Each mission receives a visit annually from a general authority. This week, Elder LeGrand Curtis and his wife Jane spent 2 1/2 days in the mission and then were the visiting authority for the Rochester Stake's semi-annual conference. In a whirlwind of activity, they visited the mission home, mission office, church sites, the Palmyra Temple, and a missionary apartment, attended the Mission Leadership Meeting, and spoke at missionary conferences in Palmyra and Buffalo. There were probably some other activities I was not aware of.
Thursday, Sister Jones and the Spencers helped with the Palmyra Conference and I manned the office. Friday we all went to Buffalo and Sister Kennedy, a past office missionary, took care of the office.
Here are the Buffalo North Zone missionaries with the Curtises and the Evans:
And here is Buffalo South Zone:
The main assignment for the office staff during the tour is to prepare the snacks for the break period. This takes about the same amount of time and effort as preparing a full meal for the missionaries. This is partly because some missionaries don't eat before the meeting anticipating lots of food. The before and after pictures show that the table is pretty much picked clean.
The Spencers and we had a very special experience Thursday evening joining the Curtises and President Evans for supper after a very long day. The Curtises had returned three months previous from an assignment as Area President for West Africa for 5 years. During that time, they had to deal with the Ebola crisis including evacuating the missionaries from Liberia and Sierra Leone while still continuing normal operations in addition to relief work for the sick and afflicted. They shared several stories of miracles in lives and the work of the church during this period.