We have 'Training Sisters' in our area...sort of the female equivalent of the Zone Elders. And they are really kept busy. In addition to their own missionary efforts, they're expected to go on exchanges with every companionship in their area....half the mission! And when you're in a correlation meeting with them, they are full of ideas and enthusiasm. Wait, am I biased?.......nope. They're amazing. The photo below is of a musical selection they pulled together for multi-zone conference yesterday. They practiced the hour previous to meeting, then sang "The Lord Is My Shepherd" in three part. Let me just say, the Elders have great respect and appreciation for this newly growing force!
Here was another moving part of yesterday's conference. The four Elders being released bore their testimonies. The Elder below is our District Leader, Elder Kuchar. I have really come to have great respect for this young man. When he gave his testimony, he said he would be sad to leave but also happy to be returning to Germany to do missionary work with his own family. He is the only member in his whole family.
I suddenly thought of how many of us come out with banners waving from family and friends and years of encouragement and support behind us. And this young man found the gospel all alone, and had the courage to serve a mission (and he's now 25!). The silence in the chapel after he closed was full of emotion from all of us.
Oh, and just so you'll know we're still a part of all this, here's a picture of us in the 'orangery' at Lyme Park (yes, Mr. Darcy's actual home!!). But that is another story!