I assume Mom is super scared that I wasn't going to be able to write this week or something crazy like that! Haha, Like you reasoned, yes today is Pday because of the Transfer Day tomorrow. And guess what...yep, I'm leaving Schoharie Valley and Elder Lyman. How crazy is that? Total shock and surprise to the max! President Bulloch called us Saturday morning to talk to E Lyman. He asked him if he'd be willing to train a new missionary. How sweet is that!? He hasn't trained before and now will be an awesome time to have the chance to! I can't imagine what this newbie will think when he gets here to see all of the sweet investigators and baptismal dates (currently 5)! It's so cool! Surprisingly I'm not as disappointed to leave all of this as I initially thought I would be! I'm not certain if it totally hasn't set in yet or what but it hasn't been too brutal. E Lyman taught me something cool he said that President Bulloch teaches that when you are transferred it should feel as if you are starting your mission over again, for two reasons: first, it is a fresh start, another clean slate; second, it should feel as if you are leaving family behind as you did at home. Crazy enough, in the short 3 months I've been here I can say these people are like family. There are many I feel so close to and it's as if they are family - members and investigators alike. I have loved it here and certainly will miss it. The Dutchers are especially bummed about my leaving. I love that family.
There are many other interesting experiences that have happened with regards to my leaving as well. One example is our investigator John (my first lesson-guy; rooough past-guy) called me after we saw him and let him know the news and told me that he wasn't going to go through with his baptism (which is a ways away, First Presidency approval at least once) if I wasn't there because it's an event where friends need to be there for one another, etc. It was actually pretty touching. He told us he would make us lunch the next day and we would be there, ha. He made homemade tomato sauce from homegrown tomatoes, homemade noodles, and homemade bread. It was way legit and a lot of effort for us. Wow. Then he also gave me "A gift to a Friend and a Brother" which was a ridiculously generous sum. He is incredible, and it is humbling and powerful to see in his life and hear him literally say the difference I (we, the missionaries I believe) have made. It's incredible. Also, the Lehoe family gave me a nice picture and card. And the Dutchers are feeding us and giving us sweater vests. (Brother Dutcher works for golfknickers.com , we talk about it all the time; it's so hilarious. Look in Golf Digest & Golf Magazine and see their little advertisement on the advertisement sheet. I can remember seeing it before coming out). The people here are so nice, there's too much to share of all the nice things they've done as I'm leaving. E Lyman is shocked at the farewell I'm getting. Anyway, our investigators are still progressing. Nothing really else noteworthy happened other than a sweet experience randomly tracting into a boyfriend of a member (we're tight with the family) who was actually coming to sacrament meeting that week (we tracting into him on Saturday). Then we taught him at church, watched the Restoration movie with him, and picked him up as an investigator. As the mom of this family put it, "I can't believe 'how inspired' you guys are" haha, It's incredibly humbling and powerful to be an instrument in the Lord's hands like this and see all of these miracles take place, quite frankly, on a daily and hourly basis.
So I'm heading to Saratoga Springs! I'm actually incredibly excited! I hear amazing things about the area. It's where the renowned horse race track is located. I've heard it's very high-class and affluent. The bishop and his wife are mission famous for their generosity to missionaries. He's a well-off dentist who has whitened missionary's teeth for free, steak dinners, etc, etc. I've been told to be prepared for amazing members like that. haha, doesn't sound all that bad. The work aspect, though, isn't as flourishing as it is here though. There aren't any baptismal dates there as of now, but that can change. I look forward to the work I'll be able to do there!! My new companion is named Elder Daniels-Brown. I met him at Zone Conference; I remember him being really cool and nice, and really tall. haha. E Lyman is actually jealous I get to serve in Saratoga and with E D-B. He's wanted both before. So I feel pretty fortunate to have this opportunity. I know the Lord directs this work and the work here in Schoharie and there in Saratoga will go forth the way he wants it otherwise this transfer would have happened differently. I'm extremely excited for what the future holds!
(I'm about as far away from Ithaca East and West wise as you can get...haha, interesting.)
Well I can't believe that about Ste and Elder Oaks, man that is incredible. Ste I love you man, that's so cool. I hope you wrote that down :) and how you felt/feel about it. Looking back in my journal from with E Miller and the MTC I already am glad I have things written down, so I can't imagine 30 years from now how important it will be. I've never had a testimony of journal writing but it's getting stronger each day, as I keep going. I'm glad Annie is home safe and well and the trip was sweet!! I'm so happy everyone could get together for that! I would love to hear her talk or read it sometime later though. Please still include my polo and shorts in the package if they can fit (yes it's certainly cooling down and feels GREAT), but I'll want them. That's exciting about Tyler's call! Congrats man, you'll do great!
Simply, I love you all so much and appreciate the love and support you give me. I couldn't be happier and I love my mission experience already, as short as it may be and only still in the initial stages. This work is divine and everything we share is true. I love it. Apply it to ourselves and we'll find happiness! Thank you for everything you do!!!
P.S. I will send my memory card home next Pday. The new one is awesome and works thank you so much for sending it! There are a lot on there so look forward to it!
I LOVE YOU GUYS!