Monday, February 13, 2017

7 Week Transfer!

So when the story left off I was just another ol District leader getting transferred. Well surprises come every transfer, and the surprise this time was huge! Normally President calls you if you're going to be a Zone Leader, but lately he hasn't. And that's what happened to me.

So you can imagine the surprise on my face when President said "Beaumont YSA, Zone Leaders, Elder Bohne... and Elder Blackburn" I couldn't believe it. I knew a lot of district leaders were getting transferred and some new calls had been made, but I have a list of missionaries who are wayyyy more qualified in my mind to be Zone Leader before me. So when they all got their transfer calls and then I got mine it was crazy. My companion Elder Bohne who also didn't get a call when he was going from District Leader to Zone Leader, and he could tell by my expression that I didn't get a call either hahaha.

We'll my new companion is Elder Bohne! He is from Canada. He happens to be my first companion that I've had who has been out just as long as me. We sat by each other on the plane when we first arrived in Houston August 3rd, 2015. I am excited to be his companion. I've heard great things about Elder Bohne. Plus his dad played Basketball for the Olympics so naturally he schools everyone at basketball.

Elder Bohne also did a great job of showing me around the new area! So my area is the largest in the entire mission. Mainly because of the situation of the area. I am now assigned to be in the Beaumont YSA branch. We cover the East half of the mission and our assignment is to teach and baptize YSA age investigators. So we travel all over not only our zone, but the neighboring zone as well. And they happen to be the two largest zones in the entire mission. Our area technically covers all of the area that our mission goes into Louisiana, but we don't go there very much because it would make it super hard for those investigators to come to church (about a 3 hour drive). And a side note- this area technically covers two of my past areas, Moss Bluff and Fred (yay)! I get to go on an exchange with the Fred Elders in March. That will be a great day.

To help clarify what we do, missionaries who find YSA age investigators refer them to us, and then we get to teach and baptize them! Meanwhile, while we do our own finding, we refer the non YSA and families we find to the missionaries in those respective areas. It is so much fun! We get and give referrals all day long!

So serving in the YSA has it's fair share of perks. Our main chapel we go to is actually the institute building of Lamar University! Yep our area covers Lamar. We go there quite a bit because where else are we going to find such a huge gold mine of YSA age people? It is so much fun. We get to stop and talk to students and they are so chill! Most are really friendly. It's weird at times talking to people who are the same age as you, but it gives us an opportunity to really connect. One thing about Lamar is a lot of people from India get scholarships there. So the majority of our investigators are India. It also means they don't have a solid Christian background, so that has been interesting.

Other YSA perks include FHE every monday, attending Institute on Wednesdays (it's the best!), and a lovely senior couple who make food for us all the time. Their calling is to help out with the institute lessons and help the YSA age members who attend. They also happen to live in our same apartment complex. The best part about them is this, they are from Centerville! Their names are Elder and Sister Lowe btw. They are in the stake just north of Chase Ln. We love them! Sister Lowe bakes cookies for us all the time.

Wow I just realized I haven't really talked about how our week has gone missionary work wise. Since I don't want to make this email longer than it already is, here's the condensed version. This week we helped our solid investigator commit to a baptismal date, I called the Kingwood 2nd Elders and confirmed that Maria is getting baptized this Saturday (so excited!). We helped some sister missionaries move into a new apartment. That took forever! We did tons of proselyting on Lamar and found some super sweet investigators, along with contacting some solid referrals and setting up appointments. We also had a sweet lesson with our Indian investigator. I love Indian people! The APs also came and did ZL training with me.

Well that's about all! I will talk more about all the miracles we are seeing next week! I'm super excited to be here and I hope I stay for a while!!!

Take care y'all!


Elder Blackburn

P.S. Stake conference was Sunday so I got to say hi to a whole bunch of people from the Fred Branch!! It was great :) the Odom's couldn't come :( but I'll hopefully see them soon!

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