10 July 2010

Transition - The saddest, happiest day of the mission!


How´s it going?!  Man, this week was a whirlwind, I´ll try my best to tell you what I can.  So anyway, on Wednesday we got invited by president argyle to go bowling with his kids during office time!  Haha that would only ever happen on their last day in argentina.  But anyway, we went and picked them up and went to a little bowling alley down the street.  It was probably the funnest I´ve ever had bowling.  Man, it was so cool, I love the Argyle kids, they are way fun.  So anyway, then on Thursday, the Gulbrandsens finally made it to Argentina!  That morning we cleaned up the office and got everything ready.  The Argyles went with the assistants to pick up the Gulbrandsens from the airport and took them to the mission home.  Then the two presidents had like a two hour meeting together.  From what Pres Argyle told us, they just talk about mission basics in the meeting.  So meanwhile, we were just kind of waiting around in the office for the 4 of them to come.  We had told Pres Argyle to call and give us a code word or something when they were on their way (the code was "rubber ducky") haha but he just laughed.  So anyway, then the 2 presidents and their wives showed up at the offices.  IT WAS AWESOME!!  Sister Gulbrandsen came in with sister argyle and shook everybody´s hands.  Man, sister Gulbrandsen is the coolest lady!  She has a ton of excitement.  Then, President Gulbrandsen came in and gave everybody hugs (hés like a giant teddy bear that just wraps you up in a bear hug).  He came up to me, shook my hand, gave me a huge hug, and looked me in the eyes.  He asked me where I was from and we chatted for like 30 seconds.  He did that for everybody in the room.  Then they four of them took a picture together.  Right after that, the Argyles said goodbye (Sis argyle gave handshakes, President gave hugs) and I felt more love from them than I´ve ever felt from them before.  I didn´t cry, don´t worry.  But I missed them a ton the first day.  Then, they waved goodbye and took off out the door.  That all happened within like 2 minutes!  The argyles drove to the mission home, dropped the car off, hopped in a van, and headed to the airport.  And that was the transition!!

So then we sat down in the office and had a meeting in English.  Sister gulbrandsen doesn´t speak very much spanish (but she´s learning quick) and president gulbrandsen served in mexico so he speaks mexican!  But he´s getting used to the accent as well.  He couldn´t understand me for like the first couple of hours, I had to force myself to talk like a normal spanish speaker without an argentine accent haha.  President and Sister Gulbrandsen just kind of chatted with us a little bit about their travel here and things like that.  Man, they are so cool.  Then, we got to work.  We talked about the next couple of days and President Gulbrandsen also taught us about the gospel.  Wow.  That´s all I can say.  It was amazing.  It was all in english, which was kinda weird, but it was awesome.  Just from what he´s told us, I´m positive the mission is going to change a LOT.  I mean, there a some big time changes.  Not only is President Gulbrandsen´s philosophy pretty different from President Argyles (its funny, they are so different, its impossible to compare them.  I´m sure that was the lords hand) but there are changes from the first presidency.  I´m not exactly sure about everything, but I know they involve less zone conferences per year and more training from the leaders in the mission.  The mission presidents will also be doing a lot more one on one proselyting with the missionaries.  And, the focuses of Preach my Gospel are going to change a little.  Anyway, big time changes.  As far as president goes, he´s super gung ho about working with the members.  And that´s right up my alley because I´ve wanted to do that better my whole mission.  He´s also a fan of open discussion in councils and has some AMAZING stories of revelation received from doing that as a stake president in Arizona.

So after that little meeting, we all split up.  The kroffs took sister gulbrandsen to her house to show her the way, show her how to open her front door, everything!  haha!  Then, pres gulbrandsen handed is jacket, watch, and wallet to sis gulbrandsen and went out to work with the asistants (without having slept in more than 48 hours).  We left as well to go work in our area.  Well, yesterday we had another meeting to finalize some plans and when president showed up, there was a wedding reception next door in the church.  Well, instead of walking right into the office, president and his wife went in and spent 45 minutes meeting all the members, laughing, hugging, etc.  President even got up on the stage with the microfone, introduced himself, and had everybody sing happy birthday to Elder Smith, who´s investigator had just gotten married!  Everybody loves the gulbrandsens already!!!
Then they came in and we had another meeting to finalize up some of the plans.  President also taught us.  Oh man, he´s so so powerful when he teaches.  He shared some super cool experiences.  He wants us, as the mission staff, to gain a vision for this mission, a vision of abundance.  He shared Moses 6:31-37 and some personal experiences that knocked us off our feet.  We are going to have success with President Gulbrandsen, I¨m positive.

So today they had a meet the mission conference and met a lot of the mission.  They will continue to do that this week and then start their busy schedules.  There´s still a lot of stuff going on, but I´ll keep ya in the inside scoop so you know what´s going on.  I´m so blessed to be in the office during the transition!!!  Man, I love my mission!

I love you guys, I´m praying for you.  Please pray for our new president and his wife.  Sorry I can´t tell you everything that´s been happening with lots of details.  Just stay tuned haha.


Elder Hales

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