I can't even believe how fast this last week has gone! Transfer weeks the days feel so long, but then the week just flies by! We had a few more late nights at the office trying to get everything prepared for Tuesday morning. We were trying to finish up leadership calls as well as training calls. I was doing the majority of the calls that night. My companion was updating the transfer sheet while calls were being made. But we finished on time so that was good!
It wasn't to bad of a morning though. After we took the departing missionaries over to the mission home to have lunch. They went though some different training to help them to prepare for when they arrived home. We were able to sit in an listen to that and then we drove them over to the Temple. Sadly for this month the Houston Temple is closed for maintenance and a bit of construction work.
But they have a annex building off to the side we were able to go into. We watched a little movie called between Heaven and Earth. It is the same video they will usually show at temple open houses. It compares our temples alot to the ones described in the Old Testament. It was really cool and we all learned alot. And then of course after President stands up and just blows our minds with his knowledge of the scriptures. Really everything that we read in the scriptures have symbolic meanings that point us to the temple! He read out of 1st nephi 17, and it was just incredible!
This is at Transfer Meeting
We went back to the mission home after for dinner and departing testimonies. This is one of my favorite parts of transfer week. The spirit is always very strong, and you come out of there feeling edified and just ready to keep going on with the work! The time came that we all got back into our vehicles, and we went over to the hotel to drop the sisters off for the night, and then locked up the trailer and went back to the mission office to park the transfer van and trailer.
But when we got back to the office we went to the back of the trailer, and the big industrial lock that we had was gone! I remember thinking to my self..."What happened I put it on there! " I was becoming a little frustrated that it was gone, and I just said a silent prayer that we would be able to find it. We parked the van, and then dropped off the departing Elders at our apartment. We went back out to see if we could drive on the roads we came from to find it. I just kept praying that we would find it. And sure enough about after 10 min of leaving our apartment we found the lock sitting in the road. We aren't sure how it came off, but we found it! It was such a miracle! I know the Lord answered my prayer!
Some of the departing missionaries I served around my whole mission!
Wednesday we dropped the outgoing missionaries off at the airport. It was sad to see them leave, but they will have great things a head of them. That same afternoon we were able to pick up the new missionaries. We took our transfer van to the airport, and President also drove over. We had to main flights with missionaries come in about an hour apart from each other. We picked up the first group and put them in the transfer van with Elder Hillebrant, and one of the senor missionaries name Elder Edwards. And then President wanted me to drive with him to the other side of the airport.
President Mortensen and me
It was fun to be able to spend time with him and Sister Mortensen. They are both such great people! The next group flew in right on time and we picked them up and brought them back to stake center near the mission office and did some training over there with them. Then after that we packed up and went over to the mission home. We took two of our cars over. Elder Hillebrant took the transfer van and I took one of the Chevy Malibu's we pulled from and area. We went back and had a great dinner and testimony meeting with everyone.
While they finished up we unloaded all of the luggage in to the street so the new missionaries could just take the things they needed for that one night and the next day. We had the idea turn the headlights on for the Malibu so they could see better. And for what every reason we didn't start the car and keep them running. We only left for like 30 min and it completely killed the car battery. I just though to my self that it was just not my week for cars to work for me. We needed to get the missionaries back so they could get some rest for the night, and so I ran in and asked President if he had any jumper cables. Unfortunately he didn't, but he pulled out his keys and threw them to me and said take my car. President drives a 2014 Toyota Avalon. Again another answered prayer to accomplish the things we needed to. And it was a bonus being able to drive that car. :)
Prayer is just such a blessing. I have such a strong testimony of prayer and the power of it. The Lord know we will have obstacles in our lives. They are there to help us learn and grow. Now even though these were just little problems that I ran into, the Lord was still willing to answer my prayers. He is always there and always ready to answer we just need to first ask, and then be patient as we wait for him to answer us on HIS time! That is the key!
We got the missionaries off on Thursday morning after some more training and role playing. We had the chance to role play master teaching with President in front of the new missionaries. And overall I think it went really well! The spirit was very strong, and I know he was leading my words. It is one of the coolest experiences when you speak,and from you say you learn something new! That is how you can know you are talking by the spirit! It was just such a tender mercy again to be able to help the new missionaries see where this mission is heading! The work is continuing to hasten, and as we help these new missionaries in there teaching, they will be able to help so many more people!
To finish the week we just got transfers finalized and IMOS all updated with the new information. And then we had a great Sabbath day!! We checked up on some referrals and other the ward wanted us to check in on. And we didn't find the people we were expecting, but we came out that night with 3 referrals to send off! So it was such a wonderful week!
I love being able to be a missionary and just take this short time and give it all to the Lord. I know he is blessing me and helping me from day today! I really have felt my relationship with Him Strengthen immensely since I have been out! I know he lives and does Love he of us! I think the things that have affected that have really been the time and effort that has gone into scripture studies! If you want a better relationship with God, just do the basics. Read from the Book of Mormon, Pray, and go to church! They are the primary answers, but they will make the biggest difference in your life! I know that to be true, I have seen it!
Well I hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Joshua V. Christensen