December 31, 2012
Happy New Year everyone!
I'll start with the important news. We had transfer calls last Thursday and I am really excited for my new assignment. I will be leaving St. Pölten, but I am going back to Germany this Thursday to serve in the great city of Stuttgart. I am super excited. What's more is I am going to be working with Elder Zimmerman from Houston, Texas. I've met him before and he is a really good missionary and great to get along with. He is the first companion I'll have had who has been on their mission longer than me since my trainer E. Field. On top of that Elder Zimmerman and I will be the Zone Leaders for the Stuttgart zone. I was really excited to get the call. There will be a lot of worked involved with it, but I think it will be a great opportunity.
The Stuttgart zone covers the Stuttgart stake which is almost all of south west Germany that's in our mission. There are 11 different wards with 26 missionaries altogether. It's the second biggest zone in our mission number wise but the wards are a lot closer together than the other zones so there are a lot of Zone activities that take place on P-Days. Stuttgart itself is the 4th biggest city in our mission (after Vienna, Zurich, and Munich) and so it will a change from the small feel of Rosenheim and St. Pölten. Stuttgart ward also has a really big ward, so it will be fun to work with all the different members. Usually, when President Miles calls someone to be zone leader they are usually there for 4 transfers which means I will probably be in Stuttgart until June. Elder Zimmerman has already been there for 3 so I will probably be with him 1 transfer and then get a new companion for the next 3 (which would be my longest companion). I am definitely going to miss St. Pölten a lot, especially the amazing members that were here, but I am also excited for this opportunity. It was a really cool experience for me when I got the call. The night before I had been having struggles going to sleep because my fever decided to act up again. I went to go sit on the couch and eat something to make me feel better and while I was sitting there I started thinking about transfers and what might happen. The idea came to me that I could go to Stuttgart and work with E. Zimmerman and then it just stuck. No matter what other possibilities came to mind I just knew that they weren't going to happen and that I was supposed to go to Stuttgart. It was something that has never happened to me before. The next day when we were waiting for the call the zone leaders called us. Usually when they do that it means they are telling us that we are staying where we are for the next transfer. It turned out they were just calling to see if we knew what was happening to us for transfers yet. A few minutes later President Miles called and gave me the new assignment. Ever since then I have just had this great feeling that I know I need to be in Stuttgart. Whatever reason it is I know there is something there that I need to do that will help me and that I can do to help others. I am really excited for what may come.
As for E. Chapman he will be staying here in St. Pölten and will be working with an E. Janis. I learned a lot from St. Pölten and I am so grateful that I got to serve here. Other transfer calls (in case you are curious): Elder Basset and Elder Moon are both leaving Wien 1. They are coming to Offenburg and Waiblingen in Stuttgart zone (so I'll have been both their district leader and zone leader). They are excited for their new areas though and we get to take the 8 hour train ride from Vienna to Stuttgart together. Elder Young is staying in Munich. Elder Root is staying in Ellwangen (which is in Stuttgart zone so I'll get to see him again soon). Elder Stapleton is staying in Bruck an der Mur. Oh and by the way, E. Field pretty much hinted to me in a letter that he might get engaged soon. I'll let you know if that ends up happening.
Mom and Dad, it was so good to talk to you on Christmas. That kind of made my Christmas.
It was so great to talk to everyone at home on Christmas eve. That was simply awesome to see everyone and to meet Rolf for the first time. I loved talking to you all and am glad that you all had a great Christmas.
Both the 24th and 25th were fun days. Since we weren't invited to a members house from our ward on the 25th we went to a members in Wien with E. Moon and E. Bassett. We ate lunch and had dinner there and played games along with singing Christmas songs (thank goodness I could play piano so I didn't have to sing with my sore throat) and then spent the night with E. Moon and Bassett at their apartment and then most of the 26th with them just hanging out since that is a holiday here, too.
Mom and Dad, thank you so much for all the Christmas items that you sent. I enjoyed them a lot, especially the John Bytheway talks. Thanks again for everything and helping me have a great Christmas. You're the best parents ever.
Keep me informed on what happens with the ward. That's crazy to think that it's already going to be reorganized. It will be sad to be separated from some of the members from the 9th ward.
I have to wrap up here, but I'll let you know how everything goes with transfers next week. I love you all.
Gott sei mit euch bis aufs Wiedersehen