This has been an amazing first week in Wisconsin! We arrived Thursday, June 30 and spent two or three hours with President Raymond and Laurie Cutler. They were wonderful and so gracious. That night Jack accompanied the Assistants to a discussion and I went with the YSA sisters to visit two recent converts. They were so fun!
The next morning we visited the Milwaukee South Stake Center, which is a short distance from our home. We shook hands and talked briefly with missionaries from two zones. Then without a break we hurried over to the Madison Stake Center, which is a 90 minute drive where we met the two Madison Zone and the Wausau Zone. Then we quickly drove up to Appleton and had dinner with President and Sister (Heidi) Pleshek, the stake President. We had a delightful two and a half hour dinner sharing experiences. The next morning we were up early and drove to the Green Bay building to meet the Appleton and Green Bay Zones. We were able to meet all 180 missionaries and senior couples.
Sunday we had church and meetings with the Assistants, Elder Christian and Elder Lavering. Monday was the Fourth of July. We picked up our first missionary, Elder Velasquez at the airport and brought him to the office for a short orientation and then to meet his temporary companion until transfers on Wednesday. Then we went home to finish work at home before heading to a barbecue with an part member family. That was fun to relax for a little bit!
Tuesday Jack spend the day reading 180 email letters from all the missionaries while I cleaned, unpacked a couple boxes, did laundry, and grocery shopped for the upcoming transfer and Mission Leadership Council.
Wednesday at 7:45 am Elder Wilcock arrived for Trainer Training. Elder Velasquez arrived and we trained them both. I ran to Subway and we had a nice lunch before Elder Wilcock and Elder Velasquez went on their way. We said goodbye to Elder Lavering, who is now a district leader and met Elder DeSantes, the new assistant. Elder McDermott, a home-bound missionary came over for his exit interview. He, the assistants, Jack and I enjoyed a pesto pasta dinner. Elder McDermott spent the night at our home.
The next morning, we rose at 4:00 to take Elder McDermott to the airport. His two suitcases were both a few pounds overweight. The first Delta associate told him it would cost an extra $100 per suitcase so we went over to a scale to rearrange some weight. He took out a pair of heavy boots and we returned to a different Delta associate. Jack was very nice to her and even though he was still a little overweight she said he was fine. Jack asked if he could possibly put one boot in each suitcase and she said Yes! She said it was because we had been so nice. I called the two associates Miss Justice and Miss Mercy. As we were driving home I began to feel so sad. Even though we had only known Elder McDermott a couple days I missed having him in our mission. He was known for his uplifting spirit. He will be missed.