Terry and Janet

Terry and Janet

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Missionaries on the Move... With our Expert, Elder Andersen

Elder Andersen's Turn to Write...


Once every six weeks, the missionaries wait with anxiousness near their phones for the call from the Zone Leaders with the big news of if they are staying or going! Who their companion will be, and in what area they will serve.

The process of the changes begins long before the calls go out. President Turk, holding the Priesthood Keys to guide missionary work here in Trujillo, prays and fasts seeking revelation to put missionaries where the Lord needs them. He uses a large board called the “Change Board” with the pictures of each missionary grouped into companionships, districts, and zones.

When he has finalized his decisions, he informs the office and the planning begins. Although normally only ¼ of the mission changes areas in a normal change, when you think about their companions, those that are finishing their missions, and those that are arriving it is quite the event. The office plans up to 12 weeks in advance planning for this one day, making sure that all goes smoothly.

Here is a real example from this last change we had two weeks ago!

Elder Williams was in Chimbote winding down his two years and preparing to return home…

Elder Prebe was sitting in the CCM of Lima, just waiting to leave for the airport and to arrive in his new mission…

Elder Lopez was sitting in his room in Huaraz when the phone began to ring…

Elder Munson has been in Casma… who will his new companion be? Will he stay or go?

Hermana Bigler wanted to know what was happening with her trio of Sister Missionaries… RING!


Bus tickets had been purchased, food had been planned, the phone calls were made, and everyone was informed.


Change phone calls are made and the mission is informed who stays and who goes… The carefully planned and orchestrated chaos begins.

Elder Williams climbs in his bus and heads in to Trujillo for his final interview with President. He will be picked up by a companionship to eat, shower, and prepare.

Elder Prebe just keeps waiting…

Elder Lopez has a change! He is headed to the Primavera Zone! He begins packing his bags.

Elder Munson is headed from one side of the mission to the other, from Chimbote Sur to Pacasmayo!

Hermana Bigler is staying, but both of her companions are headed out! She is left to help her new companion.

Tuesday - Finishing Missionaries head home, new ones arrive!

Elder Williams -- With his interview over, he and the 19 other missionaries leaving the mission are carefully reviewing their flight plans and packing their bags to avoid paying overweight. They have collected a lot of things these last 2 years.

Elder Prebe climbs into the bus headed away from the Lima CCM, he doesn´t know much about what lies ahead but has trust that the Lord will take good care of him.

Elder Lopez climbs into a bus for an overnight ride from Huaraz to Trujillo he will arrive early the next morning!

Elder Munson has his bags packed. He has never met his new companion Elder Martinez but knows that they will get along great!

Hermana Bigler has taken great mental notes of the progress of their investigators and is helping her two companions get ready to leave.

Elder Williams is passing through security getting ready to fly home, Elder Prebe is getting off, finding his luggage and meeting President Turk for the first time!

Wednesday – CHANGE DAY!

Elder Williams arrives home to the Salt Lake airport and is greeting by his waiting parents!

Elder Prebe is in trainings all morning… Health, letters, contacting, a message from Pres. Turk and some basic mission standards… It is a lot to take in, and all in Spanish!

Elder Lopez arrived early this morning but was greeted by a companionship who took him to their room, got him something to eat and a warm shower. He will meet his new companion at the change meeting!

Elder Munson climbs on a bus in Chimbote for 2.5 hours headed to Trujillo.

Hermana Bigler and her companions head off to the Change meeting to say goodbye and to find Hermana Cruz.

Elder Prebe in the change meeting is shown a photo of his new trainer, Elder Wright and greeted by his new Zone Leader who will help him get to his new area in Cajamarca!

Elder Lopez goes with his new companion by taxi to his new area here in Trujillo.

Elder Munson climbs on a second bus, headed out of the city to the opposite direction on his way to Pacasmayo!

Hermana Bigler heads back to her area with her new companion to set goals, plan for the change and get to work!

Elder Prebe waits… and waits… he eats some wonderful rotisserie chicken in the office waiting for his bus to Cajamarca.

On this last change day, over 100 travel plans were made. Bus and plane tickets were purchased, visa documentation for both the entering and leaving missionaries was prepared. Down to the minute plans were made for food, and rest for each of the traveling missionaries. Checklists are made and checked twice to make sure that nothing is forgotten. Direct coordination is made with the Lima CCM and the many other individuals that make food, open chapels, and provide transportation for the missionaries and visitors. It might be enough to make your head spin, but it is our life here in the mission and we love it.


Elder Prebe finally gets to Cajamarca and meets Elder Wright, his Trainer!

Plans for the next change are already underway.