Sorry it's been years since I've written, but we have had 0 WiFi everywhere and I've forgotten. So sorry. Please forgive me.
Anywho, I love Oldham! I won't lie, the beginning of this transfer I thought President was crazy and had maybe heard the wrong place in his mind (I have repented and have apologized for this lack of trust and faith). It was so disorganized, the members either didn't know us, or didn't like us, and we had 0 friends. It was a little stressful just because it was SO different from St. Helens and Sister Clark's missionary method that I wanted to go back to St. Helens for a while.
However, I have seen myself and felt myself stretch and grow in so many new ways this transfer. I've learned a lot from Sister Patea about expressing love and how to street contact. I learned how to work with the members and to build relationships with them. I learned how to coordinate efforts with the elders to be able to find new friends and work with old ones in the area book. I've learned how to get over my fears of leading and sharing my thoughts and ideas regardless of whether or not I was in training. Overall, I have loved it here and I love Sister Patea. It was really hard in the beginning and there have definitely been difficult moments throughout the transfer, but it really has been good looking back on it.
However, I have also seen lots of things that I am terrible at that I need to work on and improve. I am very stubborn and it takes a lot of patience and perseverance to change my mind once I've made my mind up. I don't like tracting a whole bunch (I am trying to have a better attitude) and I'm awful at it. I am very impatient with people who don't do their jobs well, are majorly disorganized, and/or are disobedient. Overall, I have a LOT to work on in 2020 which is wonderful (ish hahaha).
Working with the ward is going really well and is really improving which is great! We made a goal at the beginning of December that we would try to meet with 10 different member families a week which we were able to accomplish! We met with about 42 families by the end of the month with the help of the Relief Society presidency and everyone's kindness in the ward which is wonderful! We also have called Bishop and asked him what we could improve on, and he gave us a few suggestions like spending more time with the members and doing service for and with them which we are going to try to implement in this new transfer which is exciting! Lots of work to be done, but we are determined that whenever we leave Oldham, it will be the best area in the entire mission. Hahaha. We'll see.
We also were able to date our friend Ashley for the end of this month, but we are most likely going to be pushing it back as he isn't ready and has started dropping and blowing us off. I think we kind of made a mistake with that as we both were so pumped with adrenaline for the "December to Remember" challenge to date someone in December and baptize someone in January that we both (me especially) just wanted to date him first, and then figure out how we could get him there second. I definitely learned that lesson the hard way as we now have to break it to him that we have to push his date back. Urgh. Live and learn I guess?
In the end, I am very excited to be staying in Oldham with Sister Patea and am excited to come up with new plans, and refresh our old ones to be able to build up the area. Pray it all goes well.
Love you all and sorry for the weeks of inactivity!
Photographs below :)
(For the past few weeks I've developed a rash on my face from being a little bit stressed...but it's kind of clearing up!)
Weekly Letter #14: January 7, 2020
4/ 5Oleh -