So it turns out I am getting transferred, which was not at all expected by us. Transfer news gets faxed to us around 10pm Saturday night, so during the day it was not on our minds to much considering we thought we knew what was happening with us anyways. This made it all the more shocking when our phone showed a missed call from President Miller after we left a great lesson. When I called him back he told me that I was going to be double transferred into the Rivers Edge ward, I did not know who with yet, and explained the situation to me. I felt crushed and I realized just how much I had fallen in love with Panorama Heights, though I did know it was revelation and I had no question regarding turning the assignment down. The work is going amazing right now! We are regularly teaching 15 lessons a week, many people are preparing for baptism and will likely be entering the water within the next few weeks, I know the ward members well, and I really enjoy serving with Elder Willden. Panorama Heights has become another golden standard ward in the mission. Rivers Edge on the other hand is teaching on average 2-3 lessons per week and we will be the 5th or 6th double transfer within the past year or so. It should be understandable why I felt down when I got the call to be transferred.
I was blessed to have a very strong last Saturday, so full of teaching that we had no time to stop by our house for anymore then 3 minutes to pick up our suite jackets. We worked from 10am to 9:30pm with not time to think about the call I had received mid day. After we received the fax and distributed transfer news I laid in bed and pondered my coming transfer with the realization that Rivers Edge will likely be my last area on my mission. I said another prayer and then laid back down to listen for the answer. After a short amount of time I felt immensely calm and thoughts began to flood my mind making me realize what an amazing opportunity I had in front of me which made me suddenly really excited for the coming transfer. In stake meetings I have heard great things about the ward leadership as well as many of the members, and since it is almost bordering Panorama Heights I will be able to attend the baptisms of those I have been working with. I started to think back on when I doubled intoBelen, and 9 months before in Ventana Ranch, and I saw how much power can come from going into a new area with a new companion and leaving behind the past perceptions of what is possible there. Rivers Edge is going to be a place of many miracles!
Before I finish this weeks update I wanted to share a great experience we had, and a lesson I learned about perseverance. Elder Willden and I went into the week with great excitement because of the Spirit we felt while attending the temple on Monday. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were incredible days of work. We taught more and had greater success then any other 3 days prior in this area and were blown away by the miracles that were pouring down onto us and our area. We went out on Thursday ready for more miracles but were disappointed as things began crumbling all around us. Appointments started falling through left and right and horrible things were happening to those were were teaching. Two people had their appendix rupture and almost lost their lives, a young man in a family I have grown very close to broke his leg that morning, and without fail every other investigator we visited were not able to meet because of illness. Our day was spent fighting the urge to give up and try again later because of all that had happened. As night approached we decided to try one more person, a referral we had received that morning, before we called it a night and went in for planning and sleep. We knocked on his door and he came out saying it was a mistake to come to his home. With a look of obvious confusement I asked him if he was the man who gave some sister missionaries his information earlier that day, and he said he was and that he gave it to them because they were attractive and not out of interest in our message. Then for the next 30 minutes he lectured us about the false church we represent and how we are made slaves by it, the stench of alcohol only being matched by his foul language. Finally the Spirit told me to end it. I stopped him and told him that we had been respectful to him and that I expected the same respect in return. I felt the Spirit surge into me as I stared him into the eyes and I felt myself looking into his heart and knowing his thoughts. Stunned he stopped talking and stood there looking pathetic. I told him that I feel peace and happiness because of my strong beliefs and bore testimony of the restored gospel. Prompted by the Spirit I then told him that when I look at him all I see is a man enslaved by anger, addiction, and regret and that I felt sorry for what a miserable man he had made himself into by losing faith in Christ because of trials. With that we turned and left, a strange sense of peace resting with me.
The next day yielded similar results of little finding or teaching. Elder Willden and I began to feel very tired and wanted to quit and go home to finish up paperwork. The day had been miserable and we felt our time would be better spent preparing for upcoming meetings instead of knocking on empty homes and talking to people who didn't want us on their doorstep. We were very close to driving back home when we both felt we needed to keep working instead. We spent the rest of the day working and still had no success. There have been so many times when I worked when I didn't want to and was blessed with miracles, but this was not one of those days. We went to bed that night downtrodden but happy that we followed the promptings we received regardless of the outcome. Saturday morning we had a couple hours set apart for planning since we had several large stake meetings the next day, but we felt we needed to go out and visit people anyway. This ended up being the miracle day when we were packed with miracle teachings appointments from morning to evening. We ended up having to prepare the the stake meetings late into the night, and early in the morning, but the results of that days work will stretch far into the future. It was amazing to see once more the blessings of following when the Lord whispers.