It Definitely Has Been Quite a Week!

It definitely has been quite a week.  Let  me tell you that you weren’t the only one who was shocked about being switched to a different mission.  Just to give you a little background of what happened.  We knew that stake conference was coming up and that there was most likely going to be a new stake created in the area.  This change had alot of missionaries and ward members very anxious to find out.  We got a call thursday night before stake conference and was told that president moldenhauer was holding a meeting right before the adult session to let us know what was going on.  We figured that mission boundaries were changing after hearing that wards from the other mission were attending our stake conference, but we didn’t know exactly what that intended.  We rode with the zone leaders (who are in pasadena 2nd ward, we are in first, and we were going to be in completely different stakes) to Baytown and waited for president Moldenhauer and the Assistants to show up.  We were all waiting and there were a bunch of missionaries outside waiting for the adult session and they were all joking with us about being kicked out of the mission (because there were only 10 elders and the zone leaders invited to the meeting) but we did not even expect that.  We sat down in the relief society room and President came in and you could tell by his face that something was up.  He was waiting for otheres to show up and started making small talk and said that we were such a handsome group and stuff like that, so we thought that was suspicious.  We then saw Sister Moldenhauer walk in and she had teary eyes, so we knew something was happening but didn’t know what.  They had me say an opening prayer and then president told us that he was so excited to tell us that the church is growing rapidly because of missionary’s hard work and efforts all over the world.  He told us that the Houston Area was getting a new stake created and how exciting that would be, and it would be effecting mission boundaries.  We figured that they were going to take all 10 of us out of our areas and move us into other areas in the east mission, and then just fill our areas with south elders.  President started crying and read a paper from the 70 that said in order to accomodate the changes being made, 9 of us (because one was going home in two weeks) had been reassigned to the houston south mission and that we were to meet our new mission president the next day after stake conference.  It felt like the someone had just stabbed me because i didn’t expect it.  We all started crying and not really able to talk.  They told us of the love that they had for us and that President Saylin was a great man.  We closed the meeting with hugs and with that Picture (elder beck is in front of me i think, he has short blonde hair and is little.) .  We walked out of the meeting and saw some missionaries and told them what happened and that was really hard as well.  We rode back with the zone leaders that night (who were staying in the east mission) and everything felt so surreal.  We said our goodbyes to them and went home that night not being able to sleep much because we didn’t know what was instore for us.  We went to stake conference the next day and while we were waiting for stake conference to start,  we were tracked down and found by president and sister saylin, another guy in the mission presidency, and several missionaries welcoming us into the mission.  They were all very nice.  after the meeting we met with about 20 south missionaries, us nine, and president saylin and his family.  They were all very welcoming and did whatever they could do to make us feel welcome.  they invited us over for dinner at the mission home on monday night in Sugar land.  We still felt a little uneasy but monday morning we had our first president interview with President Saylin.  He is such a great guy and he just got to know me.  He also really wanted to know my opinion on pasadena and what it’s needs are and what I think he should do to make the area continue to grow.  He wanted to know how i felt about putting another companionship in pasadena and what the ward was like and everything.  He really valued my opinion.  We went over that night to the mission home and were greeted with hugs from all the mission leaders and everyone there.  We had a little orientation at the beginning and then had dinner and then we had a testimony meeting after.  The whole time I thought they were going to be treating us like we were the new guys and this is how they do it and we need to get with it fast, but that’s not what it was like at all.  In the End President Saylin got up and bore his testimony about how every 6 weeks they get to send missionaries home who have served their two years and are the leaders that the mission needs and are the experienced one, and how that same day they get new missionaries starting their missions that they have to train and start from the beginning.  He told us how lucky he was to get 9 missionaries to come into the mission that are at the caliber of those he just sent home and how the mission needs us for some reason that may not be known to him or us at that point.  He testified that there was a reason we were placed in our areas that we are and that the Lord wanted us to serve in the South mission for some reason and that is why Pres. Moldenhauer was inspired to put us where we are when he did.  Sister Saylin got up and welcomed us all into the mission expressed with us how they all know what a hard situation this is for us and that they understand that completely and that they will do whatever they can to make us feel welcomed into the mission family.  She also said something really cool, that it doesn’t matter if we where our houston east pin or our houston south pin, but all in all we all wear the same name badge and we are all doing one work.  That is so true.  We went home that night feeling really good about this new experience (even though we still feel kinda lost and like brand new missionaries again because we have to get used to new rules and how they do everything).  We thought all of the welcomes were over but while we were studying the next day, we heard the doorbell, so we went to the door and one of the assistants to the president and one of our zone leaders for the new mission was standing there with donuts and kolaches and asked us if they could study with us.  It was so cool to have them study with us and help us understand how they do things but they also asked us for input on what we have found successful.  It was awesome.  

Things are going to be a little weird for a little bit but President and Sister Saylin are really doing whatever we can to get us transitioned and feeling at home as fast as possible.  They are wonderful people.  It’ll get some time to get used to the different rules and guidelines, but it’ll go well.  For example, we can now listen to more music.  We can listen to motab, classical non-vocal music over 100 years old, anything with the church seal on it, and also the “EFY” cd’s.  That adds alot to our musical selection so that has been nice.  Like you already know our p-days are on mondays now so that is when i will be emailing.  Their transfer schedule is a week earlier than the east mission, and they do transfers a little different.  We will get a call this next monday morning (before i email you on pday which is good) to tell us if we are being effected by transfers.  If we are we have all of monday and all of tuesday to pack and then we go to a church by the mission home in sugar land on wednesday for “transfer meeting.”  While there, we will have a devotional and mini conference and then president will read off the new companionships and send us off to our new areas.  I think it will be a good way to meet more people and see what it is like.  OH AND GUESS WHAT! remember be telling you that Jordan Oliver was going to be in the mission right next to me, we are now in the same mission!  This is his first transfer so he is still training, but I can’t wait to see him again and surprise him! We may even serve together!  President Saylin told me that since I have been in pasadena for a while, I am definitely a candidate for transfers next week, but he will know by today what the lord wants for me and where that is.

Well that has been most of the event in the past couple of days.  Pretty crazy i know, but it keeps me on my toes.  I know that everything happens for a reason, and even though it’s still hard to leave our friends in the other mission, this is where i’m supposed to be.  They tried to tell us that they split missions every so often, but that is different than what we went through.  Everything that we went through happened in a span of about 3 days (even the presidents knowing) when the other is planned out in advance by the mission presidents, and even then the mission is split in half and more than just 9 elders go.  But us 9 have really gained a close relationship and are excited to see what is in store for us.  I kinda feel bad for elder beck because he has served his whole mission in east and only has 4 months left and he has to finish it in a brand new mission with people he doesn’t even know.  But he is really positive about everything.  

Thank you for sending off my halloween package! and tell dad to lighten up that missionaries still have to have fun!  He would be shocked at some of the stuff we are allowed to do!  We’re not like monks!  

I’m glad you had a great time at the halloween party and I can’t wait to see those pictures!  Tell everyone what is going on and that as soon as I get back in the swing of things, i’ll write them asap!  

I have to email 2 mission presidents this week so i gotta go, but i will be sure to keep you updated if i am being transferred next week or not.  Love you lots and tell everyone the same!  

I miss you,

 Love Blake

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