Once again, I've waited to do this email last. I have so many birthday emails and I'm SO grateful to everyone that wrote me this week!
Transfer calls came on my birthday as well, but we already knew by Friday morning what was happening with us becaue President called to ask me if I would train a new missionary next transfer. Um, HECK YEAH!!!!! I am beyond excited, but there's this awkardness with Sister Baxter because she was pretty sure she was staying. Everything with transfers happened like I knew it would. Except that Elder Corbin is leaving, which I'm bummed about because he may be more happy than even Elder Kelly was. But I plan to keep up the happy for the unit. The STLs are now in Syracuse and my Texas sister, Sister Easthope is leaving:(But Sister Collette is coming to be my STL!!!!! I'm way excited for that. Because of these transfer calls though, my companion didn't feel like talking to me all Friday and Saturday so that made me super sad and really homesick on my birthday. We've kind of talked about it though and I just need to stop talking about it, or being excited. Whatever. I'm sure ready for Wednesday!
But nervous. I've only been to two transfer meetings because of my ETs so I can't even remember what they're like!
Maggie Maccallum's baptism (a little girl in the ward that is my best friend) was Saturday morning, then we went with Maggie and Sister Maccallum to the women's broadcast at the stake center in Liverpool. I LOVED IT!!!! That broadcast is one of the things I will forever look forward to eacch conference. Best birthday present ever. And as always, the Spirit pointed out things that made the whole conference seem specifically for me! I have been studying faith, hope and charity and how truly they are "the fountain of all righteousness" (Ether 12:28). So President Uchtdorf's talk really got me excited. We're watching it with someone tonight too. I'm pumped!
I love it :) They went to Sister Whitley's and set up for this "surprise party". But what they did sure was a surprise! Before we walk in, I can hear myself singing "How Great Thou Art" and all the lights are off inside. I was super confused and kind of scared to see what craziness Sister Whitley had planned for me. I walk in her dark kitchen and there's some tea light candles that spell 'Hallsted' :) There're blankets on the walls to look like carpets and there's a microphone, home made recording equipment and a sign that says "Recording Studio". The elders are just standing under the sign smiling and Sister Whitley is sitting in her walker next to the microphone. They had recreated when I got to record in June Audio studios!!! I started to tear up and everything!! They don't believe me that this truly was the best birthday I have ever had. I felt so much love from the peple in this area on my birthday and I needed it! And I just absolutely adore being a missionary. I could never say it enough. It brings me SO much joy. Kinds of happy that I have never felt before. I have felt God's love so real, so strongly and felt part of His love for others that I have met here. I know this is Christ's church 110%- I have no doubts at all. Before my mission, but espcially on my mission I have learned that is true. I LOVE having the gospel. Nothing could change people the way I've seen the gospel change people. Especially me :)
I had many random surprise parties... but the best one, you already know. I wish I had more time to tell!!! But, after church, the elders didn't do 'month end' with us, but went to Sister Whitley's. The sisters always go over there every Sunday. She's really old. We do crafts and "share some gospel".
I sure love you all and am so grateful for all that you guys do for me.
ps. Sorry I just wrote an email all about my bithday. How lame am I?