Monday, April 28, 2014

Change is good right?!

So....This has been the most suspenseful transfer call of my life!!!!! I will just tell you quick because its the only thing I can think about. I don't even remember what happened this week so it may be a really short email.
         Blah...okay. So Transfers are this week and that means we get the transfer call (to tell us if either of us are getting transferred) Monday night. Because its transfer week everyone's preparation day gets switched to Tuesday. So that way we all know before our pday so we can pack if we are getting transferred. But, Since we are scheduled to serve at Kirtland on Tuesday that means our Preparation day is today which means they would call us Sunday night. So we were really excited and nervous and going a little bit crazy as the time got closer and closer. Well, we finish planning, anxiously get ready for bed and start writing in our journals, Waiting any second for our District Leader to call. Now, Up till this point we always have fun trying to play the "transfer game" Where we try to predict who is getting transferred and where to. Now this would be impossible in a normal mission but as us sites sisters stay in the same area's around Kirtland we can sometimes get it right. Well There are still tons of options so its just fun to all see if we can figure out what is most likely to happen. Well we have two sisters going home this transfer and both of them are Sister Training Leaders which means they had to call two new ones. Everybody kept telling me they thought I was going to be the next Kirtland Sister Training Leader (their area is actually called Shaker Heights East but they are in charge of coordinating things at Kirtland as well as normal sister training leader responsibilities) Or "Kirtland Queens" as we all affectionately call them:) Well Of course there is no way so I just would brush it off whenever anyone said anything. It really is silly that we obsess over transfers, Its not like we can really figure it out. Its all based on revelation. Anyways. So here we are anxiously awaiting the call Sunday night and it never comes! We text our sister training leaders and our district leader who said he was still waiting on the zone leaders who said they were waiting on the AP's. We eventually got told (at 10:40pm)  we would find out in the morning..Well we tried to sleep, Got ready in the morning, headed over to district meeting, got all the way through district meeting and Elder Carr (our DL) had still not heard. Well District meeting gets over and we all get up to put our chairs away, chatting away and all of the sudden Elder Carr just looks at his phone and blurts out "Oh Sis. Newren you are getting out-zoned" We all just stop in our tracks and I think I almost fainted! Sis. Coontz and I just look at each other and I just wanted to cry. I made her give me a hug. We complained for a minute "wait, What??? I can't believe you just blurted that out! Are you SURE, let me see that text, I can't believe it. I can't leave!!!!"  yeah it was rough. And pretty hilarious. We then went out for breakfast as a district and the whole time I don't think it really hit me. It probably won't till Transfer meeting. So Sis. Coontz and I were still recovering from that shock. We came to the library to email, and somebody had texted us so Sis. Coontz was getting back to them when suddenly she looks at me with panic in her eyes, I look at the phone and President Vellinga is calling. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!! We were freaking out! He only calls if something big is happening! Well yep. Shoot, We run out of the library and answer and he asks to speak with me alone. So I take it off speaker and he says
      "Sis. Newren, You two have been doing amazing work out there. You are two of the finest missionaries and I really hate to split you up but I need to transfer you."
      "okay" (already knew that so no surprise)
      " I want you to be a Sister Training you accept the call?" (Biggest shock of my life...whaaaaaaattt???? I feel like I just finished training!!!!!)
      " ......of course President" (AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!)
     "Thank you, I trust you to be a good example"
      "I will do my best President" (what am I supposed to say to that????! also....still in a bit of a stupor at this point)
      "good, Alright, Let me talk with both of you now.....Sis. Coontz I just called your companion to be a Sister Training Leader."  (she laughs and says "President I think you are just having me train Sister Training Leaders:)" Her other companion got called to be a Sister training leader too..might actually be the one I end up being with)
      "Okay, The Ashtabula East area is going to stop being Full proselyting now. We need you back at Kirtland"
     "okay, sounds good"
     " Alright, Thank you Sisters for all you do!"
                  And that was pretty much it! And I am still freaking out! Sigh....I know it will be good for me, I just really don't feel up to par. So pretty much the most likely option is that I will end up being the Kirtland Sister Training Leader, There is one other option but we won't find out for sure until Wednesday at transfer meetings. Yup, Still recovering. Now I am just praying really hard that I will live up to God's expectations.
   Well, we had an amazing week, We got to milk goats with 4 of the cutest Amish kids!!!! They were so adorable! Rebecca is 13 and was so pretty and capable, She showed us how to do it and was really good at ordering us all around! The three younger boys, Eli, Andy and Henry just stared at us mostly and eagerly crowded around us whenever we snapped a picture. They can't have pictures taken of them but they were whenever we took one of us they were all like "oooh that is a nice one!" haha, So cute!
       After Church on Sunday we had a Linger longer/potluck with the whole ward to say goodbye to the Banks, It was so bittersweet, So fun to be with everybody but so sad because we knew it was likely goodbye for us too.
       Well I need to go pack asap so I will have to talk to you later. I have no idea about what time to skype on Mothers day because it will all depend on my new ward and companion. So let me know what times would be good. I love you all! Have a fabulous week!
“Never assume that you can make it alone. You need the help of the Lord. Never hesitate to get on your knees in some private place and speak with Him.”
Oh..boy am I learning that this week. Change is good, change is good!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter Everybody!!!
