Monday, October 7, 2013

Exclamation Point (Bayley)


Allow me to tell you how transfers work, here in THE mission (sorry, but that is never gonna get old).

Transfers are six weeks long, and "calls" come the weekend of the sixth week.  "Flush" calls (when both missionaries are getting transferred, or flushed, from their area) come Friday night.  Sister Barton and I totally did get a flush call, but that was only because we had pranked the zone leaders and they wanted to prank us back - luckily, our district leader had given us a heads up about their intent to prank us back, so we knew when we got the flush call that it wasn't actually real.  But that's kind of a long story.  But then on Saturday night, in our nightly phone call with our district leader, he has learned from the zone leaders, who have learned from the assistants to the president, who have learned from our mission president, who is getting transferred, and so tells us who in our district is leaving.  So Sister Barton, on Saturday, was told she was getting transferred.  Then on Tuesday morning, all the missionaries who received transfer calls drive to Houston and meet up in the stake center there.  The missionaries who are staying in their area (me) sit on one side of the room, the missionaries who are getting transferred sit on the other, and then new missionaries sit in the middle.  And then President Crawford gets up and goes zone by zone, announcing the area, and then what two missionaries will be there.  When your name is called, you stand up, look around to see who your companion is going to be, and then you are both supposed to go to the front of the chapel and hug each other awkwardly because you don't know each other yet and then go sit down.  Once everyone has their assignment, then comes the chaos of tons of missionaries trying to get their stuff from the car they rode up in to the car they'll be driving back in, trying not to lose your new companion, saying bye to your old one - so yeah, pretty much chaos.

But so I have a new companion now!  Her name is Sister Shelby Johnson, and she is from - get this - Colorado Springs!  Pretty crazy.  We've been going through our Colorado Springs connections to find some mutual acquaintances - we're Mormon, there's gotta be some.  But so yeah!  I'm excited.  She's little bit older than me in mission age (5 months), has a Captain America bedspread, and is gluten free, which means when I make brownies they're all for me.

But anyways.

Oh, so, quick story - this last week I had someone say to me: "What is up with your hair?"  Yup.  And I was like "um, I don't know.  But I showered.  And I brushed it.  WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?!"  People told me a mission was going to be a humbling experience.  I didn't realize it was going to be because you were going to look terrible - because you never sleep, live off captain crunch, and get eaten alive by mosquitos - and everybody was going to comment on that fact, by offering to bless your face, for example. So yeah.  That was nice.

But anyways.  So General Conference this weekend.  That was pretty sweet.
Allow me to share my favorite things about this last conference, in no particular order:
1) Bednar's discussion of "significant but subtle blessings," those blessings that can only be seen with the "eyes and ears of faith."  I love Bednar.  And whenever he comes on I like to mention that I've shaken his hand, which is pretty cool, I think.  Of course when I mention this to Utah missionaries, they're like "oh yeah, we'd have apostles come to our stake conference a lot, and I got to go to all these temple dedications and see the prophet, and I used to eat lunch at this place where all the apostles came, every day, all the time. Then we would go get slurpees together."  Okay so maybe they didn't all say all of that all the time.  But close enough.
2) Edward Dube's accent.  Yup.
3) Uchtdorf's talk, and call to Come Join With Us!  I think for all our missionary efforts this next week we're just going to set up laptops on street corners and rooftops and play his talk for the whole world to hear. Seriously.
4) The Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing "I Wonder When He Comes Again."  I love when they sing primary songs.  LOVE IT.
5) The fact that all the ice cream leftover from the Priesthood session's ice cream social is in the church fridge and free game to us missionaries.  Thank you, Priesthood session.
6) That moment when President Monson started talking during the Sunday morning session, and the investigator we had with us just starting sobbing.  Missionaries are always excited when people they teach start to cry.  It's just one of the reasons it's difficult for us to readjust to being normal people after our mission, where it's not okay to high five when somebody starts to cry.
7) S. Gifford Nielsen's game plan.  I hope you all took notes of that, and are set to go out and follow through (do you follow through with game plans?  Is that the right terminology?  Oh no...a sports metaphor.  I don't understand.)  Exclamation point.
8) Russell M. Nelson's: "each day brings opportunities for decisions for eternity."  'Nuff said.
9) The family choir in the Saturday Afternoon session, more specifically all the little kids in the family choir, fidgeting around and making faces.  Best. Choir. Ever.
10) The number of times Matthew 11:28-30 was used.  When something like that happens, when a scripture is repeated so often by all different speakers....You better believe there's a reason for it.

I hope you guys all loved conference as much as I did - exclamation point. I love you all - exclamation point. Thank you for your prayers, and for your support, and for all just being so awesome.


Sister Bayley Enright

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