Thursday, May 20, 2010
Guess what?!? I got transferred to Iowa! Isn't that nuts! And I'm with Sister Worthen! We are so excited! We came out together so we both were very happy when transfer calls came on Wednesday. Oddly enough, I only lived in Iowa for five and a half days. Today we moved from the member's house we were living at in Council Bluffs to the apartments near the Trail Center. So instead of commuting from Iowa to work in the Trail Center we will commute from the Trail Center to go proselyte in Iowa. Ever since transfers, things have been a little bit crazy. It's always a little bit stressful getting used to a new companion and a new area with all these new people to meet and love, but this transfer has been especially crazy. I'm just grateful that I already love Sister Worthen. We laugh all the time, mostly at ourselves because we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off. We just took over the Council Bluffs singles ward in addition to the Greenview ward. That means our Sundays are full; we have a meeting from 7:15 to 8:00, breakfast from 8 to 9, Church from 9 to noon, another meeting from noon to 1, church again from 1 to 4, dinner from 4 to 5, and then serving in the Trail Center from 5 to 9. It is nuts but I love it! Being a busy missionary is the way to go. And I love working with a singles ward; we can be very straightforward without causing offense. Younger people tend to be more open and less weird about people our age teaching them. So, I'm really enjoying the singles ward so far. The other main contributor to the craziness was moving. We've basically been living in two different places because we kept spending the night to work at the Trail Center. In fact, I only spent the night in Iowa three times. Still, I think that is enough to say that I've lived in Iowa. Now that we have officially moved, we are hoping we will begin to feel more organized and less frazzled.
The work in the Greenview area is amazing! That first Thursday, Sister Worthen and I were teaching constantly! It was so fun. I feel like we've been going from appointment to appointment, teaching really simple and really quick so that we have time to get to the next one. I love it! This is how missionary work should be. Being busy is the best, and with all our different responsibilities now (Greenview Ward, Loess Hills Ward, and the Trail Center) we are very busy. Heavenly Father definitely blesses us to be effective with our time when we spend so much of it in the Trail Center rather than out in our areas proselyting. It is really cool to see how that works.
Our main investigator right now is Jason. He loves the gospel and can't wait to be baptized but needs to stop smoking. The first day I met him, I had on my green jacket and he said the funniest thing in his prayer ... something like "Thank you for sending the sisters to teach me ... and Sister Mortensen is wearing bright green coat so she'll stand out so people can see her. So please help them to find people who will listen." It was hilarious! As you can tell, he loves the gospel and can't wait to be baptized. The only thing is that he needs to stop smoking. We are working with him on implementing the church's "No Smoking Program." We had a great lesson on it at our ward mission leader's home last night and he is committed to doing it. At the end of the lesson he asked why we care so much about him. I immediately responded with "Because you are worth it." Even though I've only known him for a few days, I already love him and can feel how much Heavenly Father loves him and wants to bless him. So of course we will keep working with him and helping him as much as we can to receive all the blessings that come with baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. One last funny thing Jason asked. He asked Sister Worthen if she could baptize him. We explained that the priesthood is only given to worthy males in the church so, no, she would not be able to. Still, it was funny to picture Sister Worthen baptizing Jason because she is really small and he is huge. I'm pretty sure she wouldn't be able to help him out of the water at all, no matter how strong she is (and she is pretty strong).
Yesterday, Sister Lawlor and I had the most amazing tour. Sister Lawlor just started her mission so we took these two old ladies and an old man on tour together. They were Lutheran, but the one lady had found a Book of Mormon in her mother's old things and was very interested to learn more. It was a powerful tour because Sister Lawlor testified constantly and that really brought the spirit. We taught the restoration at the bust of Joseph Smith, the plan of salvation in the memorial room, the gospel at the wagon wheel, and committed them to read and pray about the Book of Mormon at the end, near the handcart. They really enjoyed it and you could tell because we were all beaming as we came back into the lobby. Who doesn't love feeling the Spirit? They loved it so much that they gave us hugs, even the old man (slightly awkward, but it would have been more awkward if I didn't accept his hug). It was definitely one of my favorite tours.
Well, I love you all very much. Thanks for the gospel art book and the camera card! And thanks for keeping me posted. It sounds like you all had a fun filled weekend with the parade and all. Sis, you look good in the picture mom sent. I'll try to atatch some pictures of the Trail Center spots I mentioned.
Sister Bailey Mortensen