Well, I made it all in one piece! To the Winchestie! Being back in the West of the mission is great, so many historical buildings (I drove past Patsy Cline’s old house the other day. I mean, come on) and graveyards and blossoming cherry trees. Winchester is famous for what is called the “Apple Blossom Festival” which is characterized by the colors green, pink, and white and which festival featured Nick Jonas last year!! Pretty exciting. Everyone’s house has a little pink and green flair to it.
After we got the news about transfers last week it was the typical flurry of activity preparing to go– goodbyes and packing all while maintaining a full proselyting schedule. We had to say goodbye to the investigators which was the hardest part, especially because they are not always used to transfers. Everyone took it pretty good, though. Fortunately on Tuesday most of the branch gathered together to watch Elder Holland’s young adult face-to-face and so I got to say a hushed goodbye when curfew rolled around while the event was still in full swing, creeping around in the dark and giving everyone a hug and a handshake. Classic awkward missionary expressions of love. We also got to say goodbye to all the sisters with a big end-of-transfer clothing exchange. I got some pretty good ~pieces~ and Sister Walker is saving the rest for her brand new missionary and for the sisters from the branch who are going out on missions soon.
We also got together with a member and made s’more waffles. Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: make waffles
Step 2: line them up on a cookie sheet
Step 3: create a layer of chocolate chips
Step 4: create a layer of marshmallows over the chocolate chips
Step 5: broil
Step 6: heaven
Go try it. Send me pictures.
So after throwing away half of my possessions and packing the other half, Sister Walker made our way to the stake center. This is kind of the central stake center to the mission because it is closest to the mission home, so it was a bit of a madhouse. Fun though! There was a little meeting for the trainers and I invited myself in instead of sitting in the hall with the other awkward companions because I thought I might learn something. I did! Then we joined the brand new missionaries in another meeting I wasn’t invited to but attended anyway to hear their testimonies and introduce their trainers to them. The new sisters were all like, “Wait, who are you training?” and I was just like… don’t worry about it. Finally we departed, and I rode back to the area with a sister from the ward and a fellow missionary who was coming to a nearby area. One fun thing about getting transferred is hearing endless variations on my name again. People really are creative about it. 80% of the time people put in an “sh” sound after the A. I don’t know where that comes from or why it is but there you go.
Since I got here it has just been a whirlwind of miracles and good times. We have an awesome ward here and a great area. People are very friendly and open and we get invited back often. I’m very excited to have our proper appointments with all the contacts we made this week. Here’s some other interesting features of this new area:
– We have been going through copies of the Book of Mormon like crazy because Sister Rogers has this awesome method where if somebody doesn’t want to learn more, she offers them a Book of Mormon and invites them to read it and get back to us. She is great.
– It’s wonderful to be around so many kids and babies and old people again. I really missed that.
– In baby animal news, I met a really nice corn snake this week. Seriously the nicest snake. I loved her.
– We got to help plant blueberries?!
– As you know, Sunday was daylight savings so obviously a fourth of the ward forgot and showed up an hour late, including the chorister. Missionaries are the designated substitutes for everything and so I was called upon to lead the music for the whole congregation approximately two and a half minutes before the meeting began!! Oh mercy. I got through it, though.
– Our gospel principles teacher is Canadian! We started talking about our Canadian heritage until finally our teacher’s wife said, “Is this a lesson on prayer or a lesson on Canada?”
– The missionaries in this unit have been really into whittling lately, and the elders brought us a log to whittle. I don’t know. The nursery calling is real.
– We street contacted this really wonderful older lady who had a denim bucket hat on that had the words, “got email?” on it. She gave us a nice lecture on faith and didn’t really want us to come back but she was great and when a car zoomed by a little too close she exclaimed, “he is going to send us all to glory!” So that’s my new pet road rage phrase.
– The daffodils and crocuses are blooming beautifully!
Sister Rogers, as I mentioned, is great. She is way chill, is from Orderville, UT, and is a jujitsu (did I even spell that right???) master. Also her mom is a painter. She’s the best. She and I go way back so we were already friends when I got there. Oh, and she has beautiful hair. We’re having a great time together and I have a lot to learn from her.
Finally, I would like you all to know that the Book of Mormon has power. Real, big power. Sister Rogers will often tell street contacts that the Book of Mormon has changed her life, and that always gives me pause. I invite you to consider: how has the Book of Mormon changed your life? How could it change your life? How would you want it to change your life? And if you haven’t read it, you can order a copy here: mormon.org/free-book-of-mormon
My friends and siblen, I can’t wait to hear all about your experiences with the Book of Mormon this week. You can write me at 841 Thomas Ct. #57, Winchester VA 22601
Sister Apple Blossom