Transfers went well, it was sad to say goodbye to Elder Buhler, hopefully Elder Shore will take good care of my buddy. Packed my stuff in a little under two hours, not too bad. Not a personal record either. Rode the transfer van up to Joplin MO with some missionaries I knew and some I didn't. Got to see a bunch of old friends and companions at the Joplin transfer point! My new companion Elder Radford has got to be a top 3 competitor for favorite comp. He's so sick, we get along perfectly and have a lot of fun. SUCH a blessing. Makes the whole work that much easier and more enjoyable haha. He's a spud farmer from up in Idaho, athlete, ladies man, great missionary. Hope I get more than one transfer with him.
The Monett area has been reeeaaaally good to me so far. Wish I could explain in detail. It's a small city, about 8,000, lots of surrounding farmland and even smaller cities. Really beautiful this time of year, the weather has been ridiculously perfect, high 60s low 70s slight breeze. The ward members I've met have been great, really down to earth and helpful in the cause. We have some people to teach and found some more on our own the day after I got here. Have 3 baptisms for a mother and 2 kids coming up this Saturday!! Doesn't get better than that :) The most interesting family in the ward is the Leavitts. Ben Leavitt is our stake president, and incredibly kind guy who's only about 43 years old, his younger brother Casey is our bishop! They live right next door to each other on a nice piece of land outside town. And their parents live on the neighboring property. And about 3 or 4 other close relatives all live right there too! Elder Radford calls it the "compound", they call it "farmville". It's seriously a huge Mormon family of incredible spiritual strength. Almost like a hyper-righteous cult. This is why we have rumors about or church lol. We spend most of Sunday with them watching conference in their homes and trying to meet the whole family. The parents of this clan have 15 kids, the oldest being our stake president, and the youngest an 11 year old girl living at home! So nuts, but they're fun and full of love. Radford refers to them also as "a zion-like family. They even live the law of consecration!" Hahaha.
Conference weekend has been great and we've been pretty busy. We also watched a session with a Brother Faria who has one of the largest personal church history collections out there. Like, we're talking about original copies of the Book of Mormon signed by Joseph Smith and the witnesses (yeah, the kind thats worth like 10,000+ bucks). He's got documents signed by the original first presidency of the church and even Joseph and Hyrum's death masks (I dunno if those are original or replicas... judging by the rest of his collections, probably originals... haha). Cool guy.
Things are looking great into this next transfer. The area has a lot of potential, I think we can unlock it with the Lord. The zone is the smallest in the mission and I'm the only zone leader, my companion is 3 transfers out and the district leader haha. Going to mission leadership conference again tomorrow and conducting zone training again Wednesday, just like every month. Excited to amp everyone up and get this place rolling, the zone has a reputation for under preforming. Not for long!
Signing out from Missouri again,
Here's a bunch of hammock pics, the weather was too nice NOT to hammock.