This post is from experiences Elder Ruby had the week after Christmas.
Today, and this last week has been stressful. We began the week by picking up the new missionaries on Monday. We drove up to Santa Barbara after we had finished laundry and shopped. I used my new GPS and it was great. The new missionaries had a lot of questions. "Are you the APs?' "How long have you been out?" "What's your favorite area?" "So, do you eat a lot of seafood?" "My mom said the weather is really nice; is that true?" "Where are we going?" "When do I get my trainer?" Taking them places was like trying to herd cats. I'm sure I was never like that:)
That night, after dinner and some orientation, one of the new missionaries, came with us. We visited a less-active person and taught her the Restoration of the Gospel. The Elder did a great job and the less-active sister loved it!
Tuesday was transfer day. We got everything ready for the last transfer meeting. (I'll explain a little later) That was a busy day. The meeting starts at 10am. We introduce the ZLs (Zone Leaders), STLs (Sister Training Leaders) and the new missionaries. Then we announce who the new missionary's trainer will be. Finally, the departing missionaries (those going home) give their "final testimony". I really like transfer meetings. I love to see all the missionaries that I know (which is pretty much everyone). After transfer meeting, those who need to exchange keys or cars do so. If everyone listens to instructions, then all goes smoothly.
On Tuesday we had a mess. Elder Smith (I have changed his name. If there is an Elder Smith in the mission right now, this is not about him. Bless his heart) was assigned to white wash train in Santa Barbara. The Elder who was supposed to give his car to Elder Smith did not drive his vehicle to transfer meeting. Thankfully, we had an extra car to give Elder Smith. Elder Young and I had to drive two departing Elders 30 minutes south to get the car and drive it back here. We sent Elder Smith off. Later that day we get a call from some sisters. It was actually Elder Smith calling on their phone because his new phone was not activated. After a stroke of luck, we got in contact with the church guy in Salt Lake City who activates phones and fixed that problem. Elder Smith called us again saying that he had left his proselyting bag in Ventura. This bag had is wallet, scriptures, journal, and camera. Good grief! We made some calls to have missionaries look for it at the Stake Center. They couldn't find it. Finally, we texted all the Zone Leaders to see if anyone had accidentally picked it up. Thankfully, the Santa Barbara Zone Leaders had Elder Smith's bag. Phew! That poor Elder. That night was wild!
On Wednesday, we said good-bye to the departing missionaries. Hermana Huey's family came and picked her up. That made me cry. I'm not sure why. They were all so happy. President informed us that the transfer meeting we just had would be our last. President received instruction from Elder Dallin H. Oaks (one of the Twelve Apostles) that transfer meetings distract from the work and are no longer authorized. Now we have to figure out a system to transfer all the missionaries. We (Elder Young and I) got permission to Face time the assistants in the Oregon Eugene Mission! That was way cool!
They use two vehicles with a trailer. They pick up and drop off missionaries as they travel up and down the mission. This is a big change! There is a good possibility that we could use a train that runs the length of the mission to transport missionaries. We were informed that as long as a missionary is dropped off and picked up from public transportation, it is alright for he/she to ride alone. We are doing a lot of thinking and we are trying to see how it will be possible. Transfer planning will be even more of a puzzle because now we will have to consider temporary companions while they wait for their new companions to arrive.
Thursday we moved into a new, super nice apartment. At the old apartment we would kill cockroaches and ants every day. Our upstairs neighbors smoked marijuana and partied a lot. The new place has nice neighbors, high ceilings and an indoor washer and dryer! We love it!. I wonder what he means by an "indoor" washer and dryer?? Moving was a hastle though. We had 5 bunk beds, dressers, supplies, a lot of food and clutter. We finished the move on the following Monday. I don't know how we moved so well and quickly in Wisconsin, Seattle and Wyoming. On Thursday, Elder Young and I drove to Santa Barbara and Camarillo to train new district leaders. We were really impressed by them.
The rest of the week we have been back to the usual schedule.
We are all equal sons and daughters of God. He loves us and just wants us to be happy with our family forever. Set goals and then keep trying until you achieve them. You can do and be anything that you and God want!