I hope your week is going well. I hope everyone in college is having a good first week of school. We got transfer calls last night and I am staying in Bakersfield 2nd Ward/ La Puente Branch. I am stoked! I really did not want to leave. I am lovin' Bakersfield and I was really nervous I was going to get transferred. I am super excited to be able to spend at least six more weeks in here. A lot of the District is staying too, so I am really excited about that as well because the District I am in is awesome. Oh yeah, Elder Juarez is getting transferred so I will have a new companion this transfer. I am excited and very happy. This week I have been stressing about transfers, but it has been good other than that. We have continued to visit and have lessons with Cora, Mario and Yasira, Ofelia, Rudy, and Sally. They are all awesome, but we will be working hard in the coming weeks to find new people to teach. There is already this one really cool family that we met, the Leon family. They have 13 kids in all, but some of them have grown up and gone off on their own. So there are seven kids living at home. They are a really great family. The kids really love it when we come over and they are super funny. One of the daughters, Liliana, is really interested. She just got home from working in Washington for the past couple months, and she was meeting with the missionaries up there and wants to keep meeting with us. We are excited for her and for the whole family.
I am really grateful that the Lord is allowing me to stay here for another six weeks. I love the people I am working with so much and they really mean a lot to me. Some of them are going through really difficult times right now and I know that the Gospel can help them so much. I have already seen it working in so many of their lives. It is a blessing to be able to watch. This past transfer has been a little difficult too and when transfer calls came around I wanted nothing more than to be able to stay. These past six weeks I have learned a lot about relying on the Savior. We all go through difficult times and sometimes it is difficult to be a missionary. But something I have learned is that the Lord will let us go through these hard times so that we can learn and grow. He never gives us a challenge we can't overcome. We just need to learn how to rely on Him and to trust that we are never alone. That has been the biggest comfort to me on my mission. In every single difficult time or challenge I have gone through, in the almost 7 months I have had as a missionary, my Savior has always been there for me. He has always helped me pull through it and come out of it stronger. I am really grateful for that, I love Him so much.
Oh, awesome news...... Henry and his son, Henry Jr., who Elder Ruelas and I were teaching in Wasco and set with a baptismal date, had their baptism last weekend! I was so happy and excited for them. When I got transferred from Wasco, I was bummed that I wouldn't be able to be there for them, but they have some good missionaries now. I didn't get to go to the baptism, but I am going to be able to give them a call today.
Well, I should get going. Elder Juarez has a lot of packing to do and he has to say goodbye to a lot of people. I hope you all have a great rest of your week. Mine is going to be sweet. Tomorrow is going to be transfer meeting and I am going to see a lot of old friends. I am excited to meet my new companion. It should be a great day.
Elder Chad Thompson