This last week has been about 180 degree flip from the rest of my mission. I know y'all have already heard from one of the members here but I should still officially announce it... I was double transferred into Plano!! Not just in Plano, but in Plano 3rd. The house where Nick was born is about 4 blocks from us, and I met mom's first bishop, Bishop Byrd, yesterday. It's a little bit overwhelming sometimes to realize just how many miracles God can do for us. To be honest, I questioned for a long time if I really came out on my mission at the right moment or if I had made a mistake. But the Lord has clearly shown me several times know that this was part of his plan.
Strangely enough, when I was waiting for a transfer call at the end of my time in Longview, I was convinced and felt the Spirit tell me I was going to serve in Plano, and I told Elder Ballstaedt so for about a week... only to get a call saying I was going to Grand Prairie. By the time transfers rolled around last week I hardly had Plano on my mind. But lo and behold, here I am. And in an English ward! What in the world. The work, culture, food, and everything is VERY different. Before my mission, middle-upper class white culture was all I ever knew, and I assumed it was the norm. It wasn't until this last week when I was taken away from a Spanish ward that I finally saw the differences. And it was made me appreciate the true importance of diversity in the world. I really do love the Hispanic people and how open and relaxed they are. Many of them simply trust you, joke around with you, and make you feel like part of the family.
Elder Hill (my new companion who was in my district at the beginning of my mission) and I were both convinced we were translated to the celestial kingdom when we got here. It's amazing!! We haven't gone a day with someone feeding us dinner, whether or not we had a member signed up that day. We live with an awesome couple named the Midgely's. Elder Midgely is in charge of the mission's apartments and proselyting materials. I've known him my whole mission but had no idea about his life--turns out he built his house by himself and has a PhD in astrophysics. Mom, you would love sister Midgely--she's a longtime costume seamstress for plays and is all about natural foods and multi-vitamins. I tried raw milk for the first time, and it's actually really good.!
There's so much to share... this week Elder Hill and I have been talking a lot about unity with the Lord, as a companionship, and with the ward, and we've been able to teach with the Spirit in a way I haven't seen for most of my mission. The Lord is greatly blessing us.
1. I'm sitting down near the left hand side! Obviously this is when Elder Nelson visited the mission.
2. Alfredo Rodriguez. This is one of the funniest, good-hearted people I've met.
3. The Chinchilla family! Left to right it's Blanca, me, Analee, Aleeya, Aleeza, Ana (the mom), and Alfonzo
4. Me with the missionaries from my district at the Rodriguez' house for a going-away party! Yep, that's a missionary cake--a tie and a bike.