NEWS: our mission got 22 baptisms last week. That's a record for us! Zone 3 contributed with 4 of those. I got to interview one of them, a sweet, 10-year-old girl, named Nikki, who's living with her aunt and uncle in the Fardale area (very green, very rich). I actually went on an exchange on Friday, so it was convenient that she needed to be interviewed for her baptism on Saturday.
I was with Elder Page for the day, an 18-year-old, 1st transfer missionary from Centerville, UT. He's awesome, and he's gonna be an auto-mechanic. He's a bean pole, has lots of freckles, and light brown hair. Looks more like a lizard than I do, in fact. The exchange was wonderful, we drove into the depths of West Milford and Ringwood, NJ which reminds me of Lothlorien (or Sundance). It's really strange being away from the city for a short period of time, but it was beautiful up there with the leaves having changed. We taught several lessons and had a miracle lesson / encounter with a woman in her 50's named Michelle. She took care of her insane, 88-year-old mother, who is blind, and mostly deaf. When Michelle was SHOUTING at her, telling her that "church people" had come in to help out (cleaning the basement, people have no shame in asking you to do menial things), her mother said, "I don't need to pray, it's Friday. I don't pray on Fridays," with following phrases like "Tell them to go out and get a job!" with strings of curse words in between. Mouth like a sailor. Elder Page and I were dying of laughter.
On Sunday, we confirmed Richard de la Cruz a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Monday: we went to Paramus (had to get special permission from the assistants and sister Jeppson because EVERYONE has been leaving their respective areas for really absurd reasons, so Pres. Jeppson had to crack down and say NO MORE LEAVING your areas). We went the spectacular yet worldly Garden State Mall. That thing is MASSIVE, it's not even funny. I went to Macy's and bought a new suit. IT's the coolest suit ever, but I had to order the pants online. So I'll be able to wear it in a week or so.
Tuesday (yesterday) was transfers!! Here's the lowdown:
-Elder Dahl left (sad). HOWEVER! He went to Paterson, which is in our zone, so I'm now Elder Dahl's zone leader. Fun.
-Elder Braxten Nielsen, from Roosevelt, UT, is my new companion. He just came from serving 1 transfer as a zone leader in Newark. He is a cowboy, rides rodeo, loves roping, cowboy boots, and just being cool. We get along really well. I was actually his zone leader about 2 transfers ago, him being in Paterson. Pretty strange that we are companions, but man we are doing excellent and on the car ride home from transfers, we set a bunch of goals to better our zone and our companionship. It's going to be an amazing transfer.
-We lost the two companionships serving in Fardale. Bummer. The good news is we got two more companionships doubled-in to Paterson spanish and English, AND Elder Murray (my buddy from Perth Amboy) is Elder Dahl's companion, serving as a district leader. Our zone is STACKED.
You all know how much I love each and every one of you. More so, I love my Father in Heaven. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the CHURCH of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Missionary work is the work of the Almighty.