Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In the Twinkling of an eye...

Ok yes, I know. I'm a day late. Again. But I have a good reason!! I was in Charleston most of Yesterday and didn't have a chance to write. But I'll start at the top of the week.
During the First part of the week things were going pretty normal. Had some good lessons and Elder Heiner and I were getting more accustomed to getting around by bike. The work was going well and we stayed pretty busy. Thursday however Elder Moreang became pretty sick. It was decided that he would stay in our apartment with one of us while the other two Elders would take the car and try to make the appointments of both North and South Parkersburg. So I spent all of Friday and half of Saturday inside taking care of him. I figured it was only fair as He'd done so for me when I was recovering. It was also a great chance to get some cooking practice in! I made several meals for all of us so the Others could come, eat and run. Did some good cleaning, and took a well needed nap. Thankfully he got better by Sunday morning and things went by normally for Church. We even had 2 investigators and a Random who showed up and said we could teach him!
After returning home from Church however we got a phone Call. Elder Heiner answered. It was President. He would be at our apartment in 45mins so sit tight. After he hung up we sat there looking at each other. "Did you commit any large or grievous Sins lately?". Nope. Hmm. Its always a little unnerving when President says he's stopping by Randomly. Last time it happened I was informed that Grandpa had passed away. We waited somewhat uneasily to hear what News or rebuking we would get. I'll confirm right now that we didn't do anything bad! Turns out it was something quite different.
They Showed up around 3. When he walked into the door he gave us only a brief greeting then said he needed to meet with us both privately. He and Elder Heiner went up stairs while Sister Pitt and I talked about missionaries and mission experience. After about 10 or 15 mins Elder Heiner came down and we exchanged places. Presidents opening words to me after a prayer were "Now the Elders down in Russel are having some problems..." I knew that could only mean one thing. Emergency Transfer. Either Elder Heiner or I would be leaving Parkersburg, and soon. They were both good Elders who just really struggled with each others personalities for even the remaining week before Transfers. President Explained that after giving the situation considerable thought and prayer he felt it right that Elder Heiner should go and Replace Elder Penn in Russel, and that Elder Penn would join me here in Parkersburg. We were to meet in Charleston at 9am Monday morning. I admit I was a bit shocked. Elder Heiner and I had accomplished so much together. We had worked hard to build an area that had only 2 people to a whiteboard full of investigators and potential contacts. Also we'd come a long ways in our personal journeys. We'd both been tried and tested together and Also built a great Friendship. It was going to be sad to see him leave so suddenly.
And then there was Elder Penn. I've actually served around Elder Penn in Lynchburg. He was one of my District leaders there just before I left. He's from Ventura California and is a Recent Convert of 3 years. Part way through his mission he had to go home and get spinal surgery. He returned a few months later and has been working on adapting to the mission again. There's a good reason why they don't like sending us home half way through. Its always hard to find your place again once you've been released and called again. I'm not sure if its comforting to know that President trusts me enough to put me in difficult circumstances haha. But If I do know anything its that I can trust that He is the Lords servant, and this is the Lords will. I've seen it many times that President Pitt is inspired to lead this mission. In fact in this past transfer has been the most successful Transfer the mission has ever seen. He's been inspired to send me help even though he had no idea I was struggling. I know that whatever comes of all this It will work out.
The Other Missionaries joined us for his last night of packing and getting things ready for the following day. I got to bed pretty late and up early to drive. We got to the mission home and made the exchange. For Elder Heiner even though he hated leaving Parkersburg he did get one perk. He's serving with Elder Rollins, whom he'd served with near the beginning of his mission. He told many stories about him and is excited for this rare exception of getting to reserve with a old companion.
The first order of Business Elder Penn and I had was to get new tires for the car. The steel wires were showing on one of the tires and the rest were pretty bald. We had said a prayer going down that they'd last us till Charleston. Waiting for the tires gave us some time to walk around and catch some lunch together. He was way excited to serve with me, and despite his exuberance of energy at times, I was kinda grateful for him too. I knew it was going to be an interesting Transition (for instance last night, he likes it really cold when he sleeps. I froze out but we'll work through that) He also has the most Baptisms in the mission at 26. There is much excitement about it all!
Before heading back to Parkersburg there was one other thing we had to do. We walked into the ICU at Charleston Memorial to go Visit Scott Walker, The Very man who met me in a hospital bed a few months before. He'd had a heart attack at a stake dance the weekend previous. He was grateful to see us and we gave him another blessing. It was nice to be able to pay him back in a way.
Well my times up. I love you all. Always be grateful for the challenges God gives us to Grow.
Elder Sunada

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