, he was super busy with President Dunn for the few hours they had together. We had a long day though of walking around. It was a bit of a hard day since nothing worked out for us and we ended up pounding the streets for the entire day, but it was good for us and gave us the time we needed on the streets!

Friday was our first day under the direction of President Carter. President and Sister Dunn left early that morning and now it is all the Carter’s show. We are excited to see how things go and know that nothing bad will come from a mission president switch. Things may be different, but not bad.

Elder Jared Garrick of the Washington Kennewick Mission said this about President and Sister Len Greer that served with me in Elder Ballard's CTM mission:

Well I had a pretty good week last week. I hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Ours was pretty good. Well I guess I'll start off talking about our new mission president. On Wednesday we drove down to Walla Walla and met President and Sister Greer. It just seems so weird to me because they don't know anything about me whereas President and Sister Belnap knew everything about me. They were really nice though. They told us of their MTC experience. They were only there for about 3 days. They said that for the first 2 days they were with at least 1 member of the 1st Presidency all the time. They were trained by almost all of the Quorum of the 12 except for 2 of them. On Sunday they had sacrament meeting and the whole 1st Presidency was there. They said that there was such a power when they all walked in. You could feel the spirit as the prophet and his counselors walked in. That would be an amazing experience. Well President and Sister Greer told us about themselves. Sister Greer is awesome. She is very outgoing and funny. President Greer is great too. I think he was just on a spiritual high from the MTC because he was very emotional haha. He will be great for this mission. They did tell us that there were going to be some changes that were going to take place that are coming out from the 1st Presidency. Unfortunately, they didn't tell us what any of those changes are going to be. There is a rumor that the Mission home and office might change to the west side of our mission over in Vancouver. So if that were to happen I wonder if they would change the name of the mission to the Washington Vancouver Mission?

 Outgoing Mission President Alan Perriton, Incoming Mission President Mark Furniss,Sister Julie Furniss

President Alan Perriton of the Korea Daejon Mission has a mission custom of pranking the incoming mission president:

A little bit of fun was enjoyed by the Passing of the Cellphone ceremony, which signifies the passing of the mantle of stewardship from the departing President to the newly arrived President. At the moment the cellphone is in the hands of the new President, it rings. The AP's stage a call to report a big problem of a runaway companion. After a moment of panic, the Elders return to the room as they continue to talk on the phone, and the joke is revealed. Elder Anderson tried to beg forgiveness with the lowest bow possible, but was still threatened by banishment to the nether corners of the mission!
 Sister O'Bryan, a missionary in the same mission said about the new mission president above: "We received a new mission president this week which is pretty exciting, he seems really humbled at the opportunity and a little bit overwhelmed, but I suppose that's to be expected." 

 It is interesting the perspective missionaries have about getting a new mission president.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Wow this is awesome, I didn't realize that there is so many other missionaries with blogs! Thanks for posting my stuff I've been trying to get the word out.