I can't believe how fast everything is moving, school has already started, soccer is in full swing and BYU starting up again. That was really fun to get the updates on how the Adidas tournament went. It sounds like they were pretty exciting games. I am looking forward to hearing about how the season goes. I bet both teams wil thrive this year. (Maybe it will take Emma's until next season just because of the injuries, but it'll work out.) I read this story in the Ensign or New era or something about a high school Hockey player. He said that in their very first game he shattered his arm and there was nope hope for him to play that season. He said that at first he was really bitter and kind of frustrated that his plans were messed up. A couple weeks later his coach brought him into his office and said something like this."You know it would be great to have you on the ice this season, we could really use you. But Heavenly Father needs you to do and learn something else this season." After that he chose to make the most of that year and he said he learned how to be more like Christ. Cool story.
So I am getting transferred this go around. It is kind of sad that I will be leaving all of these people that I have come to love and to leave a great companion. But I know that is what I need to continue to move forward. I am not sure where I am going to be going, but I am going to be a District Leader. Haha to be honest at first my pride was a little hurt cause I was thinking "Shoot, maybe I messed up at being a zone leader." But then as I was praying I realized that wasn't right and Heavenly Father was very proud of all that I did here in Opelousas and with the other missionaries. Haha maybe that sounds prideful too, but I just am happy to know that I was able to do his will. In reality the people here and the missionaries helped shape into who I am, so I received much more than I gave for sure. I know that this is what I need to move forward and become better. So it will be cool to see what happens and the challenges and experiences that are coming up.
Elder King and I really had an awesome transfer. There were some hard times, but there were so many more good, funny and happy times. I am grateful for all of them, becuase they made Elder King and I really good friends. It is cool how even the trials in our life are a blessing if we want them to be. That is hard though haha, but it is possible. This last Sunday was pretty amazing. We had invited R. to come to church earlier in the week and was super excited to join us. We got everything set up for a ride and R. got to come to Church this week. It was a huge blessing to have him there and everyone in the ward felt that as well. Everyone was coming up to him introducing themselves and saying positive things to him. I got to give a talk to and so it was cool to have R. to be there. What a cool thing to have for my last Sunday there and he loved it! He wants to come back this next week with D., so there are some really good things happening right now. I love those guys a lot. It has grown my testimony so much to see how the Gospel changes peoples lives. There are spiritual as well as physical, mental and emotional effects (improvements really) that come when the spirit is in your life. I think it is because when we read the Book of Mormon, pray and come to Church we become more like our Savior and that improves us in every way.
We had another cool and slightly bizarre experience this week. So we were pretty sure that I was leaving this week and so we started saying goodbye to people. We went by Earnest and Anna's to get a picture, share a message and say bye. While we were sitting there Earnest said, "This just came to me, but would yall be alright if I lay hands on you?" So we said sure. He came up and put one hand on each of our heads and said essentially a prayer of protection. We got a little taste of what it is like when we offer blessings to people who have never experienced them before haha. It was really cool though, he didn't claim any priesthood and it was just a sincere and very heartfelt prayer to Heavenly Father to watch over us. It was genuine and the spirit was still there. It was a memorable experience and I will always respect Earnest for offering that to us. It is interesting to see that people aren't that far off from what we believe and I have a feeling that they will become members some day. They are some of the nicest people I have ever met and they said that they want to meet you guys too.
I am grateful to be a missionary. It has changed my life. Being able to share the most important message in the world everyday is pretty cool! When we share the Gospel, we don't just invite people to learn about Christ, but we walk with them closer to Him. That is a huge blessing. I know that this is the Lord's work and we are all a part of it. He is really proud of us.
I better get going, but I am going to send some pictures, maybe even some real life photos too! I love you guys so much.
Elder Devin The Soper