A COLD TRANSFER
January 24, 2016The Lord was busy in Missouri Independence Mission this week. I have come to love and dread Transfers at the same time. Love because I get to see the excitement that change brings. Dread because we "lose" some of our friends for a short while. Five of our friends were released to go home. Eleven new missionaries arrived. On the Thursday morning when missionaries meet and greet their new companions is when the fun begins. Our new car czar, Elder Fuller, is giving driving tests to new drivers as quickly as he can. His wife, Sister Fuller, is collecting and dispensing phones to new companionships if needed. Elder Schlager is answering money questions while his wife is checking mail and baptism referrals. Sister Arnold, our nurse, is holed up in the back calmly listening to missionaries medical problems while her phone is ringing off the hook from doctors' offices scheduling appointments for everything from skin rashes to headaches. My elder is usually down at the Batcave handing out bedding, spatulas, blenders, and bikes. Or he is on the road delivering beds to those apartments that need an extra mattress after an emergency transfer has been made at the last minute. As for me....I try to stay in my designated office and act busy.
I could write a book about the things I hear in there....."I'm up for this.....I can go to the end of nowhere and open a new area"......"I've been praying for a transfer!"......."My companion has been praying for a transfer"......."I am not ready to go home!"......"It's time. I'm ready to go home and get on with Life."....."Will you take a picture and send to my mom so she doesn't freak out when she doesn't hear from me this week?"....."Can I schedule a appointment with President Vest?"....."President Vest wants me to schedule an appointment so He can see me."......."WHERE is your husband? I need .......and I can't find him."......."Sister Seaman, I can't find Elder Seaman anywhere and I just want to thank him for all he has done for me."
I have learned that my elder tries to stay clear of the office because he does not like Good-byes. He will return to find all kinds of sticky notes plastered on his desk for requests and, also, little handwritten Thank You notes.
So, to Elders Stallings, Cluster, Sanger and Sisters Pistorius and Hansen. See you around the bend. There are eleven new ones right on your tail. They will adjust to missionary life and the Lord will turn them into wonderful missionaries just like all of you have been. My grandkids....did you read this? When you go on your missions there will be lots of people out there supporting you. More importantly, The Lord will be on your side. You will learn to love and dread Transfers just like this old sister missionary does.
My Love to my grandkids,
Sister Seaman....aka Grams to Cash, Sailor, Avy, Max, Zane, Macy, Noah, Ezra, Mikael, Elijah, Kyson, Brookie, Teag, Ellie, Livi, Chloe, Mattie, Kenzie, Jett, Ethan, Kortney AND Cody....
DittoSister Seaman and I were just saying that it must be time to go home because there is nothing new to talk about. It is becoming harder and harder to come up with something new to write about. Our duties here in the mission field have been the same for 15 months now. The missionaries come and go every 6 weeks. The successes and trials are much the same. I can say ditto to what my companion has written above. Heart-ache and joy. Heart-ache and joy. Repeat.
Every now and then I find myself slipping into the self-pity mode and wonder why I was called to deliver the furniture and the beds and the vacuum cleaners. Other senior missionaries seem to have better assignments (ie, visitor center, FM, etc.) My assignment seems rather low on the totem pole. I find myself wanting to shirk my duties. Weird, huh?
But then something happens and everything changes, again. The mission opened up a new area to elders down in Chanute, KS. A two hour drive from the mission office. I drove down there 3 times this month. Once to find an apartment, once to sign the lease for the apartment and then to deliver the furniture for the new apartment. These are some long days by myself. As I drive, I find myself whistling or singing to the music (often Piano Guys, or Celtic Women or Enya.) I watch the scenery around me change from rolling hills to straight-out flat. But even in winter there is something very beautiful about this country. I love it.
On the last trip to Chanute, I have two missionaries with me to help unload the heavy furniture items. The apartment is upstairs. I am so glad to have them with me. On the way back, the missionaries are asking me some life questions. One of them asks me what I thought he ought to say in his homecoming report (he went home this week.) What would be the most important thing he could say. He had been thinking about it, and couldn't find anything to say. He said that he really wasn't sure why he came out and wondered whether it was worth it. This young man was a great missionary. He had been a Zone leader, District Leader, and Trainer. I thought about it for a few seconds and told him that no matter what he thought of his success as a missionary, he should remember that the Lord will love him forever because of his sacrifice. Because no matter what else happens, he did what he was ask to do with no thought of reward, he was obedient and he gave his all to the work for two years. I told him that at some point in the near future, the Lord would let him know how much that sacrifice meant. And that he should never forget what the Lord thought of him.
My cup was running over at the conclusion of that conversation. He left me a note as he went home that said thanks. I say you are the one that needs to hear it from me. Thanks Elder Stallings, thanks for being a very good young man and a friend forever.