Well I guess you are wondering the verdict of the transfer calls..........I am staying in Newport News 1st Ward with Bishop Hamilton!!! And my trainer Sister Cox is staying here as well. Sister Case is actually going to become a trainer this transfer and move to Salem. She is being shotgunned in (meaning the missionaries come out and her greenie and her move in, without bias and knowledge of pretty much anything). The area needs it...I guess it's been "dead" for a year or so. Sister Case is such a great missionary and she is so bold, so she will do wonders there. I'm so excited to hear how she tears it up! It'll be crazy to go from 2 comps to 1, but it'll be good. It'll require more of me, which is necessary for me to progress and grow. I am a lot more quiet than I realized (bet ya never thought you'd here that!), so without another person talking...it's going to be a quieter transfer! Elder Frampton and Elder Timmons are both staying and we haven't heard about the Spanish Elders yet. I hope they stay-they are awesome. We are tag teaming a couple right now. The girl is American and speaks little Spanish and he is Mexican and speaks little English. Crazy right? I guess it actually happens a lot so we hear. But we are trying to get them married and then baptized all in December. This will be fun :)
We are teaching 4 young women right now. Hands down my favorite investigators right now. I can't believe how many light years ahead of me they are at their age. When I was their age I was so lazy when it came to the gospel. The youth in our ward are a dream! They share what they know with their friends and it comes easy to them it seems.
My comps and I had an interesting discussion yesterday. Being a full time missionary made us all realize that we didn't know what it meant to be a disciple of Christ and be a member missionary. I'll ask you now to hold me accountable in my future for this. I remember Dad telling us when we were little that the Lord comes 1st above all else. Of course being little, I was probably like yeah okay. But now I am realizing that I never really understood what that meant. If I did I would have helped more people come to know that Christ is our Savior and that they are a child of God. Being a disciple of Christ is taking what I know and sharing it with others. Being a member missionary is taking what I know and sharing it with others. Putting the Lord #1 means taking what I know and sharing it with others. The gospel is not just what we believe and what we do---it's who we are! If something is so much a part of us, why do we struggle to share it with others? It's so weird looking back at my life and seeing how many opportunities I was given to be a disciple of Christ and a member missionary and I didn't take them. I would love to use fear as my excuse, but then I would be saying I didn't have faith that the Lord would help me. We all know that fear and faith cannot co-exist. I don't want to be one of those missionaries that call everyone to repentance, but I do want to be one of those missionaries that invites others to come unto Christ and really truly know what that means. So family, consider the questions-What can you do to make sure you are putting the Lord 1st in everything you do? What changes do you need to make in your routines to ensure that you are studying (not just reading) the Book of Mormon daily and praying with a a sincere heart and with real intent? And when I get home from my mission, hold me accountable because I want to be the kind of member that missionaries dream of working with...ones with strong testimonies who share it! If the Lord is going to do his part and give me a testimony I better be doing my part and doing something good with it!
So I guess you heard about our little storm. Since we don't watch news or read newspapers we really had no idea it was so bad. Last Wed. night it was pretty awful outside, but that was just the beginning! We were on "house arrest", as we like to call it, for all of Thursday and half the day on Friday. It was so weird not going out and not knowing anything about what was going on. Bishop stopped by in the morning to make sure we were prepared with 72 hour kits and flashlights. Then in the afternoon Sis. Hamilton stopped by with food for us. They are the most amazing people ever. This means they had to go out in the storm! And bishop was doing this for a lot of ward members too! But being inside helped us get a lot of little things done that we always talk about doing..like mapping out all the less active members and updating teaching records. Important stuff that there is never time for!
Well we are still super busy everyday! We are going for something like 15 baptisms in our ward by the end of the year, so this will be FUN! To answer your question Mom-We don't have a huge ward-active members would probably be like 4th Ward. Less active members is HUGE though. But the field is white, which requires lots of missionaries! I think retention is a big concern of Bishop Hamilton's, which totally makes sense with all the baptisms.
The weather here rocks by the way. I am in a short sleeve today!