This week was very long. I found out that I am being transferred to the Rio Rancho Stake, High Range Ward. It is just a few miles away from where I am serving now. But it will be another double transfer. I was thinking about this recently, every area I have served in has been a double transfer. We’re opening the area to Sisters, just like we did here in Paradise. Which is always fun; people are generally pretty excited to get Sister Missionaries. My new companion will be Sister Allred. She has only been out for three months, but from her transfer board picture, she seems really cute, and I think we will really get along well. I’m excited. This next transfer presents a fun challenge: regain the trust of the ward and help them get excited about missionary work. Elder Johnson, who is in my district right now, served in the High Range ward three months ago and has been sharing information with me about the area.
So… I’ve already got big plans for the first Sunday there. I think it was Sister Crossley that told me about something they did when she was double transferred into an area. She and her companion made cute little notes and put them in all the hymnbooks to bookmark the opening hymn their first Sunday there. The notes said something to the effect of, “We’re the new Sister Missionaries. We’re excited to be in the ward and to get to know all of you! Let us know what we can do to help.”
I’m a little nervous about this transfer, but faith is for the future. Faith is knowing that Heavenly Father is capable of giving you something better than you’ve already had. My goal in coming to Paradise Hills was to find those of our Heavenly Father’s children who were prepared, and to see at least one baptism. Just ONE, I remember pleading! (Ultimately, He allowed me to see three! More than I thought he would bless me!) My goal for my new area comes from an article I read recently. I want to see miracles in this area. We can expect miracles as we do our part, and I really do want to see more miracles on my mission.
I am slightly heartbroken to leave the Paradise Ward. As I have said so many times before, coming to this area was a direct answer to fasting and prayer. It will always be a magical area for me. It felt so much like home, and for the first time on my mission, I was able to witness baptisms. The people really were prepared to receive the gospel, just like I prayed for. But the same thing can happen again.
It’s a hard time to leave. We have a baptism scheduled for January 16th. Craig has been taking the lessons for years. He even has a calling with the scouts, and apparently, some of the ward didn’t even know he wasn’t a member yet. But he’s getting baptized! I love their family so much. He has been plowing through the Book of Mormon, and it is so amazing to see him feast on that book. It truly enables people and gives them power and greater light! I’ve seen it over and over again on my mission. Prayers ARE answered. I’m hoping that President Anderson will give me permission to come back on the 16th, since he’s getting baptized only a few miles away.
The other thing I will be sad to miss is Sake Conference. Deb, who was baptized in November, will be speaking at Stake Conference along with Sister Parks, her friend that started everything. This is amazing. I wish so badly that I could come hear Deb speak, but this would be impossible, since that also happens to be the first Sunday we’re going to be in the new ward.
Still, faith is for the future. I have plans to make our first Sunday there memorable, so we can hopefully see miracles.
We taught another wonderful family last Monday. A few weeks ago, I felt impressed to teach them about baptism, but they cancelled that night. When we went back the next week, I ignored the prompting, partly because we had pushed baptism a lot in the past few months, and partly because we had another idea. You can imagine my surprise when at the end of the lesson, the wife announced that she had been thinking about baptism and decided that she wanted to do it. She wanted us to go over again the steps and commitments required. Wow! Needless to say, we’re going over that tonight. Heavenly Father is very involved in the lessons He wants us to teach. I’m very aware of that.
I’m doing well. Thanks for all the letters. Well, I love everyone. I can’t believe its 2010! A whole year has gone by! Crazy! Hope you have a wonderful New Year!