When we were in the MTC the brethren announced that interviews would no longer be every six weeks, but would happen quarterly. All 114 new mission presidents nodded dutifully and wrote it down. The brethren paused and then said, "If you were sitting mission presidents you would have all stood up and let out a whaa hooo!" Well, after completing our first full week of interviews I think we finally fully appreciate exactly what they were referring too!
We got up early Monday morning and left our house at 7:00 for Selah, about 1 1/2 hours away. We opened with a song and a prayer with the Selah zone, then after a few words of instruction from Len, proceeded to interview 19 missionaries. At about 10-15 minutes per elder and a little longer for the sisters--you do the math! We were there for five hours with no break! We stopped for lunch at 2:30, drove home and flopped on the couch. I was asleep in 2 minutes. I couldn't believe that sitting could be so exhausting. We packed our suitcases and prepared for the week. Tues. we headed to Yakima and after another long day of interviews drove to Vancouver. We interviewed two zones on Wed., another very large zone with 24 missionaries on Thursday, another Vancouver zone Friday morning then traveled 2 hours to The Dalles in Oregon. We began with The Dalles zone at 2:30 and finished after 6:30. Oh, did I mention the nutritious lunch of Cheetos and soda while driving? We finally grabbed a burger around 7:00 and returned home at 9:30. We were totally spent. The real kicker is that we're not finished! We have four more zones this next week. I don't know how the Belnaps did this every six weeks. Now we understand why the Brethren were amused by our nonresponse of their announcement.
But I have to say, that these interviews are the best thing we've done. We get to talk to them one on one and really get to know them albeit for only a few minutes. They are wonderful, awesome and amazing. The stories they have to tell would fill a book and you would need a box of tissues because of their sweet spirits, miraculous conversions, and inspiring moments. They are our fabulous sons and daughters of Helaman who strive to obey with exactness and fulfill their purpose to invite others to Come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel. We truly love them.