Mi querida familia,
The 7 week transfer is almost over, and yesterday we got transfer calls. I will be staying here in Quail Creek (que bien!) with Elder Beus (who was my companion a little less that a year ago back in Clinton) and Elder Kennedy is getting transferred....to Idaho. Yep, his 2 years are up this Wednesday. It's been very interesting to see what it's like for a missionary during his last transfer. Aside from all the "trunky" jokes that we all tease him with occasionally, he has remained very diligent and focused on the work. He's got such great charity. I used to think that it doesn't really matter too much if a missionary says good-bye to the people in his area because people shouldn't be getting too attached to the missionaries anyways, but my perspective has changed quite a bit. A simple good-bye means a lot. It's an act of love a charity when done properly. It's a good way to seal the friendship you've formed and bear your testimony to them. Sure, people aren't supposed to get solely attached to the missionaries, but there is some level of attachment that has to happen I guess. This work is a work of love and we're supposed to form loving relationships with those we serve. Good lesson for me, because I tend to try and avoid getting to personal with people because of fear and shyness.
The week was slow. We called and set up so many appointments in advance, scheduled members, and they all fell through. It's interesting, even though we didn't see the desired results, I don't feel as discouraged as perhaps I would have felt a few years ago. Failure doesn't seem to matter any more. We did our part. Maybe we could have talked to a few more people, but it's all in the Lord's Hands. We share the burden with him.
Went on exchanges with Elder Finlinson! ( from Brighton and our stake) What a great missionary! His spanish is incredible and he has some massive bike-pedaling legs...I could hardly keep up with him:) His got wonderful charity for the members of the Branch. I'll try and send pictures.
One of the highlights this week for me was a lesson we taught to our recent convert Candice. What an incredible lady! She is formerly Catholic, but she had a Mormon friend that invited and fellowshipped her into the Church. And she is solid. A few days back we taught her the Plan of Salvation but this time going a little more in depth with the more unique parts of the Gospel (Pre Earth life, Spirit World, Exhaltation etc) We used the Pearl of Great Price (I love the Pearl of Great Price, it ties up so many loose ends and answers so many questions) and Candice just loved it. It was a great experience for me because sometimes people criticize the truly unique aspects of the Doctrine, but as we taught and testified, I truly felt the Holy Ghost backing up our words. We were teaching truth. We did exist with our Father in Heaven before this life and this life is a probationary time for US to se if we will be faithful and live up to the inheritance that our Father has in store for us. Jesus Christ makes it possible through his Atonement!
I'm looking forward to next transfer and I'm also a little nervous. Our Zone is getting dissolved and we are merging with another Zone. Elder Beus and I will have responsibility over 25 missionaries instead of 15 from the past Zone. A lot more logistics...ahh! But a lot more people to love which is great! Keep me in your prayers because this next transfer is definitely going to bring some growing pains for me:)
Happy Birthday to Jane! She is such a cute dancer I hope she will want spend even half as much time with me as she does with you all. You are such a wonderful family to me. I was especially touched with the video of Jane blowing out her candles. She had some trouble and at one point almost gives up on the second candle....yet someone kindly encourages her to "blow harder" and she took courage and blew out the last two candles! It's such a small detail, but I think it's packed with significance. Christ is our older brother and he is always just encouraging us to "blow a little harder" endure a little longer and we will be successful.
I know this gospel is true. Progression is God's plan. This church is truly the Lord's kingdom on the earth.