Monday, May 19, 2014

Transfer 6 week 1

Well, first of all, can I just say how weird it was to write transfer 6? We serve for 12 transfers, and 6 just seems way too old..

This week has been absolutely crazy. We had transfer conference, transfer day, and a bunch of things we needed to do BEFORE both of those days. So we have been in high gear this week, which is great!
Now let me tell you a little bit about how transfer conference day goes: The Monday before transfers we all get to our zone meeting spots at 7:00am. And our zone leaders go one by one and tell us what zone we're in, what our assignment is, where we will live, who our district leader is, and the most anticipated, who our companion is. And then a whole lot of screaming, crying, and jumping hugs happen. Now President Poulsen had been a mission president in South Africa before, with mostly Elders. So he was pretty scared his first transfer conference! The week building up to transfer conference you can feel the anxiety in the air, everyone wondering who their next companion/assignment will be. Thankfully for me, I already knew what I would be doing because I was in the office. So my companion and I came exactly at 7:00 and everyone yelled at us because they had apparently been waiting for 15 minutes. Everyone seems to actually be on time on transfer conference day... hmm.. So this transfer I am training. And it seems a lot scarier than it really is, because these sisters who come here, they truly are pre-trained. My companion is amazing! I'll tell you more about her later in this email.
Now for transfer day: Wednesday most sisters wake up super early to finish packing and moving, and since I moved to the celestial apartments again, I was one of those sisters. But can I just say, it was totally worth it. My apartment is AMAZING! That morning I got to go pick up one of my best friends, Sister Gee, from the airport! She just finished her outbound in Las Vegas! She is back and is now the Temple Square Coordinator, so she's in charge of all tours here. Shortly after that the new sisters arrived, and we got paired up with our trainees. They first pull up the trainees and the APs describe the trainer. Well as soon as Sister Ordonez said that she served in this trainers YSA ward, I jumped up and screamed! Well lets just say this wasn't a great first impression for my trainee... she was kind of scared. My companion is Sister Rangel (pronounced Han-zhel), from Brasilia, Brazil. She is a supermodel. Seriously! We just are on Square this transfer for our assignment and every guy stops us to talk to us... this never happens. She's a Brazilian babe, what can I say? She is actually 5 years older than me though. So she is a rock star, I love her so much already.
This week we have found so much success! And it came because of 2 things; the spirit and hard work. Sister Rangel and I have taken every tour, no matter the sacrifice, and we are doing everything we can to listen to and follow the promptings of the spirit. Yes, some people are just completely not interested. But I know that those contacts or those tours are not wasted. Because it is absolutely impossible to leave Temple Square without something inside of you changing. I can testify of that! But we also have been blessed to find a lot of people who are ready and prepared to hear the Gospel. I was nervous for the beginning of this transfer because my companion was coming from the MTC so my teaching pool was getting cut in half. But, to my happy surprise, she came already with 10 investigators! She was very diligent in the teaching center training in the MTC and took every chat and call. And we have found SO many new investigators in just these last 3 days, its amazing! I know that we will have a great amount of success together these next 2 transfers.
Last night we took an English Motorcoach of 20 people. They were from Hong Kong, Philippians, Georgia and Vanuatu. This was partially mission illegal because I found out after that we can't take motorcoaches until Sister Rangel passes off to be able to take big tours... whoops. Well we got a bunch of golden new investigators so it's worth it. We can only take large group tours to certain places on Temple Square. So we took them first to the Handcart monument and talked about the pioneers, then took them to the Assembly hall and talked about what it is like at church, then took them on the Temple Grounds and talked about the Temple. Then one of the guys from Hong Kong asked us what the book was in our hands. Made me feel a little stupid not having used the Book of Mormon yet in our tour. But we sat our group of 20 people down on the steps of the Temple, and we taught them the Restoration. Wow. Not an experience you get all the time, teaching people from ALL over the world about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the front steps of the Temple. The spirit was so strong, and I know that they felt it. Almost everyone of them came up to us afterwards and asked if they could have a Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is real. It is true. And it is another testament of Jesus Christ. It helps us to know the reality of our Savior Jesus Christ, and to better understand his gospel and his teachings. And I know that as each of us read the Book of Mormon, those things will be confirmed to us by the Spirit.
We had another great tour this week with an elderly couple. They were visiting from North Carolina and were on a road trip. We had already taken them to 3 places, which is what we normally do, but we felt impressed to take them to another. We took them to Gods plan, a short video that is so powerful. It is my absolute favorite place here on Temple Square (other than the actual Temple of course). I went in not fully expecting what would happen, I had invited them to watch the movie before it processed in my mind. So I think we were both shocked! But I know that it was because it was the spirit working through me. We got to the end of the video and the elderly lady was sobbing. She was trying to whisper to her husband (but she was very hard of hearing so we could all hear her) and she leans in and asks through her tears "Can we please go to the Mormon church?" He replies with a stern "No." (He's atheist) And she said "Pleasssse? Why not? You only think about the bad things in churches, but there are so many good things in this church. And I want to be with you forever." He then tearfully agreed. We didn't do anything for that to happen. It was the spirit, they had felt the spirit confirm of the truthfulness of eternal families. They will be going to church this Sunday!
This work is like none other. We see miracles everyday! Some people say we pay a big price to come on our missions. Yes, we do make a lot of sacrifices; start school a little bit later, volunteer 18-24 months of our lives. But we are getting a front row seat to seeing miracles happen. To see people accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in turn work towards eternal life. This is true, eternal happiness! And no sacrifice is too great for true, eternal happiness.

I love this Gospel, and I love my mission.
I will be on again possibly for another half an hour this evening. So feel free to email me back!

Sister Gretchen Brock

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