There is a new season to every missionary that comes around in its cycle every 6 weeks. This season is called Transfers. The signs of its coming usually effect each individual. Symptoms may include (but are not limited to): profuse sweating, a pit feeling in the stomach, heart racing, a lack of concentration, sleepless nights, worry, concern, tears, slow movement, and dread. To be prepared for these symtoms it is suggested that you carry the following with you at all times: tissues, camera, scriptures, address book, and a good joke. ^_^
Yes that season has come around once again. The week of transfers is always the worst! You do everything you can to ignore its coming but somehow it is always present in the back of your mind. Saturday morning I was chastized through the scriptures. In Jacob 4:10 it says to stop trying to counsel the Lord but to take cousel from the Lord. In other words be willing to accept the Lords will regarding transfers. It made me laugh but hit home. I tried the whole day to forget about transfers and just work. Transfer calls came late eveningSaturday night. We were driving to our appointment with Sugar. We had waited all day to receive the call and there was nothing I could do to stop the call from coming in when it came. The saddest words I have ever heard are, "Sister Cottrell you are getting transfered." The tears could not be held back at this point. I knew it was coming I just didn't want to admit it. We did arrive safely at our destination. Luckily we were early and I was able to get control of myself and my tears. I knew that this lesson was going to be very difficult if I couldn't get everything under control. Right before we walked in I had a very deep impression come. It went something like this, "Sister Cottrell, you have come here for a specific reason and you have completed what you were sent here to do." I immediately knew that my purpose in this ward was to teach both Sugar and Mistletoe. (We met Mistletoe the same time as Sugar, she is getting baptized in April) Sugar is baptized and Mistletoe is done with the lessons and is on her way. It was a comforting thought. I know that Heavenly Father heard my prayers and blessed me with the ability to set everything aside and focus on our lesson. We told Sugar and her boyfriend after the lesson. They were sad but understand. I think Sugar is more comfortable now with me leaving than before. When we got home that night I cried and cried and cried. I had to. I knew that if I didn't I would be a mess on Sunday.
Our Bishop isn't happy with the change and he is being extremely sentimental about it all, which is totally okay with me. In fact we are having lunch with him today and then His wife has requested that we go over for dinner. It is going to be hard to say goodbye but I believe he might be going out to Utah in July. ;D Several people knew about the transfer before coming to church so they were prepared but the hardest thing was the hugs and reaction to the news. I brought a box of tissues with me just in case I couldn't a rock (in other words stable) with my emotions. I made it all the way through church with out crying and then we had break the fast. Right before the prayer was said Bishop asked me to come and stand next to him. The stinker had everyone sing "God Be With You." I told him he was a jerk and he laughed and said he had to. His main intent was to get me to cry, and he definitely succeeded. It was a bet between us if I would. When they finished singing I said, "I hate and love you all." We laughed and moved on with the dinner. I have many many pictures from yesterday. Quite a few are funny and so perfectly display the kind of people I am here with and love to pieces. I find much comfort in the fact that I will be coming back to visit (well I will be trying as hard as I can) in September and Decemeber due to WEDDINGS! I found out yesterday that a sister in our ward who is very dear to me is officially engaged!
Sacrament meeting was so exciting. Sugar, Gem, and Mistletoe all came to church plus one of our Potential investigators!!!!! I was shocked we got everyone there! Also Sugar bore her testimony!!!!!! She shared an experience that she had as a little girl with feeling the presence of the Holy Ghost and told us that until she was baptized she hadn't ever (consciously) felt it again. She also told us that when she was baptized the anger that she has held onto for many many years regarding her ex- husband and father has simply vanished. It just doesn't exist anymore. As she was talking I couldn't help but be proud of her and be very sentimental about it all. She has come so far and I know she will be an asset to any ward she attends. Misteltoe told us later that as she was listening to Sugar it was making her want to get up there and give her testimony too! But the meeting ended before she could get up the courage. However she did play the piano for Sacrament meeting and I was just as proud of her for doing that and doing it well!
I have learned so much about myself and the people my age just by being in this ward. I have been so very blessed to have been here for so long now. I am going to miss it desperately but I know deep within my heart that this is my time to leave the ward. I have done what I was sent here to do. I wonder if this is how the Savior felt at the last supper. Did he cry knowing he would be leaving, for a time, the people he loved most? Did he fight a battle within knowing what His responsibility was and the natural mans selfesh desires to stay? Its a deep thought but one that has been on my mind.
I think the hardest part of this all is moving forward. Transfers are hard enough but waiting for the call from President Hall is even harder. That call also came Saturday night. I have been released from being a Sister Training Leader and have been reassigned as a trainer.....again. Right before last transfers I had made a promise with Heavenly Father. I told him that if he would let me stay Sister Training Leader one more transfer I would willingly train for the rest of my mission. It appears that the Lord has taken me up on the promise. I remained a Sister Training Leader for one more transfer and now I am training. The reason I made this promise is because 1. I wanted to stay a STL 2. He knows how terrified I am to try to train agian. I have to keep rememering my part of the promise: I will not only willingly train but remember everyday the promise but that I will be happy about it, I will love my companion, and that I will do everything I can to train her to be the servant He wants her to become. President Hall's words to me Saturday night have been comforting. He assured me that I have done much good for the Sisters I had stewardship over, that I have changed alot of missions, and that this release is not a demotion. There is no such thing as a career advancement as a missionary. It was a hard decision to make to release me but he knew that it is time for someone else to be called to be a STL that may not be ready but who needs the opportunity to grow into the assignment. I am not sure who it will be to take my place but I know the Lord will be there to help her just as he has been there fore me.
So we are moving on! I will be going to a new area and I will be training a new sister, who I will see today but I will not know till tomorrow who it will be. In fact as of right now our missionaries should be at the SLC airport hee hee hee.
Thanksgiving was wonderful and we ate 2 dinners and drank water at the 3rd. We could barely move we were so full!!!!!!!!! It was so good to see how all the different cultures celebrate Thanksgiving. That night we wanted to go and attack the people who were standing in lines for Black Friday. We knew they wouldn't be leaving their spots in the lines so they would just have to listen to us, right? hahaha Well that plan got stopped in its tracks when we saw just how many security guards were present at the mall and at best buy. We decided to be good little missionaries and just street contact around the areas. It was fun and so weird at the same time. People just get goofy on Thanksgiving......
We also had Interviews on Tuesday. We helped do a training with our whole zone while the missionaries went to meet with President Hall, and Sister Arnold (our mission nurse.) It was a long rewarding day.
Just a little thought about the Christmas Season......It is so important for us to remember the real meaning of Christmas. I hear a story yesterday that I would like to share with you.
There was a mother who was going to her childs elementary school Christmas performance. During the performance several of the little children would hold up letters that spelled, "Chrismas Love." This particular day the little girl holding up the "m" was holding it upside down making the phrase read, "Christ Was Love." The children didn't know what was going on but all the parents saw it and it touched their hearts. I just want you to remember the truth of this statement. Christ was Love! That was His mission on this earth. To show the world the love He possess' by making the sacrifice to die for us so that not only we can be forgiven of our sins but to live with Heavenly Father again. This is the meaning ofChristmas to remember Christs birth out of Love for us.
Well I think that is it folks!!!! I love you all and miss you tons! Have a wonderful week as it is the start of the Christmas Season.
Hurrah for Israel!