Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"i have never felt so much joy. wow."

Hey guys,
I guess I forgot to tell you that there is a change in the transfers procedure.  So new missionaries are now coming into the field on tuesdays instead of mondays.  President Weaver wants to spend more time with them before they go off with their companions/trainers in their new areas so he is keeping them a day.  SO...we won't have transfer meetings until Wednesday mornings at 9am.  So painful!!! I guess what was more painful was awaiting our transfer assignments.  I knew I would be leaving the area for 5 weeks now and we knew that Sister Welch and I would be getting doubled out for about 2 weeks.  So of course, when we didn't get our calls until 10:25pm we were dying!!!  Sister Welch got exactly what she wanted.  She is going to Port Angeles with the other polynesian sister that came in with sis Faoliu.  Elder Christensen was made a District Leader here in Manette and Elder Gowans became a Zone Leader and is going down to the furthest point in the mission, Chehalis.  I on the otherhand got exactly what I didn't want.  Steilacoom (Still-ah-come) with this girl named Sister Jensen.  Hearing about it for 3 months from Welch made it sound old news.  Plus it's a really "sister-y" area.  Sisters are treated like glorified visiting teachers. And not baptizing capable missionaries.  Partly from the ward treating them that way, but partly because of the incorrectness taught to them by their trainers not understanding their purpose. But!  It's a long story, things are getting shifted around with my transfer call because the Lakewood Stake president just changed all the ward boundaries in the Lakewood stake.  So my assignment is still up in the air.  I will still be going to Lakewood, just not sure where.  Hopefully, I can help start the "un-sisterizing" of the sister area.
LakeHOOD.  The zone has some pretty rough areas.  More southcentral LA then even Bremerton.  The sisters area of course, is the only nice area in the zone, with nice big houses.  But that might all be changing.  So who knows what'll happen.  I got too used to the ghetto.  Even the violence.  Alright so the murderer is still on the loose. But he has got some competition.  Within the last week a 3rd grade boy brought a gun to school and shot a girl in his class and the very next morning a WA state trooper was shot in the head and killed.  We were visiting a recent convert family in the ward and before we even stepped foot in the door, their 8yr old son burst out and shouted "A kid in my class shot the girl I sit next to today at my school!!!"  His mom woke up that morning with the feeling like she should keep her kids home from school that day.  Good thing she did!  Last we heard she is still in critical condition after being life-flighted to a hospital in Seattle.  Don't know much about the trooper other than he knocked on some druggie on parole's door and he was greeted with a bullet.
The sisters that are coming in to replace us are pretty awesome.  Sister Grenfell has been out 7.5 months and has spent her entire mission in Tacoma and Sister Villatoro has been out a couple transfers.  She speaks spanish which is a huge blessing because they probably won't be bringing Spanish elders back to Btown for a while.
Alright are you all ready for the MIRACLE of the century!???  We are baptizing Mark.  Wait, are we baptizing Mark?  YESSSSSS!!!!! Ok, I know you probably don't even know in the slightest how big of a deal this is...but this is HUGE.  Remember I had a hunch he was the reason we needed to stick around Bremerton for one more week?  Well I was right!!  We dropped him in January after he stopped returning our calls and never answered his door.  He told us the last time we saw him that he was hating his life so much that he was going to take his stuff and go live under the Manette bridge.  So this past week we scowered the city.  Literally looking for him under the bridges, on any street we have ever known him to frequent, and every little homeless gathering spot we knew of.  His phone was disconnected and we had no way of getting a hold of him or knowing where he might be.  We even started to assume the worse, that he was dead somewhere.  We asked our whole zone to pray for us that we would find him.  The very next morning he calls us!!!  I have never felt so much joy.  WOW.  He invited us to come over that night and we brought our DL Elder Gowans and reinvited him to be baptized.  He accepted the invitation and Elder Gowans interviewed him right then.  He looked so good!  He used to have kinda long hair.  When he greeted us out on the sidewalk as we were walking up to his house, I noticed right away that he got a haircut.  He said when he's ready to be baptized he would cut his hair.  He seemed happy.  He seemed healthier.  He seemed more alive.  He seemed HOPEFUL. He was none of those things when I first met him.  So he was my unicorn.  My never catchable, mythical, just within my grasp investigator.  Except now he is getting baptized.  I met him my last night of my first transfer in the area and he is getting baptized tomorrow, my last night of my last transfer in the area.  MIRACLE!!!!  Everyone pray for him that it all goes down.
A lesson that I relearned this week was :don't worry about things you can't control.  So much time and energy is spent wasted on worrying.  Fretting.  Getting anxious. Doesn't do a whole lot of anything.
Updates on other former investigators, recent converts:
Tim: I wrote him a letter last week, hope he is doing well.
Taylor:  Sadly, he hasn't been going to church.  The sisters are having a hard time getting in to teach his parents
Brandon: Hasn't really been going either
Dani: after we passed her off to the ZL's she hasn't been progressing
Franz: (who I found out later from Sister Holman that his name is actually  like Phonz or something) has fallen off the face of the earth.
Well, I hope that all is well in Zion (Encinitas).  Sounds like everyone is doing well. The mission still continues to have its ups and downs, hopefully this next transfer will continue to swing upward.  I will hit my 9month mark this week on March 1st!!! I think if it went any slower I would die and if it went any faster I would have regrets.  So it is just at the right pace.  If any of you have any favorite talks by President Kimball would you print them and send them to me?  I love him.  Next time you hear from me, I'll be in an entirely new place.  This will be the first time I've left Kitsap County in my entire mission! Wish me luck!
Sister Baylon

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