Well this week was the first week of the transfer and it was a pretty good week. I never did get to learn very much Finnish from Äldste Murtonen other than Moi Moi! On Wednesday Äldste Murtonen left at 11:05 and my new companion didn't get in till 11:45. Which meant that I had an entire 40 minutes alone! Haha. There wasn't really anything I could do for 40 minutes so I just walked around town till my new companion arrived. It was pretty weird to walk around alone for a while though. My new companions name is Äldste Higgins. He is from Salem, Oregon and is a convert to the Church. He was actually only baptized about two and a half years ago. So that's pretty cool. He is a funny guy and seems to be a hard worker as well. He has been out on his mission for about a year and a half. So I think it will be a good transfer.
On Friday we had district meeting here in Växjö and it was the first time I got to conduct a district meeting. It was pretty fun, you know me I can just talk and talk if I need to. I didn't get a specific topic other than to review the last transfer so I talked about having a positive attitude and working hard. Haha. I think it went well. My district has got a lot of fun missionaries; there is Elder Linchenko (who was my old companion in Eskilstuna) and Äldste Lohmeier (who was in the MTC with me) then Elder Thacker is training Elder Jensen and Sister Campbell who is training Sister Howellet. So it will be a lot of fun. A lot of old faces and many new ones. It will be fun to be a district leader and be able to help everyone in the district in a new way. So it will be good.
On Friday night we got a text from the Zone Leaders talking about Sister Ward and Syster Banks. So very tragic what happened with both of them. Elder Higgins apparently knew Sister Wards older brother when he was on his mission here. He couldn't believe it. A few weeks ago during mission tour I was able to hear Sister Banks give her testimony a few weeks before she left. She seemed like a very nice woman as well as seemed to have a strong testimony. When I hear of these tragic things I often think of a quote I once found my Book of Mormon Student manual. President Spencer W. Kimball, once said:
“Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified? …
“[Orson F. Whitney said:] ‘No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, … builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God.’ …
“We knew before we were born that we were coming to the earth for bodies and experience and that we would have joys and sorrows, ease and pain, comforts and hardships, health and sickness, successes and disappointments, and we knew also that after a period of life we would die. We accepted all these eventualities with a glad heart, eager to accept both the favorable and unfavorable. We eagerly accepted the chance to come earthward even though it might be for only a day or a year”.
I know that those two families have the gospel in their lives. Sister Banks faith is strong and it is faith that anchors our souls in trails. I have found that in my own life and I am grateful to know the Plan of Salvation so that we don't need to ever guess if we do see our families again. God has promised us that families are together forever and he always keeps his promises.
Swedish Word of the Week:
Bokstavligen - Literally