Thursday, August 30, 2012

More Great Finishers, August 2012

We know they have to leave, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.  Each time we have these missionaries, whom we have grown to love, leave us, it is a sad day.  But we know they can't stay forever.  After all, how else are they going to find a spouse?  So here are our warmest goodbyes to these great missionaries.

Seated from left:  Elder Ellsworth (AP), Elder Pedersen, Elder Flint, Elder Bardzinski
Elder Ito (AP), Elder Numakura, Elder Ikeda, President and Sister Baird

Can you see the high regard these two elders have for each other?
Elder Koesashi (left) says Elder Numakura is one of
his favorite missionaries.  He is "cool."  And
he is a great eating machine.  

I like this picture, taken at the same spot they first met their new trainers.  
How different do Elders Flint and Bardzinski look two years later?
See post for Oct. 2010.

Elder Bardzinski is bubbly and easy to get along with and has a sincere, strong testimony of the Gospel.
One of his former companions said he was diligent, very obedient, and managed to get him up in the morning to exercise, even thought this elder didn't like to exercise in the morning. Another missionary said he could have fun while working hard.

Elder Flint hopes to study civil engineering and become an architect.  He wants to use his degree to help out less priviliged countries and design his own home.  He is a quiet observer and has a strong testimony of prayer.  He is a very determined missionary; once he decides he will do something, he will do it.

One missionary said the following about Elder Pedersen:  "He is very thoughtful about other people.  He tries very hard to make everyone happy through the Gospel.  He is willing to sacrifice his time and his talents for people who need them.  He is always happy and positive."  Elder Pedersen wants an occupation in the field of science to help make the world and church better.  He is humble and easy going and likes to help others.  He has a resolute testimony and lots of faith.

Elder Ikeda loves basketball.  Anyone who knows him thinks basketball.  But a former companion
said that during his mission, he was the best example of how to be effective and open his mouth.
He worked very hard.  He also felt that a big part of his mission was to help less-active people,
and he had a big impact in that way.
You can take a missionary away from basketball,
but you can't take basketball out of a missionary.
Elder Numakura had a special talent for organizing paperwork.  He was a pro with the area book for the mission.  He also did a wonderful job of enduring to the end, meaning that he kept working hard right to the end of his mission, and got two new investigators in the last week.  He also worked very hard to learn English, which is exactly what Japanese missionaries are asked to do.

Final feast.  Last chance to enjoy Sister Baird's famous lasagna.

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