Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Steadfast Faith in Christ: Change, Change, Change

Smooth as Silk?

We seem to take for granted the coming and going of the missionaries in our ward, and look at each new transferee as an opportunity for a new subject of conversation at the dinner table. "How long have you been out?" "What area were you in before you came here?" "Where are you from? Oh, really! My second cousin one removed is from there."

But, have you ever wondered how that all comes about? It seems smooth enough to us from the outside, simply because the next time we see 'our' elders, it has been out with the old and in with the new. But, it's not always that simple for the missionaries themselves, especially when one factors in the leadership positions which may require filling and changing with each new transfer. (Never mind what has to happen in the mission office!)

This week, Elder Freeman gives us a blow-by-blow of a particularly complicated transfer which came just as he was starting to see some progress in the people he was teaching in his new area. But, he was destined for just six weeks in that ward and is now off to new horizons and more demanding climes. However, he manages to survive it all and end up with his characteristic upbeat attitude.

Here's a quote from the end of his letter:
Nevertheless, we've got a lot to look forward to. Last night we met a guy named Ryan Freeman, of Irish decent, no relation though. He looked like he could use our help and he invited us back. We weren't sure how sober he was but we hope to go back before next week. Then, last night we called an investigator they'd been working with and got an appointment for tonight.

So, we're being taken care of and it's not quite as hard as I feared, yet. We've got good roommates and a real nice apartment. I'll keep you updated.
Of note, in missionary-speak, 'whitewash' means to transfer both missionaries at the same time, which makes coming into a new area a challenge. Neither missionary knows the area, the ward, their contacts, etc., having only the records of the previous missionaries to go by. I believe this is the first double whitewash Elder Freeman has experienced.

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