Pictures first from now on for those of you who don't want to read the letter :) -Julie
Sister Baxter and I on my birthday... horse heads at the Pappas :)
Last drive as the Fulton unit :( I miss Elder Corbin.
And my new companions! We're at the Oswego beach at Lake Ontario.
They were dying about how gorgeous it is :)
Me with SIster Hansen. I miss her already!
To start off, I am doing very well! I forgot what it was like to be a fun, laughing missionary. Happiness just comes so easily in these circumstances. So... just to add some more chaos to the layout of my mission, President Rogers calls me on Tuesday at 10 pm and tells me that he has bad news for me. I've heard this twice before so I just assumed I was being ET'd (Emergency Transferred) again. Who's up for round three? ;) He told me that my trainee went home right from the MTC before they flew out to NY, so I would be joining Sister Loveland and Hess in Liverpool and that we would work something out for Oswego so that I could drive up once a week to teach people. I am sooo grateful for the experiences in my life thus far that have helped me know without any doubt that the Lord will take care of things. I was only a slight bit stressed for my people in Oswego that we teach, but I know completely that once I get back, the Lord will rain down blessings upon us. I just didn't realize how many miracles would happen while I was gone!! There's been soooo many blessings, guys! The elders are seeing lots of my people and having such powerful experiences with them and members have ran into some of my investigators randomly and have actually decided to fellowship them! miracle :) Also, I wondered if some of the people we teach were becoming more focused on me than Jesus Christ, so it's been great to see that they're converted to the gospel, not me :) Many other miracles with my specific investigators that I am thrilled about.
I'm just staying in Liverpool until we can get a visa-waiter (missionary who will serve in the Utica mission only until their visa comes for their foreign mission). They're estimating two weeks, but now they're acting like it's going to be a lot longer than that. This is SUCH an inspired thing we've got going on here. I LOVE the way things have turned out. I was bummed not to train. They made me go to the trainers meeting still because I'll technically be training the visa-waiter I guess, but the whole time Elder Ayre kept making jokes about how everyone's training... except Sister Hallsted. Rude :) I got to see Sister Hansen at transfers and we didn't leave each other's sides for a single minute. Also, I got all my birthday mail and packages at transfers and everyone was like Holy Cow, Sister Hallsted!!! Hahaha I looked so loved. I felt so loved :) So thank you so so much everyone!
So, basically this is the most inspired last minute companionship. These sisters both came out three transfers ago and it is SO fun! Remember when I went on exchanges with Sister Loveland and she was totally unteachable? That was the only exchange this transfer that I felt like wasn't complete. Now I get another go at it! I'm only afraid that I'm just so used to being an STL and exchanges that I'm STLing them too much and taking over things. But they are both so open to changing and growing right now. AHHH. THAT'S THE BEST. It's this beautiful love triangle we've got going on that I explained to my journal. We're all helping each other so much, but mostly it goes Sister Hess is made for Sister Hallsted, Sister Hallsted for Sister Loveland and Sister Loveland for Sister Hess and our specific personalities and strengths are so fitting for what we need most right now. I love it so very much.
Liverpool is interesting.... more like Liverpoop in my opinion, but it's going to become the promised land by the time we leave this place! They have one investigator, but we're going to see so many miracles this week!!!!! We already have! I am SO excited to help the Lord build an area from the bottom up again! I took the sisters to Oswego to watch conference at my ward mission leader's house, the Murphy's, on Saturday. We stayed there all day with the elders too and that was just too much fun. We had a sleepover in my apartment in Oswego, both of these sister's first times leaving an area. So cute :) We watched Conference at the Maccallums for Saturday morning session, had some lessons, then left to Liverpool again and just watched Conference at the church. I loved Elder Renlund's talk and Elder Christofferson's! It was sooo cool to show them how Oswego was before and how an area can grow sooo much faster than most missionaries realize. Because it's not our work, it's the Lord which allows a ton of miracles to happen. Just having Liverpool sisters now that love the Lord and His children and want to work hard for Him is making a huge difference. It's so exciting explaining all this to these adorable newer sisters. Especially telling them the power of obedience and using 100% of our time to serve Him. They are seeing it too!
Another cool thing is that a general authority is coming to our mission! Elder Bennett is coming this Friday! So we're having another mission conference and I am so excited!!!! Plus, I get to see Sister Hansen again. I'm so happy!!! We're planning on going back up to Oswego again after the conference and sleeping over and working there on Saturday.
I know this is going to be a great two weeks and definitely a part of my mission that will change me a lot! I love the Lord so very much and feel so much gratitude to Him for how He's blessed me and my dear Oswego friends. Jehovah-Jireh. The Lord ALWAYS provides.