What a crazy and eventful week! I am now back in Birmingham! On Wednesday, all of the missionaries in our mission who were moving gathered together and we all got new companions! My new companion is awesome. He is from New Jersey and was a convert to the church at age 19. He came on a mission when he was 22 and is now 24 and he goes home in 6 weeks! I am so grateful to be his companion and especially to be his last companion! Also, the day before transfers, I was able to get my cast off! I was in it for three weeks and I am now wearing a brace and will have that on for about another month. I am so glad to be free of the cast!
We had one really cool experience this week that I would like to share. When I first showed up in my new area, the missionaries here said that the Birmingham Ward is one of the best wards in the state of Alabama and they are right! The members here love the missionaries so much! So one night this past week we went over to a member’s home for a meal appointment and we had a delicious dinner. They had just been reunited as a family because their oldest son had been on a mission in Brazil for the past two years. They were extremely happy to be together as family once again, especially because their next oldest son is leaving on his mission to Iowa in about two weeks (this kind of reminded me of the Neser family!) and the one who just returned from his mission is leaving for college right around the same time.
Well, as we spoke at the dinner table we figured out that the oldest son was planning to attend UNA (University of Northern Alabama) in Florence, AL. I explained to him that I had just been serving up there and that I visited UNA many times and I told him that I loved the campus and the area. Also as we talked one of the other new elders eating dinner with us told the family that he had a friend in the Iowa Des Moines mission and that his friend loved serving in Iowa. Well, we finished dinner and shared a thought and then left and went on with our day. The next day was Sunday and the father of the two boys came up to us in church and was visibly emotional. He told us that he and his wife had been worrying about the future of both of their sons and needed some reassurance to know if everything was going to be okay. He said that it was comforting to hear that the new elder in our area and I had some connection or tie to where their sons were heading next and that seemed to be an answer to their prayers that everything was going to be okay. He told us it was a little tender mercy from the Lord. I thought that was super cool! It was a testimony builder for me. Christ is at the head of this work and we are called to places so that we can bless the lives of certain individuals. I am so grateful to be a part of it! I love and miss everybody back home and hope that you have an amazing week and a very Merry Christmas!