Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Transfer Day!!! Feb. 21, 2011

Transfer Day is always a busy, busy day, but this one was HUGE.  Out of 50 companionships, 45 were affected to a greater or lesser degree.  The office Elders, Elder Driggs and Elder Jackson, planned out every step, bought every plane, train and bus ticket and assigned temporary companions and lodging for everyone.  The plans they drew up looked like battle plans for a major encounter!  Just to keep myself on track, I drew up a flow chart for myself, for Pres. Watkins and for the office Elders.  It was two horizontal pages long!

Sunday night the oficinistas picked up four missionaries who came in from the Santiago District because three of them were leaving for home and had to be here Monday morning:  Elders Hinton and Benson and Hnas. Schiffler and Sandoval.  At 11:30 pm, Pres. Watkins and I went to the airport to pick up three Elders coming from the Canaries so they could travel home or to their new areas on Monday:  Elders Hodges, Kap, and Mateer.

Hna. Schiffler, E. Benson, E. Hinton, E. Driggs (the chauffeur) and Hna. Sandoval having a late night supper of chili and corn bread.  The other three ate when they arrived.

The main body of missionaries being transferred.  A few more came later and a few moved to a different area without passing through Madrid first.  

SOME of the mountains of suitcases we moved.

More luggage

Elders Jackson and McArthur who go home NEXT transfer, saying farewell to Elder Middleton going home THIS transfer!

After we dropped off the seven who spent the night at the mission home, I ran to the train station and picked up three more coming in from the north, and dropped them off.  I picked up the Elders moving to Majadahonda and drove them to their new area, where I picked up the Hermanas leaving Maja and dropped them off at their new piso by the Temple.  Meanwhile the oficinistas took another group to the airport to send them to the Canaries and picked up another group from the Canaries and deposited them at their piso.  Pres. Watkins took the companionship opening up Fuenlabrada down to their new piso.  Then we all met back at the stake center and loaded up all the luggage of those going home and took it out to the mission home.  Phew!

The group going home had a few hours free to finish up anything they needed to do and were to be at the mission home by 6:00.  At 5:00, here they all came.  They'd rather just hang out and be together!  We ate shredded pork burritos and a huge spinach and fruit salad, with spice cake and ice cream for dessert.  We had a wonderful testimony meeting and prepared all the suitcases for the journey home.  Each suitcase has to be under 22 kilos (50lbs.)  Sometimes that requires some skillful juggling!

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant!"
Back row:  E. Middleton, Kay, Dawson, Bartholomew, Jensen
Middle row:  E. Kap, Hinton, Benson, Pte. Watkins, E. Castro
Front row:  Hnas. Sieverts, Moraza, Huntsman, Schiffler and Watkins
Tuesday morning, Pte. Watkins and I drove Hna. Moraza to the airport to catch her early flight to Malaga.  She would be at home before the USA missionaries got on their plane!  This time we rented a bus and driver to take everyone to the airport.  Very slick!  Pte. Watkins drove his van with the two extra Elders headed for the Canaries because they went to terminal 2, then he joined us in terminal 1 to say good-bye.  It never gets any easier to say good-bye to a group of wonderful missionaries.  We wish them well in this next phase of life!

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