Thursday, September 22, 2016

August 15, 2016 New Assignment

Typed up from photos of journal pages:

Aug 2
For some reason, I never thought the day would come that I’d open up a new journal.  I’ve always wished that I could capture on paper  what a mission really is, but I’ve come to learn that doing so would be impossible.

I generally tell people that I’m a year and a half in, but I supposed the date at the top gives away the fact that I only have 4 ½  months left.  I can scarcely imagine how devastating it will be when I have to take my tag off.  I love being a missionary with all my heart.  All my might.  All my mind.  All my strength.  I love my Savior.

The big news of the week is that Daniela is getting baptized on Saturday.  She is so special.  I remember running her down in a parking lot just a couple months ago, and now it’s happening.  She will be a member that blesses many.

Aug 6
The previous days have been  a whirlwind again.  President asked me to be his assistant.  That’s made my other two assignments a bit difficult this week, and at this point I suppose I’m just trying to wrap up the affairs of Hampton Bays and my district and our zone as gracefully as possible.
I just got back from spending two days in the city with President and the other assistants planning for the coming transfer.  It was truly a great experience.  I wish more missionaries knew of the process, of how much time and effort and revelation goes into selecting their companions, areas, and assignments.  Transfer planning is like sitting down at a massively complex puzzle, a mind game, for two days – all day.  We worked and worked and ripped our hair out, took everything down and rearranged, until God was satisfied with our effort, showed us what was right, and let us feel his warm and confirming Spirit.

Being with President was so enjoyable.  He is an example of a man who has so much unfathomable amounts of wealth and power that he could literally be doing almost anything he wanted to right now.  Instead, he is here serving humbly and working harder than anyone because he loves the Savior.
I’m excited to be back in Hampton Bays to see Daniella baptized tonight.  She is going to be such a strength in this church.  She is so humble and pure, and her conversion brings me so much joy.

Aug 7
Today I baptized Daniela.  What a tender mercy.  She is so pure, so humble.  She is going to be a fantastic member.  I feel so much the love Heavenly Father has for her and her daughter.  She thought we were trying to get a jump on the baptism by fire when they opened up the font doors and steam billowed out…we had to put some cold water in there.  Not sure how that happened.  But tomorrow she will receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  Heavenly Father has blessed me so much to be able to witness that.  And Javier was sitting on the front  row, so happy, remembering when he was in the font a month ago.  Hampton Bays has been unforgettable.  I’ll be sad to leave.

Elder Ko and our mansion of an apartment
Aug 10  The last few days have been some the wildest.  On Monday, Elder Ko and I officially became companions.  We had a large group of new missionaries coming in from two different places.  Normally they come in by five, but Delta was delayed, and we picked up the first group at 8:00 and took them to the mission home.  That was such a fun experience!  They were all wide-eyed and so excited to get to NY  As we helped them contact for the first time in the airport we saw that this group is exceptionally good.  We arrived at the mission home, fed them, got to feel of their wonderful spirits, and put them to bed.  Then we were in President’s office helping him match trainees and trainers.  What a process.  There was such a feeling about it as we sought the Lord’s guidance and realized how important their trainer will be in the course of their eternity.

We finally got to bed at 1:00 a.m., still without word as to when the second group would arrive.  At 3:00 we got the call.  Elder Young and I took off to pick up the Mexico group.  The poor missionaries were so exhausted.  We got back at 5:45 and went back to bed until 6:30.
Back in the fifteen passenger
In the morning (sort of…we let the Mexico group sleep until 10:30) we had a small devotional.  President spoke, and then the assistants gave testimony.  As I did, I felt the Spirit so strong.  Being with that group of new missionaries was special.  I can’t describe what I felt, but I had to excuse myself afterwards and let tears flow.  It was so special.

We then headed to transfers, which was a whirlwind, as always.  After transfers, we took the departing missionaries to the mission home, and had quite the night!  It was so nostalgic to be with a group of missionaries I’ve served around for a year and a half.  There were some giants in that group.  Elder Young, Elder Voorhees, who I looked up to so much as assistants.  Elder Chair, Sister Robinson, Sister Urizar(sp?) – I’ve looked up to her since Jamaica.  We had another devotional, the perfect, juxtaposition to the devotional earlier that morning.  A group of missionaries who’ve been through it all.  All the pain and happiness and sorrow and pure joy of serving God’s mission.  There were many that had completely avoided all that opposition for two years.  People that never learned to understand the Doctrine of Christ, people that shied away from anything hard.  The result was obvious in that moment.  They avoided much pain, and in that moment of truth, when they all bore their testimonies, they had received no joy from serving.  There was no light in their eyes.

And then there were many who had served so profoundly in such a consecrated manner, that the veil became thin as paper for them as they bore testimony of the Savior.  The holiness that pierced that room that night will never be forgotten by me.  It was one of those times that the Spirit could not be restrained to just whispering.  It was one of those times where the character of God was revealed and manifested in such an unusual manner.  It was the second time I found myself crying like a baby that day.

Got to bed at 11:30.  The next morning, we woke up at 3:00 again to take the departing missionaries to the airport.  It was a bit sad.
At the mission home with a few of the departures

It’s been such a special few days.  Wish I could say more.

Aug  12
We had a great Misison Leadership Council today.  It was a bit odd to be on the other side of that one giving the workshops.

Had a sweet second lesson with Dominick, whom we found 2 days ago, our first night we actually got to proselyte this transfer.  It’s been so weird to have been into proselyting so much and now as an assistant to have less than a third of the time to proselyte.  The pool is completely dead.  Elder Ko says it’s super tough to balance everything and they just haven’t been able to focus on proselyting.  I want to figure out how to do it.  I want to be able to set a good example of finding, feeding, and baptizing.

Dominick is super pure in hear!  He’s 16.  Has all the right questions and loves what we taught.
I love Elder Ko.  We’ve known each other more than a year.  Never thought we’d be companions.  He’s great.  I’ve loved being an Assistant.  I love the craziness, teaching, and getting to hang out with President and his wife.  Between them and the Martinos, it’ll be nearly a year that I’ve worked very closely with a mission president and wife on the mission.  What a blessing

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