Hello Family! Man, I can't believe that transfers are come and gone already. This one went by way too fast for me. Elder Wardell and I got along great and we never fought, not even pretend! Anytime he or I would do something that could make someone mad, it would be over with "It's okay man! I'm not even mad!" What a great example on how to handle people that could be hard to get along with. Which is exactly what I'm going to need with my new companion. By before I tell that, lets talk about my final week with Elder Wardell.
So we got some new neighbors next to us. They have been there for about 2 or 3 weeks and we were told that they were members but we haven't had a chance to get over there to meet them. Bishop Brown from the Pima 4th ward told us that we should stop by and introduce ourselves but we didn't... Well this last Saturday, he came up to us and introduced himself. His name is Brother Gibbons. He is from Thatcher, AZ which is like 5 minutes from us. He and his wife got married a few years back but she finally got baptized last September. One of their sons got baptized then too. But their other son, Giovani, wasn't able to. Giovani lives with his dad in Illinois. He was going to get baptized but they didn't have enough time. Well, he wants to get baptized! So we taught him on Sunday. He is 9 but had finished reading all of the Harry Potter books by the time he was 8. So he loves to read. He and his family read from the Book Of Mormon everyday together so he already believes that it's true. He has been taught all the lessons before so we went over some points and he basically taught us the rest of the Restoration. It was amazing! He has a baptism date for the 2nd of August! WOOT!!!! What a miracle!
Elder Wardell turned 21 this week. Actually, his birthday is on the 4th of July! So instead of going out and watching fireworks, 2 members from our wards, Chad Kelliher and Dakota Lines, took Elder Wardell and I out to Denny's and then we just messed around for a little while. We didn't get to watch any fireworks but it's okay cause we just hung out with Chad and Kota. At our place, we have like 9 goats. All of them but one are female. The only male is HUGE! Well, someone through out the dumb idea to ride him. Psh.. What a dumb idea.... Even dumber than that is we actually did! First we had to catch him. He is fast and occasionally will charge at you if you make him mad enough. So Dakota taught us how to rope him! Elder Wardell roped him on his first try pulled him in, grabbed his horns and got on. He doesn't buck, instead he runs forward then stops suddenly so that you hit yourself on his big horns coming out of his head. It took me a little while to rope him, about 15 tries. But I got him too! So I got on him and rode him for about 30 seconds. He was pretty tired by this time so it wasn't as bad as when Elder Wardell rode him, but it was still really cool! So on our down time this week, I would go outside and practice roping. It was really fun!
That night turned out to be a big help for us. Somehow, this big, white, pregnant goat keeps getting out and eating all the hay. So I tried to chase him but of course, she was faster than me. So I went over and grabbed the rope. First try, it got a horn but she slipped out. Second time I hit her back as she was running away from me. The last time, I got her! She was running and I was running after her and got her! It was great!!
The baptism was great! Aaron was super excited! I had to give the talk on Baptism and the Holy Ghost. I talked about rocks and how we are like them. It was going great until I forgot what I had already said. I may or may not have repeated how happy and excited we were for him like 5 times. It was great though! It only took one dunk too. :) On Sunday, he was confirmed and given a great blessing. He stood up afterwards and the congregation showed their support of Aaron getting the priesthood with the raise of the right hand. He is going to be a great, strong member of the church for the rest of his life!
My new companion is... Elder Gilson... The dots are to show that I'm not super excited. I'm excited a little but more bummed. Here's why. I got a call on Sunday saying that my new companion was going to be Elder Chace Maughan. Elder Maughan was in a 3-some with Elder Gilson and Elder Billheimer in the Deaf Branch. They are sign language missionaries! So I was super excited because I was great friends with Elder Maughan when I was serving in the east! They were in my district. I grew a lot closer to Elder Maughan cause honestly, he reminds me of Xander. :) So I call Maughan and he is super excited. Well, the next morning, I get a call from Elder Hickenlooper, my dad in the mission who is also one of the Assistants to the President. He says, I have some bad news. Apparently, Elder Billheimer sent an 11 page long text to Elder Hickenlooper last night describing why Elder Maughan needed to stay in the deaf branch and why Elder Gilson needed to leave. The A.P.'s and President decided that it was because Elder Maughan wants to be apostate in the Deaf Branch (because most missionaries that are in the deaf branch are very apostate cause there is really nothing to do...) and decided to switch Elder Maughan and Elder Gilson. Elder Gilson is from Hawaii. Well, he's lived there like the past 2 years or so, so he claims that as home. He is partially deaf and uses hearing aids so he learned sign language before his mission. The thing with Elder Gilson is that he is very very unpredictable. He throws fits and yells and complains but then will be calm, then super mad that you are mad for no reason. It really doesn't make any sense. He has been out for 6 months and feels like he's a master teacher. Everyone I've talked to says that I shouldn't let him talk in lessons cause he will just ramble on and not let me nor the person we are teaching talk. I don't know how much of that I believe but it could be true. I guess we'll find out. There are only a few people unfortunately that President feels can handle him as a companion. And for that, I am pretty happy that President feels like he can trust me. Don't get me wrong, I am excited to be with Gilson. But I am still really bummed that I lost my chance to be with Elder Maughan. But that's life, everything happens for a reason!
President Passey is from Denton, Texas. He is a Deputy regional administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. I don't know what that means but he has some authority. He has served as a counselor in a mission presidency and is a former counselor in a stake presidency, bishop, high councilor, and missionary in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission. I really like him. There haven't been any real changes as of yet. He is still new and doesn't want to just get rid of all the rules set by President Killpack. But there will be changes made! I really like him though.
Well I think that about sums up this email. I will let you guys know what my decision is with Dr. Johnson and what happens there. Thank you for your support and prayers. I love you all very much!
~Elder Kyle Harris