Hey everyone! It's transfer week once again and we should be getting a call tonight. In my interview with President Walker last Wednesday, he basically told me that I would be staying in my area another transfer but that I would be getting a new companion. That pretty much dashed my hopes of ending up in El Paso (sorry Justin), but i trust I'll be where the Lord wants me to be. The rumor that is floating around now is that I'll be training so we'll see what happens. This is a huge transfer for the mission. Not only are we losing a third of the missionaries (three zones) to a different mission, but 17 missionaries are going home. They all happen to be really good ones too, and make up a good portion of the leadership in this mission. To go along with that, we should have 18 new missionaries coming out. I can't remember if they're coming out this transfer or the next, but the mission is about to get very young and very different. It should be an exciting time though.
So some other big news is that the Gila Valley Temple was dedicated yesterday! We got to watch the cultural celebration for it on Saturday night and then the three dedicatory sessions were on Sunday. We went to two of them, one in English and one in Spanish. It was an awesome experience! There were several awesome prophecies fulfilled by the building and dedication of that temple. The mission is already seeing a lot of miracles from it and I'm sure they're just beginning. Unfortunately, the dedication caused some problems for some of the people we're teaching. They didn't have recommends so obviously they couldn't go. The normal church services were cancelled so they were left with nothing. We tried to set up a small gospel principles class in the night but nobody from any of the three companionships in the branch came. It's alright though because in the end we're going to gain a lot more than we lost.
So how cool is that new conference issue of the Ensign? It's awesome with all those color pictures to go along with some incredible talks! I've only had it for a few days and I've already read a good portion of it. If you haven't picked it up yet, DO IT!
I almost forgot some other big news. We moved again this week. I've had pretty bad luck with apartments so far on my mission. Apart from moving when i get transferred to a new area, I've had to move three times in the middle of transfers, the reason being that the apartments were so trashed. We undertook the task of the century on Friday and we're still not done. The apartment I had been living in has housed missionaries for A LONG time. To give you some idea, we found Ensigns in our apartment that date back to 1993. There were large holes in the walls, there were tears and stains in the carpet, the hot water didn't work in the sinks, the dishwasher was broken, the toilet didn't work right, and the cupboards were FULL of expired food. I started cleaning the place when I first got there with Elder Farnsworth but you wouldn't be able to tell. I threw away about 6 large boxes of food that had been expired for at least a year or two, including a few things that expired in 1999! I can't even begin to describe how filthy it was. We basically filled up an entire dumpster with junk. We also found some interesting things, including a full set of golf clubs, a couple of large knives including a machete, and a lizard frozen in a tupperware container in the freezer. It definitely feels good to be in a clean apartment now where things work, even if it was a huge project.
As far as teaching goes, it was kind of slow this week but we've found a lot of good potential. Elba is still doing well and wants to be baptized. Hopefully I'll have more updates next week. Thanks for all of your support! I had a really cool quote to share but I left it at home so I'll share it next week.
p.s. I saw Pete Stevens riding his bike earlier in the week. I don't know if any of you remember that story but it brought back some funny memories. I also saw the Contreras family from my last area. We were out tracting in a trailer park and they pulled up by us out of the blue! I guess they used to live there and are still trying to sell their old trailer. It was awesome to visit with them again for a few minutes. I guess they're still about the same as when I left the area, but I know one day they'll be an awesome active family.