Hi - it is Laura again.
We just got a wonderful phone call from Ben's new mission president, President Young. He wanted us to know that Ben had gotten there safe and sound and then filled us in on how things were going. What a wonderfully thoughtful thing to do!!!!
Ben will be serving with a hard working, devoted trainer (Elder E) in Albany Oregon - a small town just outside of Corvalis - home of Oregon State University. Albany is about 45 minutes north of Eugene. Elder E is also the District Leader and has only been out on his mission for 6 months. Pres Young told us that the goal for his missionaries is that they be ready to become trainers at 3 months into their missions. Ben is Elder E's second missionary to train. Jim and I both think that is a great goal - Pres Young has high expectations for his missionaries and that is exciting to us. People tend to rise (or fall) in accordance with our expectations of them.
Pres Young shared a fun moment with us that both Jim and I could just picture - after Ben had gotten to the mission home (along with 9 other new missionaries) Ben attended a meeting where each new missionary was introduced to their trainer/companion. The trainer's name is announced and then the new missionary's name is announced. They are usually setting on opposite sides of the room, so when they are announced, they get up and head to meet each other in the middle of the room. Pres Young said we should have been there to see the "bear hug" they gave each other. (That is an easy thing for us to visualize of Ben.) Pres Young said that Ben and his trainer actually look a bit alike - I could tell Pres Young felt good about who he had assigned to work with Ben.
So - there were some pictures taken today that the mission president is sending us through our email tomorrow which I will post as soon as I get them.