I'm being transferred. We just got the news. Even though I was pretty sure this was coming, it's hard realizing it's a reality. This is the best area that I have served in, and I love these people so much. It's really going to be hard to leave them. On Sunday I got to play in church. It was the best I have played my whole mission. Somewhere out of no where my sound came back, just for those 5 minutes. It was really good to be able to play, I guess that was God's little gift to me to let me say goodbye to my favorite area. He helped me play how I used to so I could share my testimony with the members of La Joya.
Man, this is really hard. Really, really, really hard. And I haven't even started to say goodbyes. I just keep working to remember that God has more for me to learn, and needs me somewhere else for my last 6 weeks. This work isn't about me, it's about doing what my Heavenly Father needs of me. I've seen a lot of progress here in La Joya. Both in myself and in those we work with. This hasn't been easy. I guess I could say that of any time I've served as a missionary. Each part of the mission is a refining process, and sometimes it puts us in positions we would not choose on our own. I don't think I would have chosen to be moved for my last 6 weeks as a missionary, but I know this is what I need.
I read a really good talk this morning during my studies. It talks about different types of missionaries, and how the best missionary is the one who not only serves with his might and strength, but also all of his heart and soul. It talked about how the mission (and by extension life) is a molding process, and that we can choose to allow the Lord to mold us, or we can cave and just go with the flow of time and trends of the world. In the talk it said that it may not always be easy at first to turn ourselves over to the Lord and to give him all of ourselves, but that in the long run it is worth everything. It talked about how the best missionary is the one who may not have been perfect, who may have not loved every moment, or may have even struggled at times with areas and companions, but that this missionary chose to serve and to willingly subject himself to the will of the Lord. This missionary can reach the end of his mission and honestly say that they did their best and have no regrets. I really liked that. I can't say that I've loved every moment. There were days where it seemed like this would never end, and even a few where it seemed like I should just give up. There were some really stressful moments, but as I look back, I can see that I have tried my best, and I am happy with this time and my efforts. I feel like I'm not the same person who started on this journey. I've got a lot more to learn, and a long way to go, but I have been blessed beyond measure for my work and service. We had a missionary come home this week, and in his talk he mentioned that if he had the chance to go back and serve again, knowing all of the hard times and difficulties of a mission, he'd take it at the drop of the hat. I feel the same.
This week I got a letter from a family that I spent a lot of time working with in Agua Fria. It made my week. It's so cool to see these people hold on to their new found faith, and to see them grow. That's what I hope for each of the people I've been able to work with on my mission. It's a little frustrating being transferred, because all of our baptisms just got pushed back to March. But it's okay. I did my part, and they are ready. Now they need the help and support of someone else.
This past week we went on exchanges. I got to go down to Montana del Sur with Hna Graves. It was, I think, my favorite exchange of my mission. I served for 3 weeks in Montana, so it was fun to go back and be somewhere where I recognized things and people. It was also really fun to spend a day teaching with Hna Graves. She is a really really good missionary. It was fun, because teaching with her was like riding a bike. We just got going and it was like we were back serving together in Agua Fria. I had a great time working with her, and learning from her for the day. We also had a cool experience visiting some "eternal" investigators. I remember this family from over a year ago when I served in South Phoenix. I remember the sisters who were serving there coming home and crying after appointments because they were so hard. Then, I remember actually teaching them, and wondering if they were ever going to progress. Well, after a year of a lot of work and prayers I can say they most certainly have. They may not have made it to baptism yet, but the home I walked into on Wednesday was a completely different home than the one I remember from last January. The changes were shocking. I could see it on the faces of each member of that family, I could see it in the children and how they behaved, and I could feel it as I walked through their door. The feeling in their home has changed completely. It was so cool to see. It reminded me that although we may not get to see all of the conversion process, we do get to be a part of it, and that not all changes happen over night. Some take time. A lot a lot of time.
Sorry I don't have any more news on transfers. I guess you'll just have to wait until next week to see where I am and who I am with. The transfer meeting happens tomorrow morning. Today all that happens is that we get a call to pack and then to show up at the meeting tomorrow. It makes for an interesting experience, but a good one.
I love you all lots. Thanks for your prayers and support!