Wow, can't believe that a whole transfer has gone by. At times I can, at times I can't, but one way or another, it's been a whole transfer (almost) in the field. Nuts. Anyway, some changes are being made. My companion got a call last night from President Bell informing him that he was being made a Zone Leader in the Wichita Zone so he'll be leaving me *sniff*. My new companion is Elder Motes. Never met him before, but Elder Sutherland says good things about him so I have hopes. I'm still here in the Wellington Ward for another six so we'll see what happens. No news yet on my visa. I received a nice e-mail from the Mission Travel department informing me that my visa had not yet arrived and they were grateful for my service in Kansas during this time. Well, I'm just glad I can help out. Two sisters from my MTC district received their visas, so at least we know they're coming. I guess we'll find out when we find out.
Anyway, Wes wasn't baptized the first time. Or the second time. But Bishop got him immersed on the third! We're pretty excited for him. He's expressed the desire to serve a mission as well so we'll see where that goes. I'd be thrilled if he made it happen. Guess we'll see. One way or another it's been amazing to see the Light of Christ grow within him as we've taught him. His progression was slow at first and we were honestly concerned he wouldn't make it. As we continued to pray about it we kept receiving the feeling that he was ready for baptism and so we continued. His progression hastened and we've been so pleased with the results. Elder Sutherland confirmed him yesterday and he said he felt "amazing." Which, for him, is quite the exclamation.
After the baptism we had a 6-week training conference call with President Bell, the Assistants, and all those who are in training right now. It was fun to hear from my friends and see how they had received miracles from the hand of the Lord and to really learn how much the Lord is in the work. At the end of call President Bell asked three missionaires "are you lost yet?" The responses were all roughly, "no, I don't think so." President then shared with us the scripture from Mark about "whoso shall lose his life for my sake shall find it" (sorry, don't know the exact reference) and encouraged us to lose ourselves in the next six weeks if we haven't lost ourselves already. As I pondered that I've decided that "losing myself" is going to require an increase in charity. I don't know much about charity except what I've read in PMG and in Moroni 7, so I have studying to do!
I'm really learning about the importance of taking to everybody. My companion has really embraced the idea and has no qualms about talking with anyone. We don't always get a warm reception and sometimes people just want us to leave, but every single time my companion just testifies about how the Book of Mormon will change their lives and what a blessed miracle it is to have it. He really wants to be able to save every soul in our ward and I think that is so awesome. It's really a trait I would love to exemplify and something I think I'll try to incorporate.
Well, that's my week in summary. I'll let you know about the beginning of the transfer next week! I hope all is well and I know this is the Lord's work. I'm so thrilled to be a part of it in Kansas or in Brazil. The Gospel is TRUE!
Left to right: Elder Sutherland, Bishop Porter, Me, WES