Sorry for the length of my emails lately but it has been very busy so apologies!
Well. The day has come. Sister Sellick leaves Barrow tomorrow, and flies home Thursday! One of my zone leaders, 3 of my former companions, 2 of my STL's, & my Mission President and his wife are among all the missionaries going home. (23 missionaries, plus President and Sister McReynolds) With basically no new missionaries coming in, and an interim Mission President until our next one can get here, it will be interesting to see what the next couple weeks bring!
Technically, our new mission president and his wife (the Johnsons) were supposed to be here at the beginning of July, but due to visa issues and the virus, they've been delayed and no one really knows when they'll come. Until then, we have a "substitute" mission president who will come help us out until the Johnsons can get here. How crazy?
So hahahhaha. This has probably been the most unexpected transfer of my life, but we found out that I would be moving to Lancaster after only being in Barrow for 6 weeks, and that Barrow would be shut down for a while. Pretty much all that means is that missionaries won't be in Barrow anymore for a bit due to the fact that we don't have a whole lot of missionaries left, and we have a lot of areas to cover! We haven't had a group of new missionaries really come in since about April, so we've been low on numbers for a while. We also are having a group of around 30 missionaries leave this week so the mission has to close a few areas, and cut back on the number of missionaries in certain areas. Hence the reason why Barrow is closing and why I am moving to Lancaster.
So I'll be in Lancaster! But to really spice things up and make it really fun for us, we will also be covering Barrow (both virtually and in-person from time to time), as well as Crosby (only virtually). To summarize quickly, we'll have 3 different areas this transfer that we're working with which hopefully will keep us on our toes! I'm also getting a new companion because Sister Sellick is going home. Her name is Sister Weyland, and I've never served around her so I'll keep everyone updated :)
As mentioned in multiple emails previous to this one, I make impulse decisions quite frequently. The one I made this week was to dye my hair red. I had a not great day, wasn't super happy, and I wanted to do something fun that night when we can stop working and so we went out, bought some hair dye, and dyed my hair. I look like Wendy, the girl from Wendy's. Am I mad at that? no.
This week, we got to watch a devotional called Rise and Reach, which talked about the influence young, faithful people have. It was pretty inspiring, and we both walked away feeling like we have something valuable to contribute to the world around us! You don't need a leadership position, or a lot of followers on Facebook, or anything else to just lift where you stand! Go change the world folks :)
I also got to watch my friends Jonathan and Christina from Oldham get baptized!! Because Oldham is a good 1.5 hour drive from Barrow, and we're also in the middle of a global pandemic, I just watched over a zoom call. Still, that's one of the most spiritual zoom calls I've ever been lucky enough to watch, hands down! Definitely a baptism I'll never forget. I also got to be "in" Oldham again for second and talk to some of my favorite people there so that was a definite highlight for the week.
I hit 10 months and I can't believe it. My life is crazy and it's amazing and I wouldn't change it for the world, even if sometimes I have bad days and I need to dye my hair to forget about difficult people and dumb life choices people make. I love being a missionary. I love this gospel. And to top it all off, I love all of you too! Have a great week and keep on swimming :)
Photographs below. Also, Mission Area Maps updated.
Weekly Letter #42: July 28, 2020
4/ 5Oleh -