This post does not include a letter from Kayla. I’m just a proud dad that wanted to give an update on what has happened since leaving the Missionary Training Center three days ago. However, I will share part of the form letter that the office staff sent to me on behalf of President and Sister Porter.
As a curious parent with internet access at my fingertips, I decided to track Kayla’s flight to Cincinnati. With the snow storm that we had that day, I wanted to know if there were any delays or chances of rough weather that she would have to fly through. Well, the weather in Utah did delay the flight from leaving for about 30 minutes. But with a tail wind, most of that delay was made up during the flight. They arrived at the Cincinnati airport just 10 minutes late.
The mission president and some of the office staff were there to pick up the newly arrived missionaries. This group that arrived had 16 missionaries. It was actually one of the smallest groups to arrive in the mission since it was formed this last July.
It is evident from the look on her face in this picture that she wasn’t really wanting to have her picture taken. Why is that? Probably because it was 3:00 in the afternoon and she had already been up for 12 hours. Plus hauling the luggage around…
When they were all situated and getting ready to leave the airport, they decided to have a group picture as the newest missionaries in the Ohio Cincinnati Mission. They were joined in the picture by President and Sister Porter and the office elders that came to help.
From the airport they went to the mission home where she would spend the night. Kayla told us on the phone earlier that morning that she was really looking forward to being at the mission home and hoping that Sister Porter was a really good cook…she was ready for a home-cooked (not cafeteria prepared) meal. She didn’t mind the food at the MTC, but there definitely is a difference between a cafeteria meal and a home-cooked dinner.
There were also going to be some orientation take place while they were in the mission home. I am assuming that the orientation took place that same evening. That is the only reason I can explain everyone sitting in a group as they are in this next picture.
Or maybe they had just finished eating a really good dinner. Yeah, that must be it…look at the smiles on their faces. Or they were just so happy and excited to be there.
That night a form email was sent out to the families letting us know that our missionary had arrived. Here is an excerpt from the letter:
Dear Missionary Parents,
Your missionary has arrived in the great Ohio Cincinnati Mission! We very much look forward to the strength he/she will be to this great work. Many thanks for all you are doing to assist. Your ongoing letters of encouragement and prayers of faith are so important. We constantly ask the Lord to pour out His spirit upon our missionaries, members, and the people of Ohio and invite you to join us in daily prayers on their behalf…
We are excited to share photos with you of some of our events on Facebook! Search for our page, Ohio Cincinnati Mission.
Attached is an awesome photo of your missionary with President and Sister Porter at the Mission Home!
As a side comment to the email, they do a great job of posting pictures whenever there are zone meetings, transfers, new arrivals, departures for home, and any other reason to take a picture. I recommend you look at some of them.
The next morning was the day they would head out to their area with their new companion. Kayla has been assigned to Fort Wayne, Indiana…the city that is just about as far away from the mission home as you can go while staying in the mission boundaries.
There is a Lisa C. from the ward that Kayla is serving in that picked her up. I don’t know if Lisa drove all the way to the mission home or if Kayla had some other transportation to a drop-off point, but this is where you cue the Disney song “It’s a Small World”. Because it really is.
Lisa asked Kayla where she was from, and upon hearing that she was from Orem, asked if she knew a particular family. Well not only did Kayla know them, they live just a few houses down from us and are in our ward. Lisa happens to be the sister-in-law of Ruth E., the lady that lives down the street from us. Lisa is not only married to the younger brother of the Ruth, but her husband and I knew each other in junior high school. Well, Lisa took a picture of Kayla on her phone and sent it as a text to Ruth, who then forwarded it on to my wife. Kayla obviously was excited…or confused…or drunk…(definitely not drunk)…or something else.
Now as a father that is already glad to see his daughter had arrived safely in her mission, it gives me some added satisfaction to know that we have a connection to someone in the area that Kayla is serving in. It doesn’t mean we will have extra contact with Kayla, but we can trust that she will be well taken care of by the members.
55 years ago my dad was serving in what was then called the Great Lakes Mission. The mission home was in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He spent two different periods working in Fort Wayne, totaling about 6 months of his mission. He made comments to me at times that he really liked the Fort Wayne area, that it was his favorite mission area to serve in. I told Kayla that, so I am sure that she has some added excitement being assigned to work there. I think about how awesome it would be if Kayla met a child or grandchild of someone that my dad taught or at least knew when he was a missionary there. Not that it needs to happen, but it would be added proof to me that her assignment was guided by the Lord.
I also have a neighbor friend who served part of his mission in Fort Wayne and talks positively about it. He was excited to learn that Kayla is serving there.
So with this post I have updated the banner at the top of the blog page to show where she is currently serving. She may actually be in a suburb or Fort Wayne, which we hope to find out for sure when she emails on Monday. But I will leave the assignment city as Fort Wayne for the time being.
We know that transfers won’t happen for another six weeks, so it is pretty safe to say she won’t go anywhere before then. I think it is fairly safe to say she will be there longer than six weeks too. I hope for her sake that she is…it will allow her to establish stronger relationships with the members and investigators that she works with. This will be a great assignment.