The departing missionaries.
Vehicle coordinators Elder and Sister Johnson are on the far left.
Sister Daines is the one in the middle with the white shirt.
Elder Leavitt is in between the sister with the blue shirt and the sister with the pink coat.
Elder Tagaloa is on the far right.
So this week was a blast!
On Monday night, Elder Leavitt unfolded a ton of his true feelings about me as his companion. He explained a lot of what he did during the companionship and was grateful for my patience. He gave me a lot of great advice including: "Set aside these two years as a sacred time where you can develop your relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ so that in the end people will say that this missionary knows the gospel and Jesus Christ and what he needs to be. If you can transfer all your greenie fire into later determination, you will be a successful missionary."
Elder Leavitt bearing his testimony on the work and giving advice.
At transfers we had an MTC reunion with all but Sister Richardson who was staying with her trainer. I said my goodbyes to Elder Leavitt and then got in the car with Elder Moeller to begin the next transfer.
Among the departing missionaries was also Elder Tagaloa who was a pretty amazing missionary. He was replaced as AP by Elder Fore who was one of Elder Leavitt's companions.
Elder Moeller and I have been doing a lot of work here in Smith Springs. We went over to Massman Manor again to do some finding. I actually got to knock my old apartment door, which was pretty sweet. My mother had given me the address, and I found it. The current occupants are Egyptians who worship Christ, however they do not speak a single word of English other than "I'm sorry, I don't speak English." We are trying to teach a family over in that complex though who are learning English very slowly.
We also caught up with the drunk guy with the maggots on his leg, and he really surprised us. He said the day Elder Leavitt and I found him, the infection had slowly been killing him. Had we not been there on Sunday, he would've most likely been dead within the week. When we saw him a few days ago, he was sober and said that the doctors gave him a 50/50 chance that the leg would be spared. He would just need to control his drinking problem. When the paramedics brought him in on Sunday he came in showing a 3% toxic alcohol level in his body. To say he was drunk would be an understatement. But he has agreed to continue reading the Book of Mormon, and he has begun to work on his drinking problem.
I also got to go to the temple again, which marked my 3rd time in the last three months. Elder Moeller had a convert who was going through for the first time. It was super amazing to witness.
Last but not least, on Saturday we had a baptism! Sister Lee, the sister that I mentioned in my Week 5 blog ALMOST got baptized but wasn’t quite ready back then…was cleared for baptism and was baptized by President Andersen this past Saturday! After the baptism, the sisters, accompanied by myself on guitar and Sister Andersen on piano, played "In The Garden" (I think it's a famous Christian hymn) for a special musical number.
Here is a link to Alan Jackson singing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aIhta9exts
Afterwards, Sister Lee stated that the song was her favorite and also it was her father's favorite. She was so full of emotion and happiness upon hearing it. What really surprised me though was when she asked me to be the one who confirmed her as a member of the Church.
I was petrified--so scared that I had forgotten the dinner calendar to bring to church the next Sunday. As we gathered in a circle of brethren and placed our hands on her head to confirm her, I was shaking. After I finished the confirmation blessing, I almost fell down as I walked back to my seat. The only time I felt the love of God that powerfully before was when I went to the temple for the first time.
I think I'll end it at that. We are all set to have a great week. Hope you all do, too.
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder Bryner arm wrestling Brother Hernandez,
our amazing ward mission leader.
You can contact me at:
Elder Andrew Peery
Tennessee Nashville Mission
105 Westpark Drive, Suite 190
Brentwood, TN 37027-5010