I get my transfer call on Saturday and I'm pretty sure that I'll be leaving to a new area next week since I've been here for 6 months and with Elder Farr for 4 and a half months.
We've continued to work really hard at finding more people to teach. We gave a blessing to Carolyn (who we had to stop teaching for a few weeks due to her getting shingles) and we hope to resume teaching her this week. We've picked up a few more investigators through our efforts and it will be sad that I won't be around to teach them (once again I'm pretty set on leaving - I could really use some change). I want to build up this area as much as I possibly can before I leave so that the ward will have a lot of enthusiasm when the next missionary comes in (unlike when I came in and everyone kept wishing Elder Smith had stayed - one kid even told me "you'll never replace Elder Smith" - that kind of sentiment always makes it hard on a new missionary). It is always hard to leave behind a ward when you develop friendships - and it is hard to leave those behind to enter a new ward where you have no friends (especially when your companion isn't even your friend). So I hope that I can prepare this area so that it will be a good experience for whoever follows me here.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a baptism in the Shadow Creek ward for Patience McCarty (Craig's daughter that he got custody of before I left). It was so nice to be able to see the McCarty family and many of the other ward members as well. Brother Keser was especially happy to see me - his wife exclaimed "there's the one that never talks!" as they greeted all of the missionaries in attendance. Then Brother Keser came up and said "welcome back Smiley!" (that was what he nicknamed me some time ago).
Also, we had interviews with President and Sister Neider this week. They made it very clear to everyone that they felt that I had changed so much. They are so proud of me :) - President Neider even told me he thinks I'm finally ready to be a senior companion (that's good news I think). Sister Neider exclaimed, "you don't even look the same - you've grown up" - they might just be confusing me with Elder Jenkins or something, sometime I'll tell you the story behind that one). One way or another, my perceived improvement these last few months are clearly not just in my head. Other people are noticing it too, so I figure that must be physical evidence of The Atonement in my life.
Rumors about the coming iPads were dissolved by President Neider at our interviews. Although the leadership have been mentioning that they are coming soon - he explained that soon meant sometime this year (probably not for a few more transfers). He said that out of the 21 missions in our area, we were the highest baptizing one. Which means that we are in the top 5 highest baptizing missions in the United States. That means that when the church implements changes - like iPads - we are also going to be in the last 5 missions to get them. I'm excited to see how they change things (supposedly I'll get to email on a personal iPad instead of these computers - which would mean I might get to send pictures?).
Elder Kyle Jensen