So it's official, today is Elder Angelos' last day in the mission field. He goes into the mission home at 4:30 today where he'll have his exit interview with President Beck, spend the night and he'll fly back to Columbus, OH tomorrow morning. He'll only be home for a few days before he'll be off to BYU for summer term. He's been an awesome companion these past two transfers. I've learned so much from him and I'm sad to see him go but I'm happy for him. He told me last night that he's happy with his mission. No regrets. So now that means I'll be getting another companion. This morning in our weekly call-in with President Beck, he told me that I'll be staying, which we all figured would happen. I don't know who my companion will be until tomorrow, so you'll all have to wait until next week to hear the news. President didn't hint at anything, so I don't know if I'll be getting a brand new zone leader for a companion or if I'll have someone who's experienced. Of course there's speculation but from what we've heard already, none of our guesses are right. Are they ever? We know for sure that in the house Elder Johnson has been called to be the new district leader! I'm so happy for him. He's nervous as all get-out but I have great faith in him. He's really stepped it up these past few weeks within the house, and I'm sure he'll have a great influence on the district. Elder Custance, our current district leader, will be transferred. I'll be sad to see him go too. He and have built quite the friendship. He's been in this area longer than I've been on my mission, so this will be good for him too. One of the Spanish missionaries in the district is being transferred, and as far as the zone, only one other Elder will be transferred and one sister will be going home. Our district is getting changed pretty good and I'm excited to see the outcome.
So pictures this week. The first is Ivan and Nicole, the recent convert couple for whom we've been pouring concrete these past few weeks. They took us out to dinner at a nice Mexican restaurant and we had a good time. We've got Elder Angelos' HAP-24 cake! The house went all out on this one. Yellow cake, chocolate frosting, Oreo cookie icing, toffee bits and cookies and cream drops. The next few pictures are of us presenting Elder Angelos with his cake. It was a party. He kind of saw it coming but he still liked it, as you can note by his facial expressions. Elder Cava found Elder Angelos' Disneyland ears and put 'em on. Too funny. Faithful Angelos put on his Ohio State jersey and took a few pics before he packed it away. He's all packed and ready to go.
This week has been pretty good. We've been on a few exchanges before the transfer cam to a close, so I didn't get to do a whole lot of work in my own area. I spent a day with Elder Abel on bike, just like good old times. Holy cow Peoria North is hilly. We didn't have hills in Avondale, so this was strange. We had a dinner with a family in his area that had invited their daughter's friend over too. She had questions about the church and wanted to meet with us. The dinner was fun, big family, and she had one question, "Who was Joseph Smith?" Elder Abel and I originally planned a simple dinner thought, but it turned into a lesson real quick. Just like old times! We taught just like we taught when we were together back in Avondale and it flowed sooooo smoothly. The Spirit was strong and she understood what it was. I extended a soft baptismal invitation and some of the brothers in the family had looks on their faces like, "What is this guy doing?!" What? I'm a missionary. We teach and baptize, it's what we do. What caught them even more off guard is that she said that yes, she would be baptized. I wish I could be there to keep teaching her, she was really interested. She doesn't even live in our zone, so I'll have to find a way to follow up with that.
Sandee is doing very well, she's still excited for her baptism on the 25th. What's really frustrating me is another family we are teaching who keeps dropping appointments. The father has a date for July 11 and isn't keeping commitments or appointments for that matter. I wish I could go into greater detail but I don't feel like I should. This has been a pattern that has occurred with numerous investigators we have dropped in the past and I don't want to see it again.
It just makes me sad when I see someone who knows what they're supposed to do, knows that it's true, has all the potential to make it happen but doesn't do it. Doesn't put forth the effort. I've seen this in investigators, missionaries and even in myself in some cases. I think being a zone leader these past few transfers has helped me see that a lot more. Elder Angelos and I have had numerous discussions about this. We have certain investigators and missionaries who have so much potential, and you just know that they can step it up even more. I wish I could say we were perfect. Well, Angelos might be but I'm still trying to be a better example and a more Christlike leader. It's certainly motivated me to work harder, to be more obedient, to live my purpose and to serve those in my stewardship. Bishop McLaws was talking about that yesterday in PEC and I took that to heart, especially in preparation for becoming a future husband and father. I can't really explain what this personal revelation was like, but it just stuck. Does it make sense? We receive callings and responsibilities and we are expected to magnify them. The Lord has blessings in store that we can't even imagine and it just takes a little pride here or slothfulness there to hinder our growth. We cannot let this happen. Today is the start of a new transfer and good things are in store.
I love you all and hope you know that all is well. Tonight I'll be joining Elder Johnson and Elder Ward in their adventures and then I will meet my new companion tomorrow afternoon. Write back soon, I can't wait to hear about everyone back home. Dad, have a happy birthday tomorrow! Take care and be good.