I am now serving in Jonesboro, Arkansas, which is one hour north of West Memphis. It has a population of 70,000, as opposed to West Memphis's 11,000. I'm in a new District, and even in a new Zone. We have a ward here in Jonesboro, which I'm still freaking out about it because it's quite a change from being in a branch for 7 months. I have a ton of new members to meet, and I have to change my approach to the work drastically from what it's been in terms of member involvement.
The cool thing is there are 3 sets of missionaries working in this area: us, Spanish Elders, and English Sisters. The Sisters that are here are Sisters Gladden and Russel. Both both came out of the MTC with me, if you remember. :3 This is going to be a weird transfer. Normally, a transfer lasts 6 weeks, but that would make the next transfer day fall on Christmas. This transfer is only going to last 5 weeks long, and then the next will go for 7 weeks. We'll see how much of the mission shifts.
Let's see, more mission news. Here is a map of the mission's areas as of June 2012, so you can see the areas I have served in:
Collierville 1st and 2nd both combine to make the Collierville area. This map, though, is probably going to change in the next couple of months. Our mission president recently received his "compliment", which is a fancy word that means numbers for missionaries that will be here in the mission. The compliment is for February. If you're standing while you're reading this, you might want to sit down.
We currently have 110 missionaries in our mission, and about 30 of them are Sisters.
Our compliment for February is 102 Elders and 112 Sisters.
President Petersen is freaking out. He has to find out how to facilitate over 100 new missionaries by February. The Sisters are going to outnumber the Elders. This probably isn't just for our mission; I'm thinking this will be a worldwide trend. In my mission lifetime, I will see the change envelop our mission and change the way missionary work is done. The Second Coming is fast approaching.
My new companion is Elder Carter. He's from Pocatello, Idaho. He's been on his mission for nearly 18 months now. He's a great teacher, but has a very goofy nature as well. He reminds me of Elder Warren in many ways as we're the apartment. He's been in the area only 3 months, but the people love him.
Like I said, it's been overwhelming to try and meet everyone at once, but I'll get the hang of it soon enough. The ward mission leader and the first counselor of the bishopric are related to some folks in West Memphis, so it's nice to have that connection there.
This afternoon, we're going to go see Sis. Maples. She's a tie-maker. A famous story goes on around here about her. She has made a tie for our stake president, who wore it to the most recent ward conference, and she also made a tie for President Monson. Mailed it to him herself. In reply, President Monson wrote a thank you card and sent a picture of him wearing the tie. We're going to her home this afternoon with the Spanish Elders to get ties ourselves. We're ecstatic.
This area has many positive influences that drive me to be a better missionary. Being in an area with two other sets of missionaries is certainly a strength. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me here!