Well, are you ready? Transfers happened on Saturday! Can you guess?
I'M STAYING IN CESKE BUDEJOVICE!
Are you ready for the kicker?
MY COMPANION IS SISTER WHITE! One of my companions from the MTC!!
President decided to give us a great big blessing and let us follow-up train each other! Ha! Can you believe it? We got the call Thursday night, and Sister Anderson was assigned to go to Prague to serve with two other sisters, including Sister Bean (my other MTC companion). I was assigned to stay, and Sister White came down from where she was in Prague. I was absolutely shocked. I just said, "Cool! I'm excited!", then I hung up the phone, looked at Sister Anderson, and said, "What!?" I honestly am very, very excited. I definitely had butterflies in my stomach from Thursday night on, and couldn't really sleep very well either, I was so nervous. However, I wouldn't have it any other way. Sister White and I have been blessed with the chance to learn very, very fast. We have no choice but to be very proficient at the language by the end of this transfer, because it's just the two of us, trying to carry the sister area in Ceske Budejovice on our two months of in-field mission experience.
The weekend was a bit of a tough one, but it just so happens that the lowest lows come at the same time as the highest highs! One of our investigators did not get baptized this week for reasons that I can't really even articulate. Sometimes, people just use their agency, and since you can't understand it, all you can do is accept it and pray for them. On the flip side, the other investigator DID get baptized on Friday! It was so wonderful. His testimony is so sweet, and so simple, but I can see he will already be one of the most stalwart members of our branch. As Sister Anderson and I were talking to him after the baptismal program ended, we asked him how he felt. He said that as he stood there in the water, he felt like God was giving him another chance. He remembered all those sins he had been holding from his past, and he knew that God loved him and so He was giving him the chance to start over and be washed clean. When he realized what a great blessing he received that day - that second chance - he said "I HAVE to be better now." He said he HAD to endure to the end; he had to do it for God. He's such a goofy kid, with the greatest laugh, but he floors me quite often with how profound he can be. One of my favorite moments was when he saw his baptismal programs and said, "We should post these all around town! People have to know!" Haha! I'll try to send pictures next week.
Early Saturday morning, I shipped Sister Anderson off to Prague, and waited for Sister White to come in. It's been quite an incredible experience to be together, and especially for me, as I'm trying to keep our area going at the same pace it has been. I pray everyday that I won't forget something, or someone, and that we'll know what this area and this branch need. Sister White and I agree that it's quite humbling to be given so much trust to take care of an area that has such great need. Ah, some other big news is that unfortunately our Branch President resigned this week. Can't really say much about that, but the result was that President Irwin needed to call in a missionary to be our branch president. Elder Heath is staying in Ceske Budejovice as well, and Elder Blair has been called in to be our District Leader, Branch President, Elder Heath's follow-up trainer, and the unofficial follow-up trainer of Sister White and I. Whoo! How would you like to get that call? I actually happen to know Elder Blair - I met him once in Salt Lake. He's a friend of Peter Carroll's, haha. I hadn't seen him out here, until he came into my city and all the sudden became our Branch President. He is super awesome! He's going to do a fantastic job; however, say some prayers for that Elder Blair. This isn't the easiest area to have such stewardship over.
Well, it's just a shame how little an email can capture, but just know that I'm as happy as ever! Ever since Sister White arrived, it's been a miraculous time. It's amazing how the Czech can flow when you really need it to! So far, it hasn't even been much of a hindrance in the work - we're contacting, teaching bench lesons, teaching Petr his after-baptism lessons, organizing the Relief Society, preparing branch members to go to the temple and do their family history work... the Lord needs us to do it, and so we're doing it! I have a suspicion that President knew this area needed miracles, and so he put us in here. I think when the means are so small, that is the Lord's favorite time to show us miracles. I'm loving it, Family! I love you all. I love the Lord. I love being an instrument in His hands.