What I thought would not happen... did. Of course, that's how life tends to be anyway. Right?
So I've got a new companion, Elder Palmer. He just got finished being trained. Which means I'm going to be the senior companion. And I'm moving down to Hengchun. If you take a map of Taiwan, and look down at the very bottom tip of the island, that's where I am going to be. I've heard it's a beautiful place. I've also heard the work is tough down there: there are only about 40 members, and most people you contact are from out of town. One of the biggest things I'm excited about is that I'm going there during typhoon season. Typhoons down there are the craziest in the mission; during storms, it usually floods big time!
Elder Palmer is really cool too! I've actually met him a couple times during previous Zone Conferences, and have practiced teaching with him. Having that background, I was excited to know my first junior companion was someone whom I knew was diligent and hard-working. He’s a really amazing missionary, and I can’t wait to get to work with him.
I found out I was going to leave on Tuesday, because Elder Erekson got a call from President Bishop saying he would get a local short-term missionary (which ended up not happening, but he got a new companion anyway). It was kind of lame knowing a week in advance... It makes you feel pretty trunky. Not trunky for home, per se, but trunky for your next area. The ward was sad to see me go too, and they threw a party for me on Saturday. This is an amazing ward, and I’ve made a lot of friends here that I think will continue to be my friends for the rest of my life.
Willy, one of my English students, had his birthday this week, so we took him out to Mickey D’s. We gave him a few gifts, but he turned around and gave me a gift too: a new Ukulele! I felt super 不好意思, but he insisted I take it. It’s super nice. Now I’ve got two, and Elder Palmer said he wanted to learn how to play, so I’ll be giving him one and we’ll practice together on P-days and such.
Elder Erekson and I wrote a song together for Elder White and Elder Cox, our first companions who go home tomorrow. Elder Cox called me this week a few times to say goodbye and catch up. I’m excited for him, he’s going to have some good times ahead. I can’t wait to hang out with him after the mission! I love my Pops! I’ll post the song up on my blog when I get to an Internet place with USB ports (curse this cafe!). I’ll have to say the song is pretty good for my first one.
Our investigator, Brother Ye, is super amazing, and made a lot of progress this week. He came to church with us on Sunday, and seemed to enjoy it. During church, they announced a youth activity where youth could spend a week being a missionary’s companion and serving with them. Brother Ye started expressing interest in this, and asked if he could do it with us. He told us, "I want to know why you guys are so willing to give up so much of yourselves to do this. I want to know how you two know this gospel is true." So, on Saturday, he tagged along with us from 10:30 AM to 9:00 PM. Super nuts. And he had terrific experiences as we visited members, less active members, and investigators. He grew leaps and bounds! And even more stunning, despite how tired he was from being with us all the previous day, he still came to church on Sunday! This guy is so solid! I’m sure he will be baptized soon. His goal is in two weeks, and I’m positive he can hit it. I’m very excited for him!
So I’m off to a new adventure! It’s scary taking on this responsibility, especially considering my insecurity with the language, but I’m sure that through diligence, careful planning, and the assistance of the Holy Ghost and the grace of God, I can accomplish any challenge that comes my way. Woohoo! Here we go!