Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Big news, read all about it

Alex sent us some big news this week.  If you remember from the last entry, Alex told us that transfers were coming up soon.  Well this last week was transfer week and the big news is that Alex was transferred out of Burlington. Alex has been serving in Burlington since last April when he and his companion at the time were sent there to serve as the first missionaries in Burlington for quite some time.  Well this week Alex was transferred to Manhattan Kansas which is the home of Kansas State University.  So after spending several months in Lawrence Kansas near Kansas University, now he is in back in a college town, only this time it is Kansas State.

On top of that news, there is more big news this week.  Not only was Alex transferred to Manhattan, he was  also assigned to be the zone leader over the Salina zone.  This is all new territory for Alex not only figuratively but physically as well.  Manhattan isn't like Burlington which was only about 16 blocks wide.  No, Manhattan is much bigger than that and Alex told us that it will take him a couple of weeks to learn his way around.  He told us in his last letter that he spent almost everyday this last week in one kind of zone leadership meeting or another.  In fact we waited around all day to hear from him and when we finally did, it was because he has spent all day in a zone leader training meeting in Independence.  He will be splitting with a lot of the missionaries in his zone and spending time supervising, teaching, training and reporting back.

Alex told us that he is very excited about this transfer for several reasons.  That's not to say that he wasn't sad to be leaving Burlington.  He had grown very close to not only the new members of the church there that he helped to teach and baptize, but also to every member of the branch and especially the family that he lived with there.  He had a lot of success in Burlington and I am sure that he will never forget his time there.  But with a transfer comes new challenges and new experiences.  Being in Manhattan, Alex is very close to his first area, Wamego.  As a matter of fact, he told us that he would be going on exchanges with the Wamego Elders soon and has a dinner appointment with one of the families of the Wamego branch that he grew close to while serving there.  Alex is also very excited to be back in a university environment and a larger city.  He is excited to be paired up with his new companion who is also a zone leader as well.  Alex told us that he has been very impressed by his new companion and feels like he is being trained all over again.  He told us that there is so much that he doesn't know and now with his new responsibilities and new companion, he is learning a lot which will carry him through the second half of his mission. 

Alex didn't have time to fill us in on much of what he has been doing this week or about his new companion.  Only to say they he and his companion are very much alike.  They both like to eat healthy, get up early in the morning to go running and his new companion is another California Elder.

Before Alex left Burlington he had a little work to finish up.  One of the last things he did before he left was to speak in church.  Alex told us that he felt like he needed to ask the branch president if he could speak during the next Sacrament meeting.  But before he had a chance to ask, he and his companion were having dinner at one of the branch councilor's houses and the councilor asked Alex to speak on the following Sunday.  In addition to Alex, his companion would also speak as well as one of the new members of the church.  Alex told us in his letter that he felt like his talk went very well.  He didn't know at the time that he would be getting transferred out of Burlington and that would be his last opportunity to speak in the branch.  But what a good way to end a long and successful run in the Burlington branch.

Alex told us a funny story about what happy during a primary sharing time recently.  Well after Alex spoke in Sacrament meeting, we and his companion were asked to help out teaching the primary kids during sharing time.  After he finished talking with the kids and teaching them the sharing time lesson, Alex and his companion decided to stay for the rest of the meeting.  I'm not sure if Alex has been working his companion too hard or what, but for whatever reason his companion fell asleep during the rest of the meeting.  Now I could understand falling asleep during a High Priest group meeting, but for any of you who have ever taught primary children, during sharing time there is a lot of singing and activity going on.  This level of noise would make it very hard to even rest your eyes let alone fall asleep.  Anyway at the end of the meeting one of the primary leaders came over to talk to this very tired Elder and told him that she usually gives out stickers to those who participate.  She advised this Elder that he would not be receiving a sticker this week and that she would have to get in touch with his mother about it.  They all laughed about it and I am sure that this Elder won't be falling asleep during sharing time again.  I suspect that getting a sticker for participating in primary is probably one of the most significant honors that one could receive.  A little advice to anybody who is thinking about falling asleep in primary, don't mess with the primary leadership.  These ladies really know their stuff.

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