Friday, February 26, 2016

February 15, 2016 - Following in Elder Simmons' Footsteps - Joshua, Texas

Hello Family!

You're probably wondering what's happening with transfers so I'll get to it. First of all we were waiting for a call all last Monday to see if either of us got leadership calls and nothing came. We assumed we were good until we got a call from the Assistants on Friday. They said, "So hey, you probably didn't get our message but Elder Balser, you're training and we need you at the leadership meeting that just started. How fast can ya'll get to Hurst?" Our barn-encircled apartment gets atrocious reception so somehow we missed 3 calls and a message from them. Long story short, we dropped everything, put our suits on, and started the hour drive to the Hurst stake center. We missed the first meeting but made it for the trainer-specific meeting. I just kinda sat in because I really had no other choice. Plus, I'm still technically training...

Fast forward to today. We got a call from the zone leaders this morning and they told me I'm going to be serving with Elder Wade in Saginaw (right above Fort Worth in the Hurst Stake.) The same exact place Elder Simmons was transferred to when he left Joshua! I can't help but laugh at that one. For some reason President Ames likes putting new missionaries in Joshua, having them train a new missionary, transferring them to Saginaw, then having their trainee train. All jokes aside, I'm excited to serve there and I'm definitely glad I get to be in a car at least another transfer. I'm also excited that Elder Balser gets to train in Joshua. Who would've thought that I'd be a "grandpa" after only six months in the mission? I'm really hoping we can get a 5-generation picture sometime.

The rest of the week consisted of the regular missionary stuff. There's one lesson that really stands out in my mind this week though. It was with the wife of the Jehovah's Witness we were teaching. We had a member with us to teach just her and at first she was not into the lesson at all. After a few minutes she started to gain interest and asked some good questions. One of them was why God would let one of his children die. Once again, I had that covered and the lesson was super awesome. She had already started reading the Book of Mormon but was feeling unsure about it so we committed her to pray before and after reading which she hadn't been doing. At the end of the lesson we asked her to pray and she gave one of the most sincere prayers I've heard on my mission. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, her husband decided they both needed to move out from the member's house they were living in. We have no idea where they are now but at least they had a good opportunity to accept the gospel. I wouldn't be surprised if the wife did some day. The husband too but that may take a little longer.

It'll be a little tough to leave Joshua behind and especially the resident poochies (Jack, Murphy and Sam) but I'm excited to experience a little more of the mission. Being in the Hurst Stake will definitely be different. For one, I checked the weather and it's supposed to get up to 29 degrees Celsius on Friday. I don't know how to feel about that in the middle of winter... Wish me luck and have a good week!

Elder O'Brien (the younger)

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