So, to put it lightly, it’s been quite the week. Both Sister Dame and I weren’t feeling all that well, and then on Saturday afternoon we got transfer calls.
We’re both being transferred out of Chatsworth.
We’ll just leave it at that it was an emotional day for the entire district. Almost every companionship is being split up: Sister Wood, Elder Wollenzien, Elder Bertoch, and then the two of us are all being transferred, and so is Elder Yang. Yes, our ward lost three missionaries in one fell swoop. Bishop got up to do announcements, and he said, “Three things are constant – death, taxes, and missionaries being transferred.” It was silent in response, but for the quiet swear word that Brother Willis accidentally dropped. I almost died at that. Bishop Payne had us each bear our testimony, which was so hard. I was doing okay until I realized I would have to get up and face the people who have become my family for the past four and a half months of my mission, and who have taught me so much. There were some tears. I am so thankful that I got to serve these wonderful people and learn so much from them. I have never felt so much love out here in California than when I was saying goodbye to the members here in Chatsworth. I am so blessed! We are leaving Elder Magele to hold down the fort, Sister Dame is being transferred back to Korean work, and I have received a training call and will be opening a new area for sisters. President called us to work out some details and let me know that the stake president of the area I am going into has been asking and asking for sisters to be put in the area, so this upcoming transfer is going to be interesting. It’s hard to believe that my new missionary is already here in the mission, and that I’ll meet her tomorrow morning.
This transfer sounds like it’s huge. It’s kind of hilarious, because President and the Assistants assume that we’re all going to go merrily along and not swap news before transfer meeting… but we have four days of stressing out and swapping news. It sounds like there are a ton of transfers going on, especially in the Santa Clarita valley, and there were a lot of leadership calls that went out in English/Korean/ASL work this time around. As per usual, I have absolutely no idea what’s going on with my life, but I’ll survive, eh? It’s all for the craic (thanks, Tay, for reminding me of that word).
I was pretty upset, seeing as President had told me I would stay in Chatsworth another transfer to train, but in the words of Sister Abbott, “ya live and ya live.”
Also, thank you so much for the happy mail this week! It was just what I needed.
We visited some people in the past few days to say goodbye, which was hard, but I’m glad I got to go and talk with them. I am going to miss some of them so much!!
One thing that I started this week is a gratitude journal. Each night I write down five things that I’m grateful for that day. It has been such a blessing already to see how the Lord has been in the details of the day and those tender mercies that I sometimes tend to overlook. I am using the red Moleskine journal that Aunt Sandi sent – it’s perfectly sized to tuck into my bag!
Oh! I got a note from Sister Panlilio, who is currently serving in Mission Hills, and she told me that Esmeralda is going to be baptized!! And what’s more, Jorge Sr. wants to be baptized as well! I am so happy for them, and know that Miguel and Maria will soon follow them. Jorge Junior is such a good example to them, so it’s all a matter of time. But Esmeralda is one of my favorite kids that I’ve met on the mission, so that makes it all that much sweeter. Also, Sister Panlilio is a champ – she is training one of the first Deaf sisters in the mission!
We did a lot of service this week, and when we walked out of our apartment, Maria had a heart attack that we were wearing jeans. “Sisters! I thought you weren’t allowed to wear jeans!” I almost died, she was so concerned. I will miss her and Sonia so much, but know that they are going to continue to take the lessons and progress in the Gospel. We had a lesson with them on Friday, and we had Maria pray at the close of the lesson, and when she finished, Sonia said, “Can I pray too?!” A lot of times we have struggles with getting our investigators to pray in lessons because they feel embarrassed or not confident enough in their prayers. It is always so touching, because they pray so earnestly and honestly, and Sonia and Maria both prayed so humbly for Sister Dame and I. Want to touch a missionaries heart? Pray for them and their families. :)
The funny moment of the week was giving Elder Magele pop rock candy – which they don’t have in Samoa – and watching his eyes go wide when they started fizzing and popping in his mouth. They are a new favorite of his apparently. It was hilarious. He is such a sweetheart, I’m sad to be leaving him all by his lonesome in the area. I have a feeling I’m going to be transferred from the zone, so I’m pretty sad to be leaving all the Samoans here in CPZ. They never fail to make me laugh, especially since they are all incredibly easy going and gentle.
Short email this week, but know that you’ll be getting a long, newsy one next week after transfers! One quote I found this week, that I really love, by Kahlil Gibran: “And think not you can direct the course of love – for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.”
Love you all!
Picture 1 – Van Nuys street art.
Picture 2 – More Van Nuys street art.
Picture 3 – Sister Dame, me, Elder Bertoch and Elder Magele
Picture 4 – Sassiness with Jinga.