Thursday, May 5, 2011

That Was A Doozy

Well everyone, another transfer and another move! I'm all the way over in Košice today! As a District leader! What?!?!? But we'll get to that....

The past week and a half was good. I had a great birthday, thank you SO much for the birthday wishes! Can you believe I'm 22 now? I was able to go on a little excursion for my b-day actually. Elder Walker needed to go to Brno for an interview with President Irwin, his companion had to go to Vienna for visa stuff so he asked if I could go with him. (Tri-ships are great in that there is always an extra person) It was a kind of nice to do something a little different- and I was able to run into Elder Meiling and Sister Anderson from the MTC days! The Brno zone was having a training that day. An Elder there is from Germany so I was able to get my letter translated! Turns out it is a member who might be moving to Trencin and he wanted more information about the branch. Kind of random. It was definitely fun to see the Czech missionaries. Everyone was a little confused why/how I showed up. Sister Anderson immediately started asking about Elder Bacon and Nichol and told me (in her own way of course) that we had better be following our white handbook and that we better not be disobedient because "President has high expectations and plans for the 3 of you". What do you say to that? So I saluted and said, "Yes maám!'' I told my companions what she said, that we really need to raise our work to the next level if we want to reach those expectations set for us. But for the most part I managed to forget about what she said and keep going. Lesson: always listen to Sister Anderson.
The next day I had another exchange with my district leader, Elder Doxey. It was really a fantastic day. Some really great meetings and we were able to find some cool new people to teach. He went back home today so I spent the whole day talking to him and asking him questions about this and that, you know, how I can be a better missionary. I always love exchanges with older companions because I always come away learning something.
The end of the week has been kind of tough for us in terms of missionary work. Peter, our semi-homeless member, has been trying to get a job and I literally sat in front of a computer for about 3 hours with him trying to get a resume worked out. Despite all of his odd jobs and lack of "real" experience he came out with a pretty good looking resume. One of our members has been in contact with a company to try and hire him. The branch in Bratislava has really started to get together and try to come up with some solutions for Peter. It's been great to see.
It is an extremely exciting time in Bratislava right now. Besides having PERFECT weather, which has made people so much more willing to stop and talk to us, Slovakia is holding the World Hockey Cup. Who knew there was such a thing?? I didn't. Hockey is everywhere right now. There is definitely an energy in the air. The fans are coming from all over Europe. So far my favorite are the Finns. They have no shame in dressing up as their mascot (who might be a super hero) in support of their country. I vowed to get a picture with some of them but I've been transferred.
Which brings us to the past Monday when we got our "transfer call". We were sitting around the table eating dinner giving our final guesses where Elder Nichol would move to. We knew he would leave, he's already been here for 6 months. Then President himself calls. I manage to snag the phone first and answer it. He says, ''Elder Williams, would you like to know your transfer??" And then our phone dies! Just goes out. So we jump up and freak out a little bit. Lots of yelling, lots of jumping, etc etc. So we get the phone working again, call President back and he tells me that I am moving to Kosice and then adds, as the District Leader. Its on speaker phone and Elder Nichols mouth drops. He then asks to talk to Nichol who is then told that he is moving to Zlina, also as a district leader. At this point Elder Bacon does NOT want the phone. But President tells him not to worry, that he is staying in Bratislava as a normal missionary. We go to bed that night and Elder Nichol and I just could not get to sleep. There are so many things that District Leaders do that I just didn't think I could do. Holding District Meetings once a week, doing exchanges with other missionaries, helping missionaries pass off their language levels, etc etc. But it's been a couple of days and after a sit-down/training time with Elder Doxey who gave us everything he knew, I feel ready and excited for this new chapter of my mission. I am in a fantastic district, all older missionaries, so I am excited at how much I will learn. But what made me feel SO much better is when I learned that Elder Durrant, a missionary who JUST finished his first two months in the mission, is training a new missionary this transfer. he hasn't slept all week. But he is definitely up for the task.
My new companion, Elder Stansfield, spent last transfer in Brno and won't be here for another hour. Kosice is way out in the boonies. It took me 5 hours on the fastest train to get here from Bratislava. I just hope I don't have to leave anytime soon. I really don't know much about him as I've never served around him, but updates on the district will come.
Talk to you all on Monday!!

Starsi Williams

ps And I will talk to you on the phone on Sunday family!! Has time flown, or what?

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