      Easter is one of my favorite holidays and this one was no disappointment! Sis. Coontz and I ran around all week telling everybody about the "because of Him video". It was such fun and so meaningful to spend the week teaching about what is possible in our lives through Christ!  I LOVE Him so much!!! We picked up two new investigators and are really excited about them. Things are going well here. Although progress is slow at times. We rejoice in the knowledge that we are helping people to take steps that will lead them to Christ. Even if they are baby steps...they are still heading in the right direction and that is the whole point!!
      I have been really trying to work on loving people harder as that is the revelation I felt I received from General Conference and it has been amazing to see how slowly I am coming to love the work more and more. Not that I don't love it! Its just hard to love the "hard" moments of it. But focusing on our purpose and doing it out of LOVE for my lost brothers and sisters has been amazing. I have been seeing a great change start to take place inside of me:)
         There have been a lot of ups and downs this week..kinda like a roller coaster ride...oh wait.. that's like, my whole mission. Haha! Well, Anyways. We have had a lot of good times this week but it was kinda all dashed when the Banks broke their bad news to us... to quote my journal: 
"We had a great day and had just sat down to plan for the evening when the Banks knock on our door. We let them both in. We are excited because we assume they have come over to talk to us about plans for the next day. We had been planning on going out with them and were  thrilled to tell them we had 7 scheduled appointments! (that's really good for this area). Well they just stare at us for a bit and then Sister Banks being the bold, matter-of-fact kind of person that she is just blurts out. "We have some sad news, We're getting transferred"........... Shut-the-front-door holdthehuhWHAT?????!!!! THE BANKS ARE GETTING TRANSFERRED???!?!?!?!"
        It is the most ridiculous thing and for awhile I was in complete and utter denial! How could this happen?! It was one of those things that we always laughed about as we jokingly said "What if the Banks get transferred?! hahahahahaha that would NEVER happen!!!:D" Well now it is and it is the saddest thing of my life! I love them so much! They are such pillars in this ward and I just cannot imagine it without them! I am pretty sure its just going to crumble and fall when they leave. In fact, the whole area is probably just going to go *poof* the second they step out of Ohio. They are getting transferred to Newcastle PA. Which apparently really needs them. I guess the ward is really struggling out there and the Bishop has been asking for some help. Pshw....I mean, I think it will actually be a really good thing, I just am going to miss them so much. Its just hard to imagine them anywhere else but Ashtabula, They have been such an integral part of the ward for over a year now. They only have 4 months left and Sis. Banks has been really emotional over the whole thing. Poor Sis. Banks. Well, God knows what He is doing.
          But, so yeah, while its been a really good week, at random moments we will both remember how the Banks are leaving and we will be in utter despair again. We rely on them so much!!!!
         Okay, Next interesting thing was...hmm...well really this week has just been kinda full of awkward moments. We went over to Cameron and Sis. Wiese's house to meet His kids that they have been fighting for in court and what not. Well we ended up just playing with them for an hour basically, sharing a quick message that they wouldn't listen to and getting out of there! haha. They were so sweet but crazy, hyper kids...and so funny but even as kids they were just as socially awkward as their dad. I love them all to death but oh funny! I love that there are just all sorts of people in this world!
           We had a lesson with our investigator Christina and in walks her husband wearing a collar and busy tail. I kid you not. He had just come back from running some errands and seriously had a long, bushy tail attached to his pants...Then Christina is like "Oh Steffen show them your tail!"...uh no please don't, But after he saying it several times he is like "okay" and turns around. So we just stared at his backside for an awkward minute and tried to say things like "oh that's nice/cute/ (nervous laughter) busy...haha...whatever!" it was super funny. When we left their house and were walking away we finally were able to laugh about it. Well can't say we were really surprised... It is Conneaut:)
          Now to Easter:) We had such a lovely morning at Church. Went over to the Dickey's after for an Easter Lunch. Ham, yams, mashed potatoes, veggies, rolls and pie in the typical Dickey fashion (Remind me when I get home to try and describe what that means exactly:) "Slap a ham on the table and call everyone up!" as Bro. Dickey said. It was really fun and a great day followed...until we got home that is. We went back to our apartment for our dinner break and ended up having a little time to clean a little. So we start deep cleaning our fridge (we have to deep clean this week since transfers are coming up). Well I pull out the large pane of glass that is the bottom shelf and start washing it in the the sink. I have the thought, "man what if I broke this? that would be bad, I better be careful" So being as gently as can be I start drying it off and all I can say is one second I was holding a large pane of glass and the next I had in my hand only a few shards. I have no idea what the heck happened but yup...go figure. I would break the fridge while trying to clean it. Anyways. It completely shattered EVERYWHERE. Ugh, So annoying, it took us an hour to get most everything last night so we finally just left it and went to bed and finished up for another half hour this morning (which by the way was super frustrating because missionaries don't have that kind of time!!) we might be eating glass for awhile...haha. Luckily it only cut me a teeny bit (don't worry mom:).
        So yep that was pretty much our adventures for the week. We have some really fun plans today! Bro. Harper pulled some strings with his Amish friends and arranged for us to take a buggy ride!!!! Yipee! I'm a gonna be Amish! I will tell you all about it next week.
        I love you all and hope you have a fabulous week! Thanks for the package Katie and Lizzy. Happy Birthday Leah!!!!!
        "If you don't like service, you won't like Heaven" So says President Vellinga:) So go serve someone today!
    Love, your favorite Sister Missionary;) SisN