Wednesday, August 20, 2014

August 18, 2014

Dear Family!
Well this week has been...interesting and long haha. Yesterday we got our transfer calls. For over a week I have felt like I was leaving, like my brain was telling me that logically I was leaving, but yet I did not really feel either way if that makes sense. Well my brain was right. I am being transferred to Bozeman 1st ward. That was really hard news to hear, I absolutely love the ward I'm serving in right now. It seems like it just gets harder and harder to leave areas. When I heard this we were driving and I screamed, because well 1st off they told us we are being doubled out....yes I am seriously we are being doubled out! This absolutely sucks. Sister DeBry will be going just a few wards over in the Billings East Zone. So not too far, but I am going to Bozeman. When they told me I was going to Bozeman is really when I screamed, because the first thing that came into my head was Austin. Austin is the man that we were teaching over the phone and he was going to church all over the states because he was traveling for business. He will not return our calls any more and will not answer our texts, it has been about 2 weeks and I have been heart broken about it, well low and behold he lives in Bozeman, and guess what I am going to find him! We have his address and we gave it to Elders in Bozeman and they said it was an apartment complex and so they did not try to find him since we did not have the apartment number, so that is my job. I will tract that whole place! I have to find him. Oh also last night I was thinking about it and I realized that Dawn Schmidt from Riverton is originally from Bozeman, and visits there a lot. She honestly had a testimony on a lot, but she just never wanted to fully accept there was only one true church. Anyways I want to find her and  her son who lives in Bozeman haha. I received a confirmation that I am supposed to be there.
Last night we had to teach the assistants how to do call in numbers, since we do that and they are taking it over. Well the Monad Sisters were at the office for a second and I was talking to Sister Taylor about who my new companion would be, her name is Sister Harwood. Sister Taylor Told me what an amazing Sister she is and that we will have a great companionship :) so that's good to hear. She also told me that she has been serving in Helena, so when we were teaching the assistants about numbers I decided to look at the mission directory and sure enough she is in I am pretty sure I am being doubled in also. Crazy stuff. I really do hope that we are doubled in because I like being doubled's hard, but it's a fresh start and me and my companion are on the same level. I feel like this is going to be a huge adventure haha, I am very excited for it though. Doubled out and Doubled in...I don't even know what to think. I used to think being double out only happened to bad missionaries, but I have met some that are amazing, so I know that is not true, and I know it is the same for me. I can honestly say that I put my heart and soul into this area. I have done my best and worked my hardest. I love Billings Montana.
On our drive out to Lockwood to see Jared and Luke a thought poped into my head and it was "could you have ever imagined being here, so happy in Billings Montana, when about a year and a half ago I opened my call and cried thinking Billings Montana, that does not even sound nice" dumb was I. I can truly say I know God has a plan that is so much greater and will bring us so much more joy than the best plan we could come up with on our own. Billings Montana, as well as my other areas have become home. I have learned to rely on the one constant I have which is the Gospel. I have gained a love for my Savior that I never knew I could have. The gospel is my life, with out it I could not do anything. The Book of Mormon makes me happy, it helps my day, and is just joyful to study. The Montana Billings Mission is the plan God has for me and it is so much better than anything I could have imagined. I was thinking about happiness I feel here, I never want it to end. I don't want to leave this mission. I am going to work my hardest and enjoy every minute I have.
So of course when we got to Luke and Jared's we told them and it was just hard. We shared our favorite scriptures with them. I shared Alma 38:3-5 cause well its my favorite. I then related it to them. We talked specifically to Jared about how he followed God's will by coming home, that his mission never ended, he just had to serve here and reactivate his best friend, and now he can go back out.  I have never seen Jared cry. Luke his best friend has never seen him cry, and  the are like me and Alexa, known each other forever! Jared broke down, and just bore his testimony and told us how excited he is to go back out. I think he has felt ashamed for coming home, and it was a wonderful opportunity to tell him that he is not shameful, that he listened to God. He is so excited. Luke and Jared are a modern day Alma and Amulek. Alma was told to go back, he had to have amulek with him, then they together went out and served the Lord. Though Luke and Jared may not serve in the same mission, they bother will be serving missions and sharing the Gospel together...though far apart haha. Luke and Jared are the best!
We had a fireside last night with the ward about trek because they just came back from it, and about an hour before the fireside Josh the elders quorum president asked us to bear our testimonies. That was such a tender mercy I am so thankful that i was able to bear my testimony to the ward :) I have noticed in all my areas I always get asked to bear my testimony before I am transferred. That is usually how I know I am being transferred, but this time it came right after, even though no one knew I was leaving yet haha. I bawled the whole time bearing my testimony, because the spirit was so strong in the chapel after watching the little video of their trek experience. The trek is so powerful. Oh that reminds me :) At church we saw Natasha come in and she just looked different, it was a good different though. We asked how trek was and told us her testimony was strengthened so much. She loved every moment of it. She has great ways to describe things and so she described it in her own words "For most people the trek is a spiritual experience, but for me I see it as a door opening, and goodness just came through that door, so much goodness that my soul could not contain all of it, so I had to shed a layer of my soul so that it could grow and fit all the goodness" yes this is her description and I love it! I just love Natasha so much! She is wonderful! Yesterday at the fireside we were talking to her, and we had not yet told her we were leaving, we wanted to save it for a better time with not as many people around, but Brother Jones in our bishopric came up and said "I hear you both are leaving" and we talked for a minute, she just slumped in her seat. We explained we were waiting to tell her and told her how much we love her and that we will stay in contact and everything, and the only words that came out of her mouth were "everyone leaves me" Poor girl she has had such a hard life and has finally found where she fits in and has found that Heavenly Father loves her, and now we are leaving, and not only that earlier she found out that all of the people she has gotten close to in the ward..literally everyone, they are all leaving to go back to school this week. She feels so alone and I am so worried about her. Luckily we have technology and I will be able to Facebook, and I will be able to talk to her in a couple months and really stay in contact with her even more.
Well, ok what has happened besides transfers? Ummm well Ben dropped us..that sucked. I love Ben so much and I know people have been getting to him. He loves coming to church and he loves the activities, but he told us he wanted to swim and not meet with us or go to church until he could not swim anymore. So he does want to meet again eventually. I know people are talking to him cause he has been just so happy lately until this. The amazing this is he has a straight shot to the celestial kingdom, he innocent and pure. He does not need baptism cause he is so pure, but he does need it to be watched over so he is never lost. He feels loved in this ward, he has never felt that before, we have had so many lessons about that with him, and he finally feels loved here, and now people are getting to him, gah!!!! its ok though, he is fine :)
This week we had this huge steak dinner at brother Zabawas house, who is in  our bishopric. We were suppose to get as many Less actives and non members there as we could. We alone got over 12 people there, which is a ton, and the other missionaries, cause they were all invited to come and bring someone with them, so we got like 15 more people there that way, and  then our ward was there, there was over 150 people there! It was such a tremendous success. It was so cool! Well I love all of you and have a fantastic week :) I will send more pictures next week, after I get all my good bye photos..but I will send some in another email today also :)
 -Love Andrea

Getting my tooth filled.
With Courtnie Brodus who is going on a mission!
Me and Ben
With Luke and Jared
Dallas one of our investigators.

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