This week has been kind of a crazy week. On Monday a couple sets of missionaries went to this shop in Littlerock called Charlie Browns Farms. Its a shop that has a ton of random stuff in it that is totally organized. For instance there is a whole section of armor and Egyptian replicas. Another part is called the House of Dolls. Just super random and crazy looking things. We took lots of pictures. At one point we tried to fit six sisters into a telephone booth in the store. We ALMOST made it! The store itself goes on forever! It was so fun!
We taught a lot of lessons this week. There is a 66 year old Lady we are teaching. She is wonderful and has been on quite the journey to talk to the missionaries. The Elders used to live in the same apartment complex with her and she talked to them quite often. One of the Elders who is my district leader asked us to follow up with her since they don't live there anymore. When we showed up she was so happy and surprised. We have been teaching her for the last several weeks. About a year ago she was "born again" or baptized in a Jacuzzi at a senior community home. Since then she has been studying the Bible. When we asked her if she would be baptized by someone holding the priesthood she laughed and said that she knew her baptism wasn't the final baptism! She is great! She is struggling with giving up coffee but we are working with her to find substitutes. She should be baptized on July 6th.
Another young lady we are working with is so Golden! She has 3 kids and is a single mom. She literally doesn't have any concerns and that concerns us. When we asked her to get baptized she said "Sure, no problem!" My first thought was "are you sure you don't want to think about that?" People are so prepared up here and its miraculous! I love extending the baptismal commitment to individuals. The trick is to helping them understand what they are committing to or what they are saying no too. We have so many people we are teaching that we had to start double booking appointments and going on splits so that we can teach everyone as much as possible and continue helping them to prepare to be baptized. Our Stake is the highest baptizing stake. Our wards baptismal goal is 25 for the year! We have our hands full and its so great!
Okay so the title says surprises and boy do I have a story:
So I have been in Palmdale for 6 weeks. Crazy right? How does time fly so fast? Anyway back to the point. Transfer calls come every 6 weeks... me being curious contacted our district leader and told him " I am sure you are overwhelmed with questions of transfers but we would like to know what is happening in our district. We really appreciate all that you do for us!" I simply just wanted to know what was going on since I figured we wouldn't be getting a call that night. Well was I wrong!!!!! He called about 20 minutes later and asked if I was hanging onto the Chair. I replied that I was since I happened to be saying my prayers right as he called. He then said "Well Sister Cottrell you are getting transferred....." I wasn't sure if he was teasing me so I said, "What?". Yup, I heard right! I am being transferred out of Palmdale and Sister Peatross is staying! I was so shocked! I also found out that except for 8 companionships our whole mission will be at the transfer meeting! Trainers are being pulled out from new missionaries all over our mission! Then the sad part of that call was that I was told I am going to a car area. :( I just got the hang of biking all day long in the heat! I love my bike!!!!!!! Don't make me go to a car area! I dont want to go!!!!!!.....yes who knew that I would get attached to biking in the wind and heat. I think I am saddest about that. Darn it! Anyway I have had several mixed emotions and several questions about why I am getting transferred. Then I realized that this is the Mission split transfer. So if the Lord only needed me in Palmdale for 6 weeks then I will only be here for 6 weeks. Its time to move on. So once I finally got over the shock of getting transferred President Hall called me this morning. He asked me to be a Sister Training Leader!!!! When he asked me my first thought was "how does the Lord expect me to train several sisters in an area when I can't even handle training one?" "How is it possible when I have struggled so much in the last 6 weeks?" When I said yes to the assignment I was in shock again. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I didn't know if I was excited or nervous. As I have thought about it through out today I have come to a conclusion. 1. The Lord isn't asking me to trust myself to train these girls. He is asking me to trust Him to help train these sisters. 2. Not everything that went wrong with Sister Peatross is a direct result of me. 3. I am totally excited to be a Sister Training Leader.
As I have come to these conclusions I have found peace with the Lords will for me. I am so excited to get to know more Sisters in my mission. I am excited to stay busy doing exchanges every week with these wonderful sisters. And I know that the Lord has seen my efforts and that the last 6 weeks have not been a waste of mine or the Lords time. So what does a STL do? I work and train the sisters to be exceptional missionaries. To be the Lords servants. To serve them and help them be happy and find success on their missions. I have no idea what mission I will be in but where ever I go is where I have been "called to serve." I am so excited for tomorrow and yes I am naturally nervous. There are so many changes happening!!!! I cant wait to tell you all where I will be! I need to go because my time is short.
I love you all very much!
The time is now for the hastening of the work HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!