Dear Brother and Sister Dooley ,
I wanted to update you on your son's progress so far in the mission field. As you know, his group left Salt Lake Tuesday morning early and flew all day, arriving here in Halifax around midnight. As you are aware there was considerable concern about the winter storm but it really turned out to be nothing in our area. They arrived in good spirits when my Assistants, and I met them at the airport.
After taking pictures and hunting down luggage, we took them back to the Mission Home where they were fed a late night (1:00AM) meal of chili, buns, and cookies. We have a dormitory in the basement and the upper floor of the Mission Home where we can accommodate up to 14 missionaries..
They were pretty tired when they got up and started the next day at 6:30 AM. After exercise and breakfast they had a nap before we started the day's instruction. They had the opportunity to go out and do some proselyting in the evening. They then went to bed early, got up at 5:00AM and are now on their way to their new area.
In discussion with them over the last two days , I found out a bit more about your son, your family, and his feelings about serving in the Canada Halifax Mission. During the interview, I explained to him about the various areas and about how we are organized. I told him who his first companion would be and a bit about his first area. You will get the details of that from him this coming Monday, when he writes you on preparation day.
Sister Leavitt and I feel Elder Dooley has come prepared to serve the Lord, and we will endeavor to help him have a successful mission and one of the greatest experiences of his life.
I meet with the missionaries on a frequent basis and receive a detailed letter from them every week. My Assistants, the Zone Leaders, District Leaders, Trainers and Sister Training Leaders all are focused on helping new missionaries make the adjustment to missionary life.
You can do your part by writing to Elder Dooley weekly and encouraging him in a positive manner. Detailed updates on sports teams, friends, current affairs, or unnecessary detail on problems at home tend to distract the missionaries and often cause a number of problems.
I do my best to communicate with the parents of all the missionaries on a regular basis to keep them informed of the progress of the mission in general. I do this by way of a quarterly update letter sent to you via email. We have a Facebook page called "Mormons of Atlantic Canada" where we post various information and pictures from the mission. We posted a picture of all of the new missionaries at the airport with their luggage. They are an impressive group. As well, I try to send specific updates as various areas of responsibility change. Please let us know if your email address changes.
I firmly believe the African saying, "It takes a village to raise a child," applies to missionaries as well. Each of us doing our own part will contribute to the overall success of your son's mission.
Please do not hesitate to email me any concerns or questions that you might have. May the Lord bless us all in this sacred and important endeavor.
Best regards, President Brian D. Leavitt