Hello from Cleveland!!! I am serving in the Shaker Heights ward in the Kirtland Stake with Elder Hansen from South Jordan, Utah. To say the least, we are tearing it up.
I serve basically on the east side of Cleveland, and like every "east-side" of cities, it's pretty sketchy and ghetto. Our ward is full of young families - it feels like I'm in a BYU married student ward or something. We have 1 young man and he just turned 12. And I think there are like 3 young women. Crazy! We also serve in the University Branch. We work on Case Western University once a week and switch off with the Cleveland Zone Leaders and a set of Sisters from sites. We have a lot of fun with the student ward.
My last half-week in North Olmsted was sad but exciting. My last night, we went over to the Palmers for one last lesson with Erica but instead of a lesson, a surprise party happened! It was awesome. It was weird saying goodbye but I know I'll see all those people again someday. Just like Brother Lay in Findlay once told me, "Don't be sad you're leaving, be happy we've met! If I don't see you again in this life, I'll see you in the next."
Let's see...what else is there to report. We live in big apartment right by a little shopping area called Shaker Square. It's pretty cool and we live with two other missionaries. One is Elder McMillan who I trained! This is the 3rd time we've lived together! We love it! haha! Him and Elder Stevens cover East Cleveland (probably one of the most dangerous areas in our mission) and are biking, so they use the public transit system a lot. They're great Elders and we all really enjoy one anothers company. This week we've had Elder Michelsen serving with us. He and Elder Perkins (my trainer! or "dad" as they call it in the mission) are going home 5 weeks early for work. They will both be going home tomorrow :(
We're teaching quite a few people right now (a lot of ghetto) but it's cool to see these people who don't have much or anything at all recognize the Spirit when we come over and when they keep such commitments as reading their scriptures and see them want to change. It's just hard for them to break themselves out of their lifestyle they're been born into. We have 3 or 4 baptismal dates set for February, so next month should be fruitful. We also keep finding people through our investigators friends. They keep inviting people to our appointments so they can hear the message and we've really enjoyed it.
Elder Hansen is a Spanish missionary and is one of the hardest workers out here! He could very easily be an Assistant someday but doesn't want to because he wants to work in the field, not the office :) But we are seriously taring it up. It's the best feeling in the world to be so exhausted at the end of each day you can barely make it to your bed and when you wake up you are so excited and pumped to be alive!!!! EVERY morning I wake up so excited to go out and work and invite everyone to repent! This is the best job ever.
I have been so blessed (or maybe spoiled is the right word) these past 16 months. I have had so many life-changing experiences and feel like it is all "pass[ing] away like as it were unto us a dream" as Jacob says in the Book of Mormon. It's terrible how fast the days are going by now! But I will continue to life each day to its fullest and invite ALL to come unto Christ to partake of this amazing gospel. I love this so much!!! I am so happy and grateful to be serving here with Elder Hansen.
Okay, the other Elders really want to leave the library so I've got to go now. But I hope all is well back home! It's been snowing here but today the high is supposedly in the 50's!!! CRAZY! SO WARM!! :D I love you all, you're in my prayers, the church is true, go tell a friend, and be happy!
Love, Elder Dransfield
Elder Hansen and I with President Sorensen. I'm going to miss serving around him so often.
View of Cleveland from a hill. The picture doesn't do it justice, but there she is... good ol' Cleveland!
Our transfer board
My new assignment. Elder Michelsen goes home tomorrow so he's been tagging along with us for a week.
Breakfast Club Meeting - last Tuesday of every transfer. All the missionaries and office staff in our apt complex get together for breakfast.
Breakfast Club Meeting- I picked to make crepes this time and was showing them how to flip them in the pan.