|Elder Schaff with Kevin, Elder Derbidge and Elder Lopez in Selma|
Some church media made me think of you. There's a video on Mormon Channel called "A Piano's Purpose." I can't remember if I shared that with you already or not, I really like it though. A departing missionary that liked the piano melody asked me to find it, and I found a link to it, but afterwards he left the sheet music behind. I've taken a few cracks at it. I'm not much for two-handed coordination, but I played some of it. It's called "See the Potential" you may like the melody.
Also, just in general for the family, there is a song in the 2017 Mutual Theme Album called "What Family Means to Me," I think it's an accurate description of the good things about families. Check them out!
My new companion and I are doing great right now. I think I mentioned it last week that Elder N is from Florida, and is capable of a true southerner's accent. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera to email this week, but last Saturday we made homemade fried chicken and mac and cheese. I took a video of everything we had when it was done, similar to the video we got from Elder Nielsen back in Selma, because it was the easiest way to cover everything quickly. Anyway, that was a fun thing to do. We cook a lot now.
Elder N likes music and likes to sing, has a good sense of humor, and has a very motivated drive to do what is right and required of him. He is older than most missionaries, as his papers got lost in the shuffle for a few months while he was waiting to get called. He is determined to make his mission count and has an energized and happy spirit. He also laughs hysterically to many jokes that I have made, and sometimes he has laughed so hard that I can't help but laugh. Even thinking about it makes me smile!
I was writing Dad a bit, but I'd like to ask you as well, what do you live for? I'm amazed at how quickly life passes by me while I serve here in the Mission Office. I've almost been with Elder N for two weeks. Where does the time go? I've been in the office for 2 months starting today. Didn't I just arrive? Every area I enter seems to make time whiz by more and more quickly.
But I was also telling Dad how I'm led to the conclusion that a life focused on the Plan of Salvation is a happy one, regardless of how fast it goes or whatever else is accomplished.
Ever asked, why am I here? where did I come from? is there anything after I die? The Plan of Salvation answers these questions
This week was also transfer week, and church travel lined up the departing missionaries to leave on the same day that new missionaries came in, which was a bit hectic. I was distributing numbers at transfer hub again, which are used for the missionaries to park their cars in order. I don't know if I've ever really described "transfer hub." There's a Stake Center right next to the Temple, and the two parking lots merge into one big parking lot. All the cars line up on the road next to this, and are brought into the parking lot 8 at a time. These groups of 8 usually work just right to have all of the missionaries move their things to their new assignments and be on their way, and then another group comes. While I was distributing numbers, Elder N checked on car registrations and things like that. As always, we also got to see first-hand that it takes Sister Missionaries about 3 times as long to say good-bye as it does Elders! It's an interesting phenomenon.
The new infantry units arrived....wait, I mean new missionaries. There were 22 of them, again! It's a lot. So I gave my speech to them about email and preparation day, baptismal records and checked if they have ID that will expire before they go home. That's only a 6-7 minute process, but x22 it took about 4 hours. Crazy!
The new missionaries were paired with their trainers on Thursday. We have the trainers line up in groups of 2-6 to meet their trainees, once President announces it. Then they run to their trainee and give them a hug and sit down. Usually. This round a few of the new missionaries got picked up and carried a distance, one even all the way to his seat, others bear-hugged, but most striking was one that got tackled. This impact unfortunately broke the new missionary's glasses, so I pray for that companionship!
Work in Mountain View area has slowed down a bit. We haven't seen as many people recently. But with transfers, we got a new District and Zone Leader, and we hear that plans have been made for them to try and find some people in our area. We'll see if it has any effect! It's hard to preach the gospel in affluent places.
I do want to share though that my testimony continues to grow. I have been blessed frequently to see the parallels that the Book of Mormon has with modern life, and I find myself receiving constant revelation and guidance as to what I should do next or where I can improve as I read each page and draw conclusions. It's not a wonder that God's voice, reaching us through His prophet today, has warned us to read daily and feast from its pages. It brings much needed peace. I am grateful to see that whatever our pursuits in life may be, there is purpose and joy in living the Gospel. Nothing can go too wrong, for long, if we will follow Christ.