We got our five new missionaries their trainers. We knew that Elder Garcia would be training but we didn't find out who until Tuesday morning. Once we found out who he was, we were all excited. I feel like an uncle now or something. :) I'd like you all to meet Elder Mondragón, who will be taking my place in Nuevo Laredo. We're all excited for everyone!
The rest of the week was filled with updating things and getting ready for zone conferences next week, so I've been busy tracking down all the zone leaders and asking them what their zones need in materials. I also attended my first leadership meeting on Friday. All of the zone leaders got together in the chapel by the offices and we discussed mission things. It was a little intimidating because I've never been a leader before-- not even senior companion or anything. And now all of a sudden all of the zone leaders are looking to me for direction. I didn't really know what to expect! It was a little scary, but I don't think I messed up too badly.
We also closed two houses. This generation, 8 people went home, but only 5 new missionaries came in to replace them, so we had more houses than companionships. Elder Lopez and I went with the Bakers in a mission van and gathered up all of the materials that the missionaries had left behind. The fridge and the washing machine were particularly fun to carry. We basically just loaded as much stuff in this Honda minivan, collected the deposit, dropped off the keys, then dumped everything in the warehouse where we store all of the big mission furniture. It was a fun day. It reminded me of all the days I helped the elders' quorum move people in and out of houses. The assistants went with a member to close another house.
We ended up with three boxes of loose materials (pamphlets, pass-along cards, and other little things outside of their packages). We will probably just give them out to random missionaries that pass by the office, or we may use them in our own area. All I know is that we aren't going to run out of cards for a little while.
The big stuff like the furniture and the bulk of the materials that we order are kept in a warehouse on the side of the offices. We call it the Bodega (because "bodega" is Spanish for "warehouse". Clever, I know). There is a door behind my desk that leads to a little room where we keep some of the materials. In Elder Liddle's days, it was called the Liddle Bunker. In the days of Elder Lyon, the secretary before him, it was called the Lyon's Den. Since I have to continue the tradition, and because my name doesn't easily play into any clever puns, I'm kinda in a pickle. If any of you have any super clever names for a storage room that ties into "Schramm", I am anxious to hear them.
Anyway, the purpose of all that ranting was to show a picture of the Room Formerly Known As the Liddle Bunker. Please note the three boxes of loose materials that are cluttering the otherwise nicely organized space. There's also a rather large package for a missionary that can't fit on our little mail shelf. When I have a little time (ha!) I'll organize things a little.
Right now I'm busy getting all the materials ready for zone conferences this week. Eight of the ten zones in the mission are going to have conferences over the next four days, and I have to get them all their materials ready for when President goes there. We're also going to return to Nuevo Laredo on Friday to help one of the companionships move into a different house, so this next week is going to be chaotic--I mean fun.
The only other thing that happened this week was that we had an early Forth of July celebration with the office staff and President and Sister McArthur. We made American food (ribs, potato salad, and deviled eggs), which was very well received by everyone, including the Mexicans, Elders Enciso and Lopez. We should eat American food more often. We also celebrated Elder Enciso's and Sister Baker's birthdays, which will be tomorrow. Sadly, it's against mission rules to shoot fireworks, so this may be a rather dull Forth of July. I'll still find a way to celebrate it, even all the way down here in México.
Anyway, that's all for this week. Thanks for everything: the love, prayers, letters, and support in many other ways. I truly feel your love all the way out here.
Elder Jakob Schramm