Sam, Elder Inman and Elder Thatcher
The really big group is the surprise going away dinner for me and of Course my comp is in there.
The Reitz and me, one of my fave fams
Group pic is my district this last trans(....I'm really wondering about some of the style choices...)
The Haughts and me, another fave fam
This has been a very emotional week for me, and it has required a lot of prayer. It is still a week I will always look back on with gladness, but there were moments when I had to just stop and pray for strength to accept my Father in Heaven's will. Here it goes:
- I am being transferred... We got transfer news on Saturday night, and as we were walking to our apartment my companion jokingly said that I will be sent to Eldorado, which is north east Albuquerque.
So finally we got the call about our transfer news and I am being sent to Eldorado, a biking area, with my new companion Elder McCarroll. I was crushed and decided to splurge with some ice-cream and then went strait to bed after praying for the strength to go into the companionship with excitement and an open mind. The next day, of course, was the Sabbath and during testimony meeting the spirit filled me and it was confirmed that the assignment I had received really is inspired and it will help me grow into a better missionary and there are people who need our companionship to grow closer to Christ. It is so much easier to say I have faith when everything is going great, but my faith has grown so much more through a trial as small as this. I am beginning to understand what Joseph Smith Jr meant when he said to be thankful for trials.
- During testimonies Jeremy and his friends who brought him into the church, Brendan, stood up and bore beautiful testimonies. Jeremy testified of the truthfulness of the gospel and about the trials he has gone through because of the severe opposition coming from his family. Last week his Uncle came up to him and handed him some papers for him to sign saying that he will be re baptized Catholic because of his mistake being baptized LDS. Jeremy took the papers and threw them away in front of his uncle and walked away. He said that he felt fine at the time but then later broke down crying because of the pressure he has been receiving. Please say a prayer for him. I know he will be just fine because of his incredible faith, but of course he could still use some prayers.
- Yesterday was my last day with the Ventana Ranch ward as a whole, and it was incredible. It was announced at the pulpit that I was leaving so right after sacrament meeting I was flooded with people saying goodbye and telling me how much they have loved having me in the ward. I felt so much love it surprised me, and it was extremely difficult so say goodbye to everyone, especially as people were crying and kids were running after our car yelling for me to stay. I love this ward so much! The Chavez family invited us over for dinner so we went over at about 5pm last night, and were surprised because decorations were up all over the place, and several tables were set up. They have a lot of kids but not near as many as the chairs that were set up, so we were a little confused. Then about five minutes later people started pouring in and I realized they had set it all up as a going away dinner for me. I had to hold in the tears as I left there realizing I wont be able to see these people I care about so much for at least a couple years.
- And just a real fast side note. This last week I was on an exchange with a brand new missionary, Elder Kamhout. We had a great day of tracting and visiting people on bikes and then right before dinner we had to drive over to an appointment. Since it was his area he drove but he was pretty nervous because he didn't get his license until just 4 months before his mission and he was a pretty bad driver. He glanced into his mirror to change lanes and didn't see the car coming up because it was in his blind stop, then pulled very quickly right into the car. The other person's car was pretty beat up, and ours didn't look great either, but we were blessed because no one was injured. It was a pretty interesting day, and a sad way to break him into the mission life. He is still doing great though.
Well I have to get going so I can say bye to more people and get my packing finished. Its amazing how much STUFF I can accumulate with 6 months in an area. Even though my new area is pretty sad sounding right now I am looking forward to seeing the changes that will take place in it and am already hoping for another 6 month area, at least. I love my mission so much!