This blog chronicles Matthew Staib's progress as he serves an LDS mission over the course of twenty-four months.

You can also read his personal blog at different, defined.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Transfer Week

Hey there, everyone.

We got a call on Monday morning from the Assistants to the President. Elder Kowalk is leaving West Memphis after being here for 8.5 months, which leaves me as the head honcho. I honestly have no idea who my new companion will be, so whoever it is, it's a surprise. I'll find out on Wednesday. For our P-Day, we went to the temple. It was a huge session where maybe 30 or 40 missionaries attended. Several missionaries, including Elder Hardy, were attending just before they went home. Those missionaries should be on the plane by now. I also realized that I'm as far out into my mission as Elder Kowalk was when I first came to West Memphis. Gosh... I'm close to a whole year being out. I hit 9 months in 2 days. Crazy, huh?

Admittedly, a few things have been bringing my spirits down a bit. My family has been having an incredible summer, one that I wish I could be a part of, but I know that I'll have my own time sooner or later. Also, none of the people we're teaching really listens to us. We tell them the same things on how to gain a testimony -- reading, praying and going to church -- but they don't believe us or aren't willing to try it out. That's how it is for nearly all our investigators, so we've kinda been in a rut. 

Good news, though; Matt never left West Memphis. He has a ticket, but the mission he's in is making him work for it, so he'll be around for a couple more months. We saw him this past week, and he was so excited to see us. He can't come to church because the mission has "phases" and he can't leave the mission grounds until a certain phase is complete, which should only be one more month. In the meantime, he studies and prays often. He's cleaned up his language, and he has a much better outlook on the future. 

As we were parting with him, he ran back to us to tell us one more thing: he's totally kicked smoking out of his lfie! It's such a miracle. We're so happy for him, and he's happy for himself. He not only quit, but he looks back and says, "Did I really use to smell like that?" He also anxiously said that he can finally "taste food again". That was really cool to see.

I'm really hoping my next companion can be a friend, like Elder Kowalk has been to me. I need all the strength I can get in West Memphis. Something needs to happen with the people here; something that'll  help them have the desire to righteously seek if these things are true, rather than having us teach everything or looking it up online. I'll really miss Elder Kowalk. We already plan to get together when I come home, since he only lives 30 minutes north. He told me about all his memories over at the parks in Daybreak, so hopefully I can have some memories there with him and some friends.

We're both guessing that Elder Kowalk will go up to serve in Dyresburg, which is in northern-western Tennesse, with Elder Schartz. It's pronounced the way it looks. So Elder Kowalk's looking forward to that.

Today will be spent saying goodbye, packing, rearranging and cleaning. I hope I can be as close to the people here as Elder Kowalk has been. The branch will really miss him.

I'll have my new companion next week, so I'm sure I'll have lots to talk about then. Until next week, have a good summer! Stay out of the heat! and fires!

-Elder Staib

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