Happy Father's Day!!!
So as you can tell from the title of the email, the results of transfer calls are that I am now serving in the San Elijo ward in San Marcos! Which I find really funny because San Marcos is where I was last year at this time as well. So this whole year has almost just been a repeat of last year. Anyways, my new companion's name is Elder Spencer, and he is really cool. He has been out about 3 months, so it finally happened that President Kendrick is trusting me with a missionary who has been out less time than me! He is from Idaho, except he flew out to his mission from North Carolina where his family moved to a few months before he left. One really fun thing is he has an identical twin! Serving in Sacramento!
Well, enough of that, now on to the rest of the week!
After transfers on Tuesday I got to meet the Bishop of the ward here, Bishop Schaumann , and it was good. He has only been a Bishop for as long as Elder Spencer has been a missionary, but he is a really cool guy, also got to meet the Ward Mission Leader, who gave us a ride home from Bishop's house.
The next day when we had our Zone/District introduction meeting, I realized something really frightening. I'm one of the old missionaries now. In our zone only two Elders are older than I am as far as how long they have been out. So it was kind of a scary thought. But I know that I just have to make the most of the time that I have left and do all that I can to serve the Lord!
We have been spending a lot of time visiting members this week so that we can introduce me to well...everyone. It is pretty intense meeting a lot of new people and knowing that you are going to be expected to remember all of them. But it'll all work out. It always does before.
Oh, and I guess I should let you know about the other half of the title at this point. What I mean by "back on the saddle." Because to visit all these members we haven't been driving, and we haven't been walking very much, no...we've been biking! And I'll be totally honest when I say that I was very nervous about getting back on a bike. You know, for some small reason involving a few injuries and a 4 1/2 month pause in my mission, but it's not that big of a deal. It's all going good though, I just go really slowly down hill and probably bug Elder Spencer with my lack of fast downhill riding. But I would rather get places not broken...again.
Church on Sunday was good. In Sacrament meeting the speakers were the Bishop's 12 year old son giving his first talk in Sacrament meeting, a sister who talked about how important her dad was in her life, and then a man named Bro. Runyon, who really the only way to describe him is a 95 year old saint. And then with the primary (which San Elijo has a very large one) it was a very good Father's Day program.
That's pretty much it for this week, for my spiritual thought, I want to give you a challenge to read Larry M. Gibson's talk "Fatherhood - Our Eternal Destiny" from this last General Conference. In the talk Bro. Gibson talks about some of the lessons that his father taught him. And some of the lessons his sons taught him as well. I actually wanted to put that story here. Him and his sons did a 50 mile hike in 20 hours, and after talking to his younger son, Bro. Gibson went and talked to his older son and this is the conversation they had, "I then went downstairs to my oldest son. I lay by him—then touched him. 'Son, are you all right?' 'Dad, that was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, and I will never, ever do it again.' His eyes closed—then opened—and he said, 'Unless my son wants me to.' Tears came as I expressed how grateful I was for him. I told him I knew he was going to be a much better father than I was. My heart was full because at his young and tender age he already recognized that one of his most sacred priesthood duties was to be a father. He had no fear of that role and title—the very title that God Himself wants us to use when we speak to Him. I knew I had the responsibility to nurture the embers of fatherhood that were burning within my son."
I'm very grateful for my father and for all the things that he has taught me and the example that he is to me. My life would not be the same without him. And I am also grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who always is trying to help me be the best that I can be.