It's been a crazy week around here. Last Monday we hung out with President and Sister Loveland at Bass Pro which was fun! Later we bought footy PJs with the Southern Hills elders because, well because they're footy PJs and everybody needs a pair. Mine's Darth Vader :) Check out the attached pics!
First off, my companion and trainee Elder Davidson went home. Super unexpected. He had told me last week that it might happen, he brought some things up to president that he thought might result in going home. President called on Tuesday and said that he was going, and they sent a senior missionary couple to pick him up that afternoon. It was really sad.. It was kind of an emotional day, we went out and worked a bit after he got packed. We were talking about it and he said, "It's going to be harder for me to leave you guys, leave this mission, than it was for me to leave home." Broke my heart. I'm gonna miss him, but he plans on working through whatever he's got going on and coming back. No idea when that might be. So that was kind of a challenge.
I picked up Elder Hardy as my new companion, he came over from a neighboring area which had 3 missionaries in a companionship so it worked out easy. He came out the same time as Elder Davidson and I finished doing the last week of his 12 training program with him. He's a great kid, super honest and diligent and hard working. We've gotten along great and done some good work. We spent a major portion of the week visiting people we don't know on our ward roster and giving them fliers to the open house for our new church building. We found some new potential investigators among the less actives and part members that we met! Others just shut the door or told us they left the church when they were like 12 haha. People don't understand that they are still members of Christ's church. They have still made covenants at baptism with God. You can't nullify that contract. I want to help people remember their covenants as much as I wan to help others receive them! We've also been running in the mornings and it feels great to get some regular exercise again. My shins are developing really bad shin splints again though so that is incredibly frustrating and painful.
Friday night we went to our investigator Misael's football game! They got stomped by Republic, but it was fun to be there. We sat with a bunch of members and the bishop and watched their kids perform in the band.
On Saturday Sister Fowler from our mission office came up to Nixa to bring us a bunch of supplies for the open house and help us set them up. We had a "VIP" tour that day where they invited the press and local political leaders and whoever else to come check out the building. Two people showed up from KOLR 10 news haha. But hey I might have been on tv! Yesterday at church was our primary program which was awesome, but I accidentally rubbed my contact lens into my eyeball while crying and it got lost behind my eye for the rest of church and I could not for the life of me get it out haha. I finally found the stupid thing a couple hours later and put it in its proper place. After church was the open house! It kind of tanked though... There really were like no nonmembers there. Several people brought friends but that was about it. I half expected it to happen. We gave away essentially no material and didn't really teach anyone about our faith. Woo hoo! Hopefully those who came at least felt the spirit or walked away with a better understanding of us crazy Mormons.
So Saturday was also transfer calls.... and I'm going back to Oklahoma!! I'll be serving in Cleveland, OK. It's really close to my first area and in the same zone :) So I feel like I know it pretty well already! I'll be district leader there and my new companion is Elder Thurgood, who just finished being trained this transfer and has been out about 3 months. Hope he's cool! I'm pumped to start a new area again, and from rumors I've heard the work is really happening out there, I guess they had 20 something investigators at church recently. That's unheard of. Wonder if it was a fluke haha! I hope I don't get in there and slow the work down! I'm ready to start fresh and work even harder. Nixa has been good to me, but its also been a big challenge in a lot of ways. I know for sure the Lord was teaching me (or trying) and preparing me for trials and experiences to come. I can honestly say I am grateful for the trials I have faced here, they have begun to hammer me into the shape God would have me be. The hammer hurts sometimes, but man do you look good when he's through. Heavenly Father is the best artist, after all. I love this work and I'm glad He had called me to it despite my woeful imperfections. His mercy never ends! Till next week from my homeland Oklahoma!
Elder T. Hakes