So transfers were this week... Over the weekend some huge changes happened. I don't have time to write the full story this week but I'll give a pretty simple rundown on how my time out here has been turned upside down.
On Saturday (transfer calls day) we got a call from President. He asked us to come down to the mission office that afternoon so he could talk with us. It's not crazy for President to call zone leaders and ask for insights on transfers but it's weird to ask for a meeting on such a stressful day. When we got down to the office he interviewed my companion, another missionary that he asked us to bring with us then me. And during my interview he called me to be one of his assistants.
It was a little overwhelming because it's such a big assignment, but the craziness doesn't stop there. On Sunday the current assistants called to schedule when they would pick us up and towards the end of the call I said something to Elder Wulff (the assistant who I thought would be my companion because his companion was going home) along the lines of "I'm excited to be with you" but instead of reacting normally, he mumbled something and hung up on me. He then called me back and apologized. Then he told me that he wouldn't be my companion and that I would be "whitewashing", which means clearing an area and bringing a completely different set of missionaries in. And to make it even crazier my new companion would be Elder Mackintosh. My trainee! We, between the 2 of us, have just over 25 months of missionary experience, have served in 3 areas total and have had 6 total companions including each other. To say the least this was unexpected, really really really unexpected.
We were picked up on Monday morning at 8 o'clock to help with the 27 new missionaries coming in (including Colton Aulrich) and ever since we have been running around as the two blind assistants leading the other blind missionaries. We were put in charge of transfers yesterday, which included driving in Manhattan. We also assisted with the missionaries returning home this morning, which meant driving home from JFK alone because we had to bring 5 different vehicles (super weird feeling after being with a companion 24/7 for more than a year). And now we get to learn how everything in the office works. It's kind of hard to explain my feelings about this whole experience. On one hand it's crazy stressful, but on the other it's super fulfilling serving other missionaries and it's such a great opportunity to learn. I've learned so much these last 3 days.
Other changes for me this week:
I'm in an English Ward.
I have an office job.
I receive at least 2 calls an hour to help missionaries figure things out.
I have my own phone for the first time since I left.
I'm at around 240lbs.
I drive a pick up truck.
I have to wear a suit a lot.
William Smith (12 yrs old) is also my companion (he's even on the transfer board) and he's by far the most experienced assistant in the trio.
We're in charge of all of the tablets and phones in the mission.
We have a 2 man apartment with church paid internet & a printer.
Sorry for the short email this week. I promise that I'll have more time to write next week. I love you!
Elder Sam McBride