Well, I'm getting transferred tomorrow. It's going to be really hard to leave Salem. But I don't want to talk about that. Too depressing.
Transfers: I don't know where I'll be going. There are seven Sister areas and I only know the three I won't be transferred to: Salem (duh), Corbin (duh) and Charlestown (because we called the Sisters and neither of them is being transferred). So my options are: Olney, IL, Paris, KY, Winchester, KY, and Berea, KY. We got permission to call Sister Ford even though she's not in our district because of another question we had to ask her and when we did she told us that her companion is being transferred. We talked about how AWESOME it would be if I got paired up with her again! We've both been asking President to put us back together ever since we were separated because neither of us were healthy while we were together and so we didn't get to actually WORK together. President always says that he'd love to be able to put us back together but "we'll see". Sister Ford said that she was talking to Sister Woodbury the other day and that she reminded her that President promised he'd see what he could do about putting us back together and Sister Woodbury said that she knows how transfers are going to go, but that President sometimes changes his mind at the last minute so she didn't want to say one way or the other because she might accidentally give wrong information. It would be a lot easier to figure out where I'm going if we knew which other areas are going to have a Sister transferred. But, since we can't call them, I just have to wait till tomorrow. At least I know I'll be seeing Sister Ford tomorrow. That's exciting. And I might even be able to see whoever from the ward drives the Corbin Sisters up to transfers if they're being changed up. My guesses are that I'll either go to Paris or to Olney. Fingers crossed for Olney so that Sister Ford and I can be together again! Either way, I know I'll end up where I'm supposed to be.
There's a lady in the ward who is awesome. She's the daughter of my "Fat and Sassy" friend. Her name is Sister Suvak (her husband is great, too, and has helped give me a couple blessings). She and I are pretty similar. We're sarcastic and know what we like and what we don't like. We connected over Barry Manilow and have been friends ever since. She found out that I love Amish people and this past week she took us to Amish Country! We went to two Amish homes where people sell rugs and baskets and things like that. It was wonderful! The best part was that I got to go onto their property and talk with them and see them up close. When I went into the first workshop where they have all of their merchandise on display, I thought I teared up a little bit and had to control myself because I didn't want this Amish lady to think I was upset. I was just so happy! They have the cutest accents! They speak "Amish" which is a form of German till they are school age and then they learn English just so they can speak to non-Amish people. But in their homes and with other Amish people they speak Amish. So they have these sweet little accents and I felt like I was on set for a movie or something. I waved at a group of little Amish girls and they waved back and I felt like they were all my friends. The two different women that helped me at the two houses were Sarah Yoder and Edna Gingerich (My Amish BFF's!) (Besides Jake Schmidt, of course. I'll never forget you, Jake!). Edna was 15 and one of 10 girls with only one brother. She was so sweet. It was wonderful. I went away with a pretty rug and a neat egg basket. I'm going to miss the Amish here in Salem! I love Sister Suvak for taking me there! She's so wonderful! She's taking us to transfers tomorrow and I'm excited to have good conversation on the way there.
This week we saw Sandra twice. Wait!-- three times. The first day was Wednesday. We watched a dvd about faith in Christ with her. As usual, I was trying to distract her son (the other one was at school) so that she could watch the movie uninterrupted. There's this Gospel Art Book that we have that he loves to look through. He loves any and all pictures with swords or weapons in them. His favorite picture is the one where the old Moroni is kneeling with his hands over the gold plates and praying right before he puts the plates in the ground. He's three and can't say his R's. Whenever he finds that picture he says, "That guy! He cuts off my head with his sword! He cuts off my head and then he puts it back on! He puts it back on and then he kills all the bad guys!" He calls it HIS picture. He's obsessed with it.
Well, on Wednesday, after he looked at the Moroni picture for a few minutes, we went through the whole book. When we got to a picture of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace with Christ, I thought he'd be excited but he got really upset. He immediately knew which one was Jesus and he pointed to it and got big tears in his eyes and said, "Why they doin' that to my God?" I told him that Jesus was ok and that he was saving those men but he wouldn't listen. He just started crying and said, "Why they doin' that to my God? They can't do that to my God! They can't burn Him up in the fire!" And he cried and cried. I scrambled to find a picture of Jesus outside of the fire and healthy but he wouldn't believe me that He was ok with any picture I showed him. Finally, I found one with him in a vision to someone with him standing clear of what look like flames and instead in safety and majesty. I said, "Look! He's ok. He got out of the fire!" His tears still in his eyes, his countenance changed and his eyes lit up and he said, "There's my God! He's out of the fire!" He grinned from ear to ear. It was a very poignant moment for me to realize that this little boy who hasn't ever been to church and who doesn't live in a very Christ-centered environment still has a spirit that recognizes his Savior. I loved that he kept calling Christ "my God" or his God. He took the injuries of Christ personally. It hurt him to think of his God in pain. It hurt him to think of someone being harmful to his God. And when he found out that Christ really was ok, he was thrilled. Am I hurt when I think about what pains Christ had to bear? Am I thrilled, knowing that Christ lives and that He can never be hurt again? Do I think of Christ as God or do I think of Him as my God?
We met with Sandra two days later and she is changing. Her countenance is brighter. She's been praying like we've asked her to and she says that it's making all the difference in the world. We taught her "The ABCD's of Repentance" (Acknowledge/Admit, Be Sorry, Change/Correct Wrongs, Don't Do It Again) last week and she loves them. She's been telling everyone at work about them and her family and friends. She's lit up. It's wonderful to see. It's amazing what the Atonement can do.
She and her boys came to church yesterday! They were pretty rowdy and she was embarrassed but we told her that it was ok. They'll get used to it the more they come. I think she liked it. They stayed for the first two hours and then they wouldn't sit still and wouldn't be quiet and wouldn't go to primary so she left. But when they did, her younger boy cried and said he didn't want to leave. I'm so happy for her and for her boys. AND the best part is: she's getting baptized on October 20th! Saying goodbye to her was very hard for us, but I know that she'll be ok with the new sister and that she's on the right path.
The last part of this weekend and tonight have been and will be filled with goodbyes. I don't like it. I'm not even close to packed because I hate packing because it means I'm really leaving. But, I know that all things the the Lord has planned for me will work out for my good. He's in charge. I hate leaving these people that I feel responsible for and that I've grown to love like Mark and Sandra and Wende and Brother Hobson. But they aren't my children, they're His. He knows what He's doing and He loves them more than I do. He'll take care of them like He already has.
I better be off. Thank you for your prayers! I'll be writing you next week from a different location! Hurrah for Israel!