As I've heard Ben say when quoting from famous Romans through history, "Alea Iacta Est." (Latin for: the die is cast). I am leaving Westchester. I would tell you where I am going, but I am not exactly sure. I know my companion will be Elder Le'Esperance, which is awesome because he is one of the few missionaries that is not from the United States. He hails from Quebec in the French part of Canada. We will be opening a new are together somewhere in the Poughkeepsie Zone (Puh-kip-see). That doesn't tell us much because the Poughkeepsie zone is much, much larger than just the town of Poughkeepsie, in fact the largest geographically in the mission. It's also the furthest north. So from what I understand, I'm about to meet Elder Le'Esperance at the transfer meeting in Ossining, and there we will be given keys to a car and an address for our new apartment and head out. Fun! What makes it more fun is I'm the senior companion now, Elder Le'Esperance has been out for only 12 weeks. So we are both very new. It's going to be an adventure! Especially because we will be driving up in a blizzard. Winter just came all at once. It was warm yesterday, if I wanted I could have left my coat and just worn a sweater. But today it is freezing cold and snow is falling hard enough that even Santa Clause wouldn't leave home. The first real winter storm. I'm not sure if it can be classified as a Nor'easter. As far as I can tell the wind is blowing from the northeast, but I don't understand exactly what else is required for that designation.
Anyway. This week has been good. A lot of saying goodbye to people. Last night, I said goodbye to D*. He has been going strong without cigarettes for almost two months now and he's been thanking both us and God for helping him do it. He's ready to be baptized, he's just not ready to de his family and do it. It will happen one day, I just hope I somehow find out about it when it does.
I saw John for the last time that same night. It was great, but it was hard. He had written me a thank you note and we talked about how great these last few months have been. I'm going to miss him so much! He's such a great guy.i feel like we just understand each other really well. I feel so blessed to have been able to be there to find him, teach him, see his baptism, and just get to know him. He is one of the most good-hearted men I know. It was so hard to say goodbye to him last night. I have his email and I am definately going to keep in touch.
Right after that we went and visited P* for the last time. He's such a sweet, loving, and wise man. He lives in a 10'x10' room and has such a beautiful outlook on life. We just hung out and talked for a while. I got his email address to keep in touch. I gave him a hug and afterwards he had tears in his eyes--that just broke my heart! P*, why do you got to do that to me? I'm going to miss him so much too!
Right after that, M*, my self-proclaimed Godfather, took us out to dinner at the El Dorado Diner to say goodbye. He talked to us for a long time. He told me he's got a bunch of pictures and a cd of his saxophone music that he's going to send up to Poughkeepsie for me. After a good meal of waffles and fried chicken and after Milton had told anyone that would listen about his "Mormon Godsons," we said goodbyes, gave hugs, and headed home for the last time.
These are just a few of so many people I've said goodbye to over the last few days. I did not realize it would be like this on a mission! Why didn't you warn me? You probably did, but I just didn't understand yet. I have made so many good friends and memories here and yesterday I found that I just wasn't prepared to say goodbye to it all. So basically that made yesterday a really hard day, and yet a day of remembering how much joy I've received because of these amazing people!
I love these people so much!
Saying goodbye to my district tomorrow at transfers won't be much easier. At least I'm likely to see most of them again around the mission. Elder Holtom and I have determined it is our destiny to be companions one day.
But enough of the sadness!On a more light-hearted note, last week I hit a kind of all time low for pride earlier this week. We helped out a lady who the spanish sister missionaries in Yonkers ran into in a stairwell and became friends with. She's moving to Boston, so we helped her move everything into a storage facility until it can be moved to her new apartment. While we were doing that, she looked at me and said, "He's ten years old! What's he doing here?" That's it! I've heard 16, 14, even 12, but now it's down to 10 years old. Haha. Please, laugh. I feel like this email has been too depressing. Oh well. Maybe I'll start aging one day, for now I'll just have to be content with how I am. She offered to feed us dinner as reward for our help, but unfortunately it won't be until next Saturday, so I will be in my new area. Bummer.
Even more of a bummer is I am opening an area the day before thanksgiving, so we are not likely to have a dinner appointment for the holiday. Oh well. I understand much of my family is in Indianapolis for thanksgiving. Have fun you guys!
Well, I'm excited to get to know my new area! I'll be able to tell you more about it once I've actually been there. I do know it has an express train to the city, so I'll still be able to visit Manhattan on p-days. (I'm talking about when you get here, Ben!)
I'm also looking forward to a lovely meal with Natalie and Mark Pulsipher next week! Love you guys!
Here's to happy times past and more yet to come!