Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 7, 2016

Hey Mom!                                                                                           November 7, 2016

I really appreciate it, but you don't need to worry about sending me a replacement pair of slacks. They were the blue proselytizing ones, and I think for the time I have left the other four should cover. I guess if you still want to send me another pair you can, but I think I should be fine. And you know, it's really funny. All of my pros slacks have taken damage in some way or another to the point of them hanging until proper repair, except the light grey ones. And those are the most un-comfy pair! And despite that they've held up despite miles of all-terrain walking, weather conditions, and that one time I crashed into a stop sign in Yakima. 

Anyway, before you think I'm getting too personal with my clothing items (because I think it kind of dumb it when missionaries go tie-shopping), I should probably relate to you the experiences of this past week.

Halloween was fun! The Kalua pork turned out as great-tasting as it was nostalgic! The crock pot was a little too small, but we cut the roast up and it turned out great. So we stayed up from 6 to 9, eating kalua and rice while playing dice and board games with the 2nd ward missionaries. And for the next few days that became the highlight of the week.

Things...didn't really get hairy after that, but it definitely took a turn for the negative. Not too bad though. On Friday we got word that Cassie wanted to be confirmed into 1st ward, even though she had moved into 2nd ward. She hadn't quite grown too accustomed to the new ward yet. Subsequent calls to ward and stake leaders later made it clear that wouldn't be possible, so we called Cassie and asked if we could come over and explain the situation to her that night, you could tell she wasn't too happy to hear that she couldn't be confirmed in 1st. Let's just say that the delicacy of the situation soon bore down on us pretty well, we didn't not want to push Cassie the wrong way, but fortunately we were able to get someone from 2nd ward to come with us, Bro. Branson. Stake President Grow called next and suggested we post-pone the baptism until the next Saturday so Cassie could have enough time to spend in 2nd ward to become comfortable with her new ward family. Moving the baptism was a tough decision, since it was scheduled for the next morning. But we decided move ahead with that and started to coordinate that. Then Pres. Lewis called and we talked about it, and after a lengthy conversation where we isolated the main concern to us not handing her off to 2nd ward elders as soon as she had moved. I felt pretty hopeless and it was crushing to say the least.

Still, when we went over with Bro. Branson later on, he took control of the situation perfectly. He had leadership experience before and was quite familiar with Cassie's concern. In the end it all turned out smooth as silk. Cassie was totally understanding towards the ward boundaries, and Bro. Branson basically became her new best friend. She also understood more that the Lord had her in this ward for a reason, and she was perfectly fine with moving the baptism to the 12th. Still, the whole process of settling that was quite stressful, and in honesty, I felt that it wasn't my strength that was carrying me through it. In between travels and during calls we also witnessed a cat get hit by a car, and that normally would've dented my ability to think straight. But something kept me going. It was nice being able to report that it all went well to the different leaders after we had settled the situation. Still, even after that all I felt so...inadequate for not handling the situation beforehand like President suggested we should have done. At the end of the day I found myself on my knees begging Heavenly Father to have patience with me and my imperfections. I was broken, quite frankly. After that prayer though, I felt an impression that I should kneel again and thank Him for my family too, and so I did. 

It was then that I felt like you and Dad, along with Paul Brooke and Daniel were around me, kind of in a group-hug feeling. And I felt the Savor's love there too. Sort of felt like the group-pictures we took at Hawaii before I had come out. It was then that I felt like Someone else much more eternally special was there bearing it up with me. I wasn't alone after all! It's probably the first time in my life I had felt the strengthening power of the Savior's atonement getting me through all of that.

I had felt the forgiving power of it before, but nothing like what was behind me then. 

I learned the next day that I'm also being transferred to Moses Lake. And whaddya know, Elder Vejnar is taking my spot! Same guy who I served in Yakmia with. Everyone was quite happy to hear about that, Elder Hanson in 2nd ward particularly, since he had also served with him in Yak in the Randall Park ward. So, it looks like my time here in Ellensburg is drawing to a close. And man, what a wild ride it's been. Bishop Schilling gave his personal thanks to myself and Hermana Shewell (a Spanish sister who's getting transferred as well) yesterday during fast and testimony meeting. We both bore our testimonies, but there was a LA member who had come that day. His name is Don, and he got up and spoke about how much spirit we brought into his home every time we visited. The spirit of Christ was so strong in that meeting. I kind of felt like we did a good job here after all, despite the challenges. I'm looking forward to see what Moses Lake is like. Evidently there's a large LDS community there, but either way, it's going to be great!

Anyhoo, thanks for all the love and support you send us! Thanksgiving is coming up, and as such it's the perfect time of year to be thankful for everything that we have, down to the dirt under our feet. I'm excited to hear how living at the Ranch is going to be at again. Smokes and Harley will love it there again. Particularly Smokey, 'old cat's probably going to need to re-learn how to hunt. I'll keep you guys in my prayers!

Love you all!
Michael