AHHHH! This is going to be so awesome! I am so jittery right now! I do believe that it's what my companion calls being transfer trunky. Haha I am so stoked to be down in Brazil tomorrow! (It will take a full 24 hours of travel to get to my mission.) I got my visa last week and they're already shipping me out! (They must not like me very much here....) Nah, it's been absolutely great here in Kansas. I've really enjoyed working with people and helping out in whatever way I can. I would say that I have had a lot of success here in the Chapel Hill Ward.... If we were playing golf! I'm just (partially) kidding! We haven't had very high numbers, a lot of baptisms, or even taught that many lessons. However, I'm not measuring my success based on numbers. (BUT if it were a competition... we'd be losing!) The work as a missionary is all about helping other people strengthen their testimony in Jesus Christ, and if I go home without a single baptism, but I have helped strengthen everyone around me, than I have succeeded as a missionary. I have loved working here. All of the people I've met, the experience I've gained, the help I have been able to be to people... I just love all of it! I have worked with some pretty dang awesome missionaries here (it's the best zone I've ever been in!), and as much as I have grown here, I am excited to leave for Brazil! My Portuguese is definitely more than just a little bit rusty, but I'm sure that I'll get by just fine. I've heard that a lot of my MTC district have gotten their visas and are leaving today too! I am so excited to see them again and catch up! Also, I MIGHT SEE MY SISTER AT THE AIRPORT!!! (NOPE, unfortunately not. Taylor is traveling at the same time but will be flying out of Atlanta and Garrison is leaving out of Detroit.) She got her visa and is leaving on the same day as me, so it would be really cool to catch up with her. I don't have a lot more time before I have to LEAVE (so excited!!!), so here's the highlight of my week:
Okay, so one of the members of the ward referred us to one of his clients with whom he had been discussing religion (very casually). Now the member DIDN'T tell us that this guy was an Elder in the Lutheran church, so when we got there we struck up a friendly conversation with him. It was very nice, but once we started talking about religion, all he wanted to do was Bible bash and try and prove us wrong. Now, I'm not going to lie, at first, I started 'discussing' with him... Okay, it was more like arguing, my bad! However, as we were talking, I felt the impression to just stop arguing and the moment I did my companion, Elder D, brought it back to what we are supposed to do as missionaries. He just bore his testimony as a representative of Jesus Christ. He bore the solemn witness of the truth of what we were saying and how he knew that it was true. Instead of arguing or trying to butt heads, he shared what he knew to be sacred and true. This taught me the biggest lesson of this week: It is SO easy to just fall back onto bashing other people's religion, but we aren't helping build other people's faith by putting them down. The hardest thing is to bite your tongue and just testify of what you know, and what you believe. Because no one, NO ONE, can ever tell you what you believe. That is for you to decide.
Anyways, I'm getting ready to head out! I am so stinking excited right now! (in case none of you could tell) This has been an extremely great learning experience for me.... and now I get to do it all over again in Portuguese! Como diversao! I wish all of you the best of luck in all that you do!