Well, I've been blasted with quite a bit of a shocker. Last Monday after writing to you we went back to the pension and I started cleaning a little bit. Then we get a call from Elder Tippets, the mission secretary. His words, "Hola, Elder Dewsnup. You're coming back up north. I'm calling to give you your flight information. Do you have something to write on?"
I waited, thinking he was joking. We had been told that if we didn't hear anything by the 15th we were good to go in the new mission. This was the 17th. Needless to say, I though he was messing with me
I was wrong. "Yeah," I said, "hold on." Flight AR 1846 leaving from Rio Grande at 16:50.
At the airport, before boarding, I then get my funcioning camera stolen out of my carry-on. Poo. Luckily, I'd already backed up all the pictures on that memory card up to three weeks before, so I didn't lose too many pictures, maybe about 30, but the most important ones I can ask from other people who took them as well.
Then I get to the offices (Tuesday night at about 9:00ish) and see where I'm going and who my new companion is going to be. Grand Bourg with Elder López. The information I see on the special organizer marks me as a senior companion, nothing new there. I also find that I have an entire other duffle of stuff waiting for me that I left behind in the north when I went south. So I went through all that that night and the following morning trying to decide what things I was really going to need and the things I wanted to pack rat, getting rid of a bunch of other things.
Now, another surprise came. Wednesday afternoon at about 4:00 I get to my new area, bags and all, and get partially settled (pull out my proselyting materials) and we hit the streets. When we get home at night, I send a message to our district leader letting them know we are home. Ten minutes later I get a call from the Zone Leaders, asking, "Is your district all in their houses?"
"...._____]!!!! (empty space in the conversation as what they said hit me) What? What district?"
"They didn't tell you?"
"Oh," a slightly uncomfortable laugh, mixed with surprise, "Well, you're a district leader."
... ... ... ... ... ...
Oh great, goes through my head. That was a lot of change all at once. I get a surprise call that I go back north, meaning no change to a new mission. Then I get a surprise call saying I'm a district leader. A lot of new things to deal with now, and yet, not so new all at once. The only slightly annoying thing about it now is that my district (of one other companionship) lives almost a full hour away by bus.
Ah, well. Goes to show ya that the Lord's ways are not our ways, neither are His thoughts our thoughts.
The new area is pretty cool. I met the Branch President the night I got here and enjoyed a pleasant discussion with him about his vision for the branch. It is so very close to that same vision that President Gulbrandsen has been teaching me for two years. I also missed half of the conference yesterday. That's how we found out how long it took to get to the area of the other elders in my district. We missed one bus, got on the other one after the training meeting started, then got there halfway through Elder Nelson's message. We'll hopefully be able to find the rest of it online, and the Branch President said that if we could, he'd show it to us in his house. The things that were said perhaps are old messages to us, but are not all the things that we hear about in General Conference also? There must be something that we just aren't getting. And here, it still hasn't been applied as much as it could be.
Perhaps we can do all of those things with the less active members. There are more than 350 names on the records of our branch here. Yesterday there were only about 50 in attendance. And the 300? Where were they? We have been working with the Branch President closely about that and we are putting into action a new ward mission plan to be able to find new people through visiting the less actives, not just us as missionaries, but also several couples from the branch and also a few companionships of the young single adults. We are hoping to see a great increase in the attendance and participation in the ordinance of the Sacrament.
Well, that about sums up the week. I got to know a whole bunch of the members and the few current investigators that we have. The work moves forward.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!!!!