Well, it is officially crunch time. My last transfer has begun, and it is going to be a wild one. As the title suggests, I will be leaving Gaffney and going to a new area for my last transfer! I am super stoked and it is going to be fun to see how much I can get done in one transfer.
I will be going to Spartanburg 2nd Ward (which is basically just down the road) with Elder B. who is way cool. I have also heard that the ward is really awesome so I am really looking forward to what is to come.
Elder S. and I will be leaving Gaffney, as they are closing down our area and are having the Gaffney ward run by just one set of missionaries instead of 2. I had been suspecting this for a while now, especially with them taking our car, so it didn’t really come as a surprise when President Innes gave us the news in interviews. Apparently our mission is losing 6 cars, not to mention a car totaled by a very unhappy deer, so they are having to downsize the number of car areas and increase the number of bike areas for elders. Sometimes I wish I was a sister.
Anyways, I am SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER SUPER x 3 excited for the new opportunities this upcoming transfer will bring. Honestly it’s given me a huge burst of motivation to absolutely annihilate the next month and a half.
As far as other things go, this week was ok. For lack of better words, biking in Gaffney is terrible. I mean, I have no problem biking long distances. In Windsor Lake, Elder N. and I would sometimes bike 50 mile days. But biking on the roads out here in Gaffnanistan is stupidly dangerous, not to mention the street folk here are another level of insane. Lets just say I am glad the whole Gaffney Bike Elders idea is being put to rest.
Monday was interesting. We just chilled in our apartment and played card games for most of the day, and then randomly got hit with the most severe thunderstorm I have experienced on my mission. Come to find out, it was actually a category E2 tornado that touched down 2 or so miles away from our apartment. We would never have even realized this had we not gotten a call from the ZL’s asking if we were alive. Lightning actually struck the apartment and the power surge broke most of the light bulbs in the place. Honestly though, I didn’t think much about the whole tornado thing. We get tornado warnings all the time here, and they never actually happen.
On Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder E., one of our ZL’s. Brother L., our YM president was driving us to visit a few people and told us about the tornado, and even took us to where it touched down a couple miles away from our place. Shame on me for blowing the whole thing off, because it did some major damage. Like making homes disappear, moving carport garages into trees, playing dominoes with telephone poles, etc.. If I had known that it was going to get so close to us I would have actually been worried.
Anyways, the rest of the week was pretty dull, aside from the weekend. Friday we had interviews with President which were really good. They are starting to bring back the ability to have meals with members and it should be way awesome! Friday was also when we found out about us leaving Gaffney, and I spent the rest of the evening freaking out and being excited.
Saturday we had the ward Trunk ‘o Treat which was way awesome! We were able to get one of our recent converts to bring her non member son and it was way cool! We decorated our trunk and handed out pass along cards and candy, and all in all I think it was a success.
Sunday was good. We had a linger longer after church that we were able to get our recent converts son to as well! It was really cool to see someone who was previously opposed to the church start showing interest!
I would like to finish this email by talking about an experience I had this week. In part of my Patriarchal blessing it talks about how I will meet and teach people that no one else will get along with or connect with as well. Though this blessing applies directly to me, I think the concept applies to everyone in one way or another. There are people out in the world that will only be receptive to the gospel because of your involvement.
Throughout my mission this has troubled me thoroughly. Though I have had the chance to bring several people into the church, I really never felt that I played a huge role in their conversion. I personally think they would have joined the church with or without me. As I am coming up on the end of my mission, this really started to bug me. It wasn’t until Saturday that I was told by our recent convert that the only reason why her son now showed interest in the church was because of me. Apparently, for reasons unknown to me (I have hardly done anything for this guy), her son was very impressed and drawn to me. No other missionaries had ever gotten him to participate in church activities and show interest in the church. I was the first to do it, and I didn’t even do anything! Literally all I did was invite him. Now that he has started doing stuff with the church, he has made a lot of member friends and wants to keep coming back, regardless of whether or not I am there. This whole experience made me realize that just because I won’t be teaching this man all of the lessons and baptizing him into the church, doesn’t mean I didn’t play a big role in his conversion. Every one of us has someone out there who needs us, and we need to find them. Though we aren’t the converter (the Spirit is of course), we will play irreplaceable roles in other’s lives.
Anyways, thanks again for all that all of you do! I will look forward to talking more next week about the new changes headed my way!
Elder Jeremiah Brown