Dear Brother and Sister Ellsworth,
We wanted to send you a quick message to let you know how excited we are to work with your son in the Japan Sapporo Mission. All of the Sendai missionaries arrived safely in Sapporo within approximately 24 hours of hearing the decision of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to relocate the Sendai and Tokyo Missions’ missionaries. It was a major undertaking with miraculous results to gather all of the missionaries in the Sendai area, charter buses, secure train tickets, purchase airline tickets and deliver them safely to Sapporo. Many of them arrived with only the clothes on their backs and their backpacks. Others brought most of their belongings. The last group arrived late on Thursday evening with President and Sister Tateoka and Elder and Sister Choi.
On Friday morning, the missionaries were able to gather together as an entire mission and say goodbye to President and Sister Tateoka. President Tateoka has the priesthood keys for most of the members in Sendai who were most severely impacted by the recent events. Elder Choi informed the missionaries that the priesthood keys for the missionaries have now been transferred to President Daniels and the Sapporo Mission. This will allow President and Sister Tateoka the ability to dedicate their full time attention to the extensive needs of the members. We then had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with the Sendai Missionaries and quickly came to appreciate the strength of their testimonies, their dedication to the gospel and their musical talent. They will be great additions to the work in Sapporo.
On Saturday, we brought in all of the Sapporo Missionaries to Sapporo and had a Mission Conference. It was wonderful to have all of the missionaries together. We discussed the missionary work in Sapporo, introduced the new missionary structure and announced each individual transfer. Planning this transfer was another witness to us that the Lord is in charge of this work and continues to lead and guide our efforts – right down to the individual missionary. The two missions are now completely integrated with a Zone Leader from each mission leading the zones and actually more District Leaders from the Sendai Mission than the Sapporo Mission leading the individual Districts. We are excited to see the surge in the work as we prepare for the temple that has been announced for Sapporo.
We are sensitive to the intense love and feeling the missionaries have for the Sendai Mission, the members and their investigators. We do not intend to replace those feelings, but to built on top of them additional experiences that they will grow to love Sapporo and the people here. We hope that the missionaries will be able to return soon to Sendai but were instructed to integrate them fully into our mission. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with all of the people in Japan that have been impacted by all of these disasters....
Please know that we will love and take care of your son just like one of our own children. We appreciate your love, prayers and sacrifice on behalf of your son and all of the missionaries.
President and Sister Daniels