Sunday, January 4, 2015

Week Eighty Three - Saying Goodbye and a New Companion!

Familia Castaneda!
This is Hno Flores, he was baptized like three years ago.  He is super kind and humble and loves missionaries.  He would always ask us to pray for him and this woman he was courting.  Hilarious!

Cards from an investigator!

Cards and presents from investigators!
Ashley Gonzalez - cutest convert ever!

La Familia Ascencio! -One of my most favorite families in the branch!  Hno Ascencio insisted that I hold his baby Jesus with him...
Juanny, Evelyn, and Danny - Cutest, most well behaved, best kids ever!
La Familia Garcia - my other favorite family in the branch!

Transfer meeting!

I finally had an excuse to throw up the "hang loose" sign!  Elder Berardy is a real stud that knows how to have a good time.  So grateful that I got to be his companion.  I'm gonna miss the kid!  

Seasons Greetings to all my most favorite people!

Well, this past week was quite eventful with some exciting changes and lots going on!  
MONDAY was a crazy busy day, first trying to pack everything up.  It was then that I realized that I have accumulated way too much junk throughout my mission.  At transfers I was almost embarrassed for people to see my mountain of belongings! I really going to have to do something about that. In the evening we frantically zoomed around on our bikes, trying to say goodbye to as many as I could.  It is amazing how close you can come to people and how much you can love them after just four short months of serving around them.  I don't know if I would say it was hard to say goodbye, but it was definitely bitter sweet, and I was so soo sooo grateful for the privilege I had had to get to know these people, serve them, and form friendships.  I love those guys!  It is after days like that Monday that make me sure that I will miss being a missionary.  There is just nothing like it!
TUESDAY was another great and memorable day as the whole entire mission got together for a breakfast, special musical numbers, Christmas hymns and celebrations, and TRANSFERS!  It was a long meeting, and they made us wait until the very end of the meeting to find out where we were going and who our new companions were going to be, so the rest of the meeting before that was a little hard to enjoy with the suspense and all. But we made it to the end of the meeting, and I am now a zone leader in the Casa Linda ward with Elder Keller!  Elder Keller is your typical farm boy from Logan, Utah.  He is arguably the strongest missionary in the whole TDM, and will probably play college football after his mission.  And he goes home in just 6 weeks!  I was hoping I'd be able to escape without ever having to send a missionary home, but the time has finally come.  But Elder Keller is a great missionary, focused, and claims he doesn't even want to go home!  So this shouldn't be too bad. Casa Linda is a good sized Spanish ward. My whole mission I have met people from Casa Linda, and I have always told them jokingly that one day I would be in Casa Linda, and here I am!  So yesterday I saw lots of familiar faces at Church.  I could not be happier with the changes!  
At the transfer meeting I said goodbye to some great friends, and the first of all my companions went home - Elder Haskell.  After the meeting he gave me a big hug and started crying on my shoulder.  It was one of the sweetest, saddest things I ever did see.  Elder Haskell really is a best friend and you had better go to his homecoming! 
     The rest of the week I just kind of followed Elder Keller around and tried to get a feel for the area.  Change is hard and uncomfortably, but it has been really good so far.  SATURDAY we, along with a handful of other missionaries, went to help out Jess Johnson with organizing the clothes he is going to donate to the VA hospitals in the area, just like we did last year.  It was weird going to that place again, because I haven't been there for an entire year and it literally felt like I was there just a month or two ago.  My "golden year" has pretty much come to an end and I can not believe it! La vida misional es absolutamente LOCA! 

It sounds like y'all had a great week and I appreciate you sharing it with me.  I love to hear about life in the 801!  I love the picture of Toby.  He looked a little skeptical about the coat, but I'd imagine he was just too excited to go to the park to care.  I love that pup!  Thank you for feeding the missionaries.  I would kill to eat with a family like mine!  I miss you all dearly and I cannot wait to Skype in a few days!  We will probably be skyping around 1 or 2:00 my time.  
I sincerely wish you all a very merry Christmas!  My the light and spirit of Christ fill your lives to make it a very special Christmas for all!  


Elder Williams   

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