Alright well here we are at the beginning of another 6 weeks in paradise.
On Saturday we got the call from the zone leaders and they told me that Elder Barlow was getting transferred! DANGIT! but they wouldn't tell me anyone else because they weren't in my district. Dumb, I know. So we get a call from Elder Hall about five minutes later and he tells us that Elder Hixson is getting transferred too! DOUBLE DANGIT! But here's the kicker: They told us right then and there that there would be nobody replacing those two and elder Wang and I are now companions! Hahaha I couldn't believe it! hahaha so I ended up going out with Elder Wang because they had an appointment with an investigator on Saturday. His name is Bruce Li. hahahaha he's hilarious. It was in total native Chinese and I couldn't understand most of it, but we taught the whole plan of Salvation. And then on Saturday night We were sitting there, and they had taken a break from packing their stuff, and Elder Hixson said, "This is kindof awkward because its like we (he and I) used to be together, and now you (me and Barlow) are together, and you (me and wang) WILL be together, so it's like Tingey is living with his past, present, and future girlfriends...." hahahahaha it was pretty much the funniest thing ever. and you DIDN'T have to be there. hahaha
Elder Barlow went up to Oatlands, up near Paramatta, and Hixson went down to Narooma, which is way down the coast. It's beautiful, but there are about 0 Chinese people... poor guy. Everyone was hoping for Bankstown 3rd Chinese branch, but nothing going for them. Perhaps someday I will reach the promised land where there is milk and honey and hot pots every week after church. hahaha I think the best thing about transfers is the transfer meeting. It's always so awesome to hear the departing missionaries testimonies and words of wisdom. This transfer, one of our APs went home and his final testimony was so powerful. His name is elder Purriri and he's someone I've really looked up to on my mission. Then, as is tradition when highly respected missionaries go home, We did the haka in the gym. I had elder Barlow film it for me and i'll try to put it on the drop box, but it was cool because we did the first part to him, then he did one back to us, and then we finished. It was intense. Hahaha I just wish I didn't look so shrimpy compared to all the huge Polynesians..... but that was really cool.
It's been crazy because we combined the Wollongong B and Wollongong F areas so we're trying to figure out what to do. We doubled our investigators and most of Wollongong F's investigators were Chinese so I'm really excited about that. My Chinese is slowly improving. I just need to learn more words. and get more comfortable with the grammar. In our Chinese gospel principles class on sunday, I was asked to read a scripture, and when class was over, elder Hixson's (now my) investigator, Gong, told me I sound like a Chinese person. That made me so happy. hahaha but that doesn't matter too much if I can't understand what people are saying to me... hahaha. But I'm excited for what will happen with my Chinese this transfer.
General conference is coming up this week and I just can't wait. I remember last general conference was my first week in the field. It was also the time I met Bernadine. Crazy how much has happened in those 6 months. Hahaha still feel like I don't know what I'm doing... but I think the difference is, I'm less worried. I've come to know that God has a pattern of using the improbable to accomplish his work so that there is no question of who is behind it. (that's pretty much a direct quote from when elder nelson came and spoke so I'm not claiming it) and I definitely feel like an improbable one. hahaha I was watching all these departing missionaries bear their testimonies yesterday and I thought, man, I've got a ways to go to become as strong as them, but looking back on where I was 8 months ago, I think I'm definitely making progress toward where I want to be in 2015.
Love you all. The Church is true. We've got a prophet on the earth today and I can't wait to hear him speak on sunday! The lord has his hand in each of our lives a lot more than we realize. I know that to be true. You are all the best, I pray for you all and I feel your prayers daily.