I have a new companion named Elder Lewis from Duchesne, Utah! He’s been out for 7 1/2 months and is our new District Leader. I am so excited about this transfer. The work is non-stop, we have seemingly endless list of less-avtives, some progressing investigators, and the ward is growing! Ottumwa is just an exciting place to be right now as a missionary!
My companion, Elder Graham, was transferred to Knoxville, Iowa as their new District Leader. I was sad to see him go, but he was needed elsewhere, and I am still needed here. He left me a note that basically read that I’m a failure as a missionary and that I need immediate psychiatric help. What a loving companion. 😛
Oh! And some of you from BYU may know this name! Madisen Kimzey is in my district! I didn’t really know her too well before the mission, but we went to BYU together, and she is now being trained in my district! Small world, huh?
I know that I take up a bunch of time on each of my emails writing about my testimony instead of what’s going on here, but my faith and my testimony have just been changing so incredibly much. Each time I sit down here to write home, I realize how much I have grown since the week previously and it almost overwhelms me. Small miracles each day remind me that God truly is laboring beside us, His faithful laborers in His vineyard (last 15 verses or so of Jacob 5). My weaknesses are being strengthened, and my faith enlarged each and every week. And the Spirit? He is like my 8 foot tall bodyguard, best friend, and confidante, who is always walking in front of, on either side, behind, and inside me. This is it. This is the Church.
We have had some very neat teaching experiences where I have truly learned how to tap into the Spirit much better. I have a hard time holding back tears each time I bear my testimony now. These people here must think I’m a crier because it happens all the time. Just a couple days ago, I could not hold back the tears as I plead with a less-active family to come back to Church and I told them how very much I wanted to take the sacrament with them, go to classes with them, laugh and joke with them…my brothers and sisters.
-Sorry, have to go chop wood. Part 2 will come later today.-
Okay, I’m back. Not much time for any sort of preparation today because we spent the whole day delivering wood with a member. The cool part about it (besides the fact that we got to do service, of course), was that the house we went to was on the street that is the Iowa-Missouri border! So, I can now say that I have been into Missouri! …don’t tell my mission president that I crossed the street to take a picture… 🙂
ALSO! A big shout out to all of my friends that have received mission calls in the last couple weeks!!! They are Brynne J., Rachel E., and Kristi L. N.! As well as congrats to Terri Z. for starting her papers! I love being a missionary and I am so glad that my friends are deciding to be missionaries as well! And Happy late Birthday to my grandma in Japan!!!!!!! Love you and miss you, Obaachan!
And thank you, Mom, for sending me two ginormous care packages that had everyone wondering what the heck you were sending me. I half expected Koko (our dog) to jump out! I received a huge bag of rice, a rice cooker, and curry mix in one of the boxes, and in the other was about 500 pounds worth of food. NOT GOING HUNGRY EVER…haha. Thank you!!! 🙂
———back to missionary work———
Well, basically, things are just plain amazing here in Ottumwa. I am SO excited to see Ben be baptized on the 26th. Everything is set up and I am so excited. He may only be ten years old, but he is so excited as well. His family was one of the 250+ less-actives in our ward when Elder Graham and I decided to knock on their door a few months ago and now they are not only reactivated, but actively working towards being sealed. I love this Gospel.
Love you all!
Faith and Honor,