Monday, July 18, 2016

With ward mission leader in Papeete and Elder  L.

Fun story. First day here at Paea, the sister missionaries called us to come remove a dead hen. It had tried to fly over the fence at their house, missed,and fell in between the fence posts, strangling itself. Eww! And the sisters hadn't told us about it for a few days, so it was all maggotty and stinky! Zone leader points for Elder S, who removed it with a garbage bag.  
Hello family!

Apparently you are up to date a little on the situation because of an email or something? Yes, I am transferred, yes I am now a zone leader. It's weird. So Monday was P Day. Tuesday was a normal work day. Tuesday night were the transfer calls, which meant a crazy night at our house! We love listening to the assistants call everyone for the transfers. So for me, I was in the shower Tuesday night. I came out of the bathroom, heard Elder F on the phone downstairs saying "your new companion is Elder L!" which meant I had been transferred! Elder R came up the stairs and I asked "what, I'm transferred?" He said "yes, I don't have a lot of time, you're transferred to Paea with Elder S, you will be a zone leader, you will be the driver of the truck." So there I was,completely stunned. I hadn't even had time to get dressed after my shower! And my replacement at Papeete? Elder P! He is coming back to Papeete for the last 5 weeks of his mission. Apparently President felt that P hadn't finished his work at Papeete yet and there was something there for him to do before he finishes. Yeah. Transfers. So my first thoughts: what, me as zone leader? Already? Shocked, surprised, honored, etc. I'm the youngest zone leader in terms of mission experience, with only 10 months (almost 11!) under my belt. But it's cool, I am excited to take on the challenge. So I stayed at Papeete all week because Friday was the extra P Day! We went to President's house and ate pizza and watched a movie called "one man's treasure." I enjoyed it. I'm sure you would all find it very corny, but it was about missionaries so I thought it was pretty funny. So many typical missionary inside jokes. Then Friday night I went and said goodbye to all my new converts. Some of them started crying. It was very touching. Saturday morning I left for Paea.
So it was a great week for me until then. Now I am in the zone of Paea, the ward of Orofero. I got to the house and unloaded my stuff, and we did our studies and went to see some people. The house here at Paea has air conditioning which is very strong, which means I can wear a shirt inside and not be all sweaty all day! Yay! But in the house, the toilet is broken and the house flooded my first day and everything seemed like it was falling apart and I was stressing out hard core and missing Papeete where everything had become familiar!  But I'm getting used to the situation here. Elder S, my companion, finishes in 8 weeks. He is also from Washington! We should get along fine. He's nice and knows the gospel well. I hope to help motivate our companionship to go work really hard and set the example for the zone. Already we have blessings. This morning a member called us and said there's an 11 year old girl who's parents want her to get baptized as soon as possible and take the lessons! Yay! So we have something to do this week. I am confident the Lord will give us people who are ready for the gospel as we show that we are working hard and following the spirit! Besides all that, the hardest thing right now is adjusting to a new sector, new people, new house, new everything. Also I am no longer the senior companion, so I can't go do whatever I want. But that's okay. I can endure a few weeks. So pray for me, I need help! Haha!
Also, I am the driver of a white Toyota Hilux stick shift truck. Yes, I learned stick shift here and am now driving all over the place for the zone. It was a little scary at first, but I have the hang of it now. So that's an update on my life. Today we have to go clean the car (I insist, it is dirty!) and then we're doing a short hike this afternoon! I am nervous about getting fat in a car. We don't spend much time walking around, just driving to appointments and such. It's not the same as before when I was on a bike all day! Yikes! But we'll see. Worst case scenario, I get fat for the next 8 weeks and when I'm in charge I'll lose it all. The food in Tahiti is too fatty and delicious and produce and things healthy in general are too expensive for missionaries to buy. Jealous of the farmer's market, mom! That's about it for my week, have any questions for me?

Sounds like everyone back home is doing well. I loved all the photos and news, so fun to see and hear from everyone! Keep me in the loop. Have a good week and stay righteous!


Elder Barlow

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