Monday, November 28, 2016

Wk #61: The Next Chapter of My Mission..

Hello everybody! I'm here in a blazing hot church office thinking about the snow that you're getting right now and, let me tell ya, I'm pretty dang jealous. EITHER WAY, it has been absolutely beautiful here in Tandil! I still love it here so much. But.. I'm leaving. We had a zone conference with President Cifuentes this week and at one point he was asking people if they wanted to know what the transfers were a week early. Naturally, everybody wanted to know and we were all trying to bribe him to tell us. He told one of the sister missionaries that if she paid him 20 pesos, he would tell her where she was going (Because she has been in her current area for about a year now and is dying to get out) So she paid him and he told her where she was headed! (He gave her the money back later too.) And then I asked him, "Want 20 more pesos?" And he asked, "Who wants to know where Elder Holmes is going?" and everybody raised their hands and shouted out. He said, "I'll tell you for 100 pesos." then laughed. So I turned around and said, "That's 5 pesos each person! Come on!" And everybody started throwing money at me like crazy and at the end I gathered up 100 pesos and gave it to President. He counted it slowly and lifted his head and said, "I'm not telling you." Then laughed again. And no worries, everyone got their money back. haha (: But the following Sunday at Stake Conference, President walked up to me, shook my hand, and then said, "I need to speak with you." and dragged me into a janitors closest in the church. He explained to me that I would be transferred and that I now have a special assignment. Unfortunately I can't explain what this special assignment is right now, but I think it's sufficient to say that I will be placed under more responsibility than I thought I would be in the course of my mission. I won't be able to talk about my new responsibility until Christmas when I Skype home, but after that I'm free to tell the world if I want (; I'm very nervous, excited, confused, and faithful. Either way, I will serve where the Lord needs me to serve. More than anything, I'm sad to leave Tandil. So many people I have come to love that I'll have to say goodbye to. Heart breaking for sure. But just as I knew that I would see my family again as I left on my mission, I know that I'll see my family here in Tandil again. Maybe not in this life, but in the one to come without a doubt. And that is the beauty of God's Plan. Goodbye's are never permanent. 
             This Thanksgiving I was pondering the things I am grateful for. And a thought popped into my mind. The Refiners Fire. My Refiners Fire. I saw the course of my mission and thought of who I was at the beginning and who I am now. I than realized that I am so grateful for the hard moments of my mission. I became overwhelmed as I expressed my gratitude to my Heavenly Father for my trials. "How strange," I prayed, "that I'm thanking You for the moments that nearly broke me, pushed me, and tried me. And even stranger that I praying that You will give me more of those moments." If there is one thing I've learned, it's that the Refiners Fire allows God to shape us into who He needs us to be. Not by force, but because we become humbled and allow Him to shape us. I understand that I have not yet escaped my Refiners Fire, and I doubt I will in this lifetime, but I'm grateful for that. 

Thank you all so much for your love and support!!