Well, this is my the beginning of my final transfer. In case you were wondering, the reason I am emailing today is because President changed up transfer calls a little bit, instead of getting them on Saturday night, we get them on Tuesday night and then Wednesday is our preparation day and then we get transferred Thursday. So before I tell you what is happening for transfers I need to tell an experience I had that has had profound influence on me. There's this less active lady who we've been working with, and she is very interesting. She grew up in the church, and she still comes, and wants her kids to come every once in a while, but she doesn't make it very often. She smokes and doesn't have any intentions to stop smoking because as she told us yesterday, she really likes smoking. So missionaries have been stopping by for forever and she hasn't made any progress at all really. She had a daughter die and because of that she doesn't believe in temple sealings because that would mean that she wouldn't be able to see her daughter again. She had some bad experience with the church when she was a child, basically her parents got divorced, her dad was a scumbag and the Bishop wouldn't help, as well as most of the ward, because they were all friends with her dad and I guess he tricked them all because they all thought that he was a great guy, when behind closed doors, he wasn't. Then she got married when she was 18, and her husband was real young too, and they haven't exactly had the best of lives. Because neither of them went to school or anything they are struggling financially. She have four kids and her husband makes minimum wage. So it's a tough situation. I felt like I had kinda been prepared to help her because I recognized that she was real, that she'd tell you what she meant and not beat around the bush and everything and I had a companion who taught me the importance of being real, basically the stuff President Uctdorf talks about in his talk On Being Genuine. So I was trying to help her. And yesterday, we were talking and we finally kinda got down to the nitty gritty. She basically never felt that Heavenly Father was in her corner. So I just testified about the gospel and how it's helped me in my life and the struggles that I've had on my mission and what not and I think it really helped. Then later that day I was thinking about the experience and it struck me that even though I really haven't enjoyed this transfer that much, I've struggled a lot with the area and with my companion, my testimony was back and stronger than it's ever been before. Because basically, I really didn't have a testimony the 3 months before this transfer. I remember one day I was just thinking, and I realized that I didn't even believe in God. There was a period of time where I stopped praying because I just didn't care. So as you can see it was a pretty low point in my life. But somehow, somewhere, during this transfer, I don't know how because there's really not anything that happened that was miracoulous and whatnot, but I came out of this transfer with the strongest testimony I've had in my entire life. It was a huge testimony to me that Heavenly Father knows who I am and where I'm at, and even though we won't ever understand why some things happen, if we trust in Him, then He will help us do things that we wouldn't be able to do on our own. I know that I was put in this area at this time with this companion for a reason. I know that President Loveland was inspiried of God to put me here. Throughout my whole life, I've always been so afraid of failure that I wouldn't even try to do anything. I quit high school football after my sophomore year because I was too afraid to fail on a team that was nationally ranked in front of thousands of people. But on my mission, I learned how to not be so afraid of failure, and for the first time in my life, I am not pessimistic about my future or myself, and for those of you who really know me, you know how big of a deal that is haha. Anyways, we got transfer calls last night and I am going to Prarie Grove Arkansas with my best friend (besides my future wife) in the world Elder Nau. Truly after the trials come the blessings. These next six weeks are going to be some of the best of my life I already know that!
Here's one of my favorite scriptures that taught me so much during my #struggles:
And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea. 2 Nephi 10:20