Hey Friends and Family!
Turns out I will be leaving Franklin this week. I got my transfer call from Presidentnight and he told me he had a surprise for me. I asked him what it was and he said I would be released as a zone leader (praise the heavens) and would be training a new missionary! I am so excited and honored to have the privilege to train before I leave. I will train this missionary for three months and then head home at the end of his training. President said that the elder I will be train has some things in common with me, so we will have some stuff to talk about when he gets here :) Also Elder Coles (the assistant to the President) told me that I am going to the best area in the mission or his "dream area" but I think he is just messing with me cause I know Coles and his dream area is Crossroads.. haha ya. Yet, I am super excited for my new assignment and am ready to train my new boy how to be a Indiana missionary!
This week has been one of the most cherished of my mission. Last Saturday we had the privilege of going to the temple in Louisville, Kentucky with Crystal. It was her first time there and she had some of her own family names to do baptisms and confirmations for. I will never forget what took place as she walked into the temple for the first time. She stepped in and saw all the people dressed in white and the beauty of the front foyer and took a step back in emotion. She stood there and with excitement said "I feel like I am in heaven." The Spirit was so strong that day in the temple and I had the opportunity to baptize her for her deceased ancestors and also to baptize Elder Dodd for her male ancestors. I was able to look at Crystal as they were confirming her father who was deceased. She just smiled and cried :) There is nothing like going to the temple with those you have seen join the church and be there with them for their first time. It was a truly remarkable experience.
Later that day we also had the magnificent opportunity to go to the baptism of Amanda Herald and her three beautiful and vibrant girls: Clarissa, Selena, and Sierra Culvahouse. I baptized Amanda and Elder Garrett (my previous companion and dear friend) got to baptize the three girls. The Heralds had been through so much to make it to that day and there was a spiritual fire in their hearts as they were baptized. Amanda has found her new faith and is loving it, she fights every day to prove faithful to her new covenants she has made to God. The Spirit was very strong there and it was a wonderful day.
To add to the greatness of that day, that evening I got to go to a race car rally in Indianapolis with Elder Garrett and a family we worked with and baptized their dad (the Shipleys). It was a BLAST! The cars were so loud and we would all pick a car we think would win and we seemed to always pick the cars that were in the top 3 spots (just luck, I guess). It was so great to be able to spend some time with Elder Garrett before he heads home, I will sure miss him.
Well, I sure love all of you and thank you for your love and support. May you all continue to be faithful to the Lord and "go about doing good" this week.