So McKann sent a bunch of photos. I’m a novice at WordPress. I’m trying to simply cut in the photos as part of her post and I want to try to caption the photos so they have some context, but it seems less than intuitive so I’ll try to rig it as best I can.
So, it’s really happening. I am getting transferred. Ahhh. It’s so weird. I honestly can’t really comprehend it. I said all my goodbyes yesterday at church and everyone was so nice. It actually totally felt like the Sister Hanseen Show in Sacrament because I sang in church (what the? yeah…) and then they also made me say the closing prayer so they could awkwardly announce that I was leaving. Then, in the two meetings following they kept announcing it. I took a million pictures with people. Then in our branch missionary coordination meeting, our Branch Mission Leader, Justin, made everyone say nice things about me and they totally were way too nice. Like.. three of them cried. In my four transfers here, nobody has cried when a missionary left. So I’m feeling really humbled and grateful that I am leaving this area actually feeling like I made an impact on the people here. That has been my overall goal: LOVE PEOPLE. And it’s been working. 🙂
Here’s a crazy part about transfers, though. So… There’s kind of a twist in the story. I thought that I was getting transferred to a new area, just going in with a normal companion like you normally would. But then, my district leader told me that he had recommended that I be made a Sister Training Leader which is basically a girl zone leader. So, when President Topham called for leadership positions on Saturday, I was fully expecting that.
Nope. Not STL. Instead, I’m doubling into an area…. and training another missionary. So, I’m going to be training a brand new sister and they’re taking two elders out of some random area in this mission and putting us in their spot. Lickety split we just get plopped in some random ward or branch in the mission and keep working like nothing happened. Here’s the catch though… WHAT THE HECK I’VE ONLY BEEN IN A STUDENT BRANCH THAT WORKS EIGHT MILLION TIMES DIFFERENTLY THAN OTHER NORMAL AREAS. HOW DO YOU EVEN BE A NORMAL MISSIONARY?!?!
Okay. Minor freak out over. But bottom line… I’m a teensy bit nervous. But if there was ever a situation to laugh about to shake off the nerves it would be this one. Like… What the heck?
Are we reading this people? Okay. It’s good. It’s going to be fun.I’m actually excited for and dreading training all at the same time. I’m so so so so sick of doing the 12 Week training program in an extra hour of companion study every day, but I’m really excited to try again. I think I’ve done an okay job with Sister Yates and Sister Hurdsman but I definitely could have been a lot more loving and understand and selfless. So I’m looking forward to the opportunity to grow and improve. And, honestly, I’m really flattered that the Lord and President Topham trust me to train a 3rd missionary. I guess I must be doing SOMETHING right, but there’s always room for improvement.
This week was really good. We got a lot of things done and I felt like we were productive. We taught Jacob one last time and he awkwardly tried to hug me at the end and it was one of those things where I honestly don’t think it’s weird at all but I’m trying really hard to be exactly obedient and then it’s just a socially awkward mess. We did one of those side-hug-pat-you-back-a-few-times thingy hugs. Coooooool.
Speaking of hugs, our investigator Anthony (who’s been investigating for like two years and is pretty much a dry Mormon) has this freaky tradition where he hugs all the departing sister missionaries their last Sunday. So I got a full-blown Anthony hug yesterday and there’s just a point where you have to embrace it.. Ha. Ha. Embrace it? Get it? Okay. So I’m not as funny as I once was. But I still entertain myself just as much and that’s what matters!
Saying bye to Luna was about the saddest thing that I’ve ever done. She hugged me about 9 different times and gave me the saddest puppy dog eyes I’ve ever seen. She was heart broken that I won’t be there for her baptism. Ahhhh. HEART. BROKEN. During Gospel Principles she slipped me this paper with her email on it and I could tell she was just so sad. Ahhhh nuts.But, I feel so happy that I was a part of that. I really am so blessed to have fulfilled my purpose of helping others to come unto Christ. What a miracle!
Elder Vassallo and Elder Clark are also getting transferred. They’ve both been here with me the entire time I’ve been here, so that’s kind of fun for us to all leave together. Elder V and I were really glad we were both getting transferred because we’ve been together our whole missions and it would be super strange for just one of us to leave and the other person just hangs out and is like, “Oh yeah okay weird.” So, that’s convenient.
We’re driving to Pittsburgh tomorrow starting at 6:30 am. So, prayers sent my way so that I’ll wake up and not want to rip everyone’s heads off are appreciated. Haha. Seriously… Kind of? Yeah.
Okay so here’s another quick highlight. Last Monday, we ran into Whitey downtown. It was the first time we’ve seen him in about three months. Elder V and I told him that we were probably leaving and asked if we could come see him later in the week. He agreed. It was great. Then, we were texting him on Friday and I asked if we could come on Sunday night and he said, “Yes, definitely come say bye. I will make time for you.” Ahhh. Freak, Whitey! He’s my favorite! He makes me want to cry! But last night we went over there and we got to hang out with him for a little bit and say goodbye. I totally went over there thinking, “Okay, this is bye forever. This sucks.” But then Whitey was like, “When do you get home? I’m going to Idaho next summer for a few months and it’d be cool if I saw you!” So… I won’t be home in the summer, but I’m so grateful that Whitey and I are really going to stay friends after my mission. He told me I have to tell him when I get home so we can talk about life and still have a grand old time. The church stuff isn’t his priority right now, but some people just take time. I’m so grateful that he genuinely cares about our friendship, though. There’s nothing more I could ask for as I leave this area.
Man, everyone. Leaving is tough. I don’t know how I’m going to do it when I actually have to come home! Like I’ll be way excited but it is TOUGH to leave people you grow to love so dearly. Thankfully I’ve got all of you at home that I also love so dearly to look forward to.
Onward and upward! I’ll let you know next week where I am!