This last week Elder Montgomery faced a lot of sickness. It started with a sore throat and headache, then throwing up and exhaustion, and then some kind of hives or cold sores all over his arms and legs. It's been bizarre. But I played Elder Mom again and took care of him - hung up a blanket over the window to darken our room, give him lots of orange juice, give him the pills he needed at the times he needed them, make him his lunch and dinners... After 4 days of this, I decided I can never be a stay-at-home mom. It's too hard. This must be why they send us on missions - to appreciate our moms and soon-to-be-wives more. Good grief!
We taught Liz again yesterday and had a great lesson. We shared with her the rest of the Plan of Salvation. She admitted that our last lesson was a little bit distracting (a baby and basset hound hogging all the attention) and that her mind has felt like mush for the past few months. So we gave her the cliff-notes version; I drew her a picture of the Plan of Salvation and walked her through it. She asked us about her handicapped son who has since passed and we assured her that she would see him again. At the end of our lesson, she said that this had been our best lesson yet. Not because of the way he taught, but because she didn't feel any confusion or conflicting (prior-religious beliefs) feelings. She was able to find comfort and greater understanding by learning the plan and, though she has received so much opposition from family and friends for meeting with us (already! It's only been a few weeks!!) she is slowly feeling her faith returning. So that's good - we're doing our job I guess. About time!
Last night we received transfer information and my stomach dropped when they said that I would be transferred. I was positive that I would end my mission in Canton - which has always been my dream to come back here and "die" here. We all thought this would be my last destination before the final destination. But no. My heart ached last night. I sent a few texts out to close friends and practically family that I've gained out here and everyone seemed to be as shocked as me. But it's where the Lord needs me. I'll go where He wants me to go... This morning while I was brushing my teeth, I thought "I feel like Mary Poppins having to leave at the end of the movie," which was followed by "Why am I thinking about Mary Poppins?" haha. But even if I understand the way the revelation works in the mission office for transfers, it's still hard. I can't keep writing, I'm still on-edge about it. I don't care where I'm sent, I know I'll be able to handle it and will do all I can to build up a missionary, ward, area, etc. These last few weeks are where I give it all I've got.
Well I only have 6 weeks left. Most people reading this are probably thinking "Woo hoo!" and I'm sure after I'm home I'll be thinking that too. But all this change, all the ending of the most incredible 2 years of service, the completion of the "best two years" as every says... It really sucks. I'm happy to see family and old friends, but I could stay here for the rest of my life. Not many times in my life have I felt my heart hurt as much as it has the last 13 hours. But I'll survive :)
I'll end with my favorite scripture, which throughout my mission has given me hope and perspective. John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." It's only in and through Christ, the Savior, that I can find "peace" and "good cheer." Without the knowledge and testimony I have, I imagine life would be a little slower, sadder, and harder. But as I rely on my faith and live it, I can feel His influence in my daily steps, His comfort in my tears. I'm grateful for the church, for the restoration of Priesthood authority, and for the blessing it has been to be back in Canton, Ohio. I love the people here and will always have a special place in my heart of Ohio - but specifically Canton. I love you all. Whoever is reading this, try a little harder today to be a little better. Try it out and see how much happier you will be when you lay your head down to rest. That's the why we're here. That's why we exist - to be happy.
Love, Elder Dransfield