Tuesday was our last new missionary orientation. Our tradition has been to leave the mission home and go out to lunch after these meetings, to unwind after the challenging days of preparation preceding changes. We like to go to Giordino's, an oven-fired pizza place with a beautiful outdoor patio dining room. We relaxed in the sunshine and enjoyed a pizza leisurely before heading back to the office.
Today we said more good-byes at the Alamo bus station. Elder Lemus was a secretary in the office until he left and we'll miss him a lot. He has a real creative streak and brought the mission newsletter to new graphic design heights. He's heading back to Honduras and he has a list of all the food he's going to have his mom make for him when he gets home.
Elders Chicas, Callejas and Carter are all wearing their corte ties. They are made from the traditional Guatemalan corte cloth and are a favorite of the missionaries here. Despite what good young men they are, there is a bit of tie envy in the mission.
Elder Kinghorn (left) is anxiously awaiting his parents' arrival this morning from Guatemala City. They will arrive in a little over an hour to meet him, having not seen him for two years.
Hermanas Rangel and Nisthal are the only young women leaving this change.
We love being in the office when parents come to pick up their missionaries. This reunion for Elder Kinghorn was very sweet. Mothers always get the first hug.
Father/son bonding time as they prepare to leave for some touring of Guatemala. The missionaries are a little lost at first; they hardly know what to do with the free time they have when they leave the mission. Elder Kinghorn will be a missionary until he returns to his home to be released, then only two days at home before he leaves for college at BYU. Three weeks from today we'll be leaving the mission. Until then we'll be boxing up more Guatemalan goodies to mail home, as we keep finding great stuff we can't live without.