I recieved my transfer call on Friday and it began with, "Elder Wheat, we have a lot of responsibilities we are going to give you. We are going to release you as a zone leader, and will be transferring you to Grand Valley 2 (The neighboring ward to Grand Rapids where I served last year.) You going to be the District Leader and will be white washing with a new missionary. " I will go where you want me to go President. I must say that I am very anxious to see what is going to happen. I am extremely nervous, but I am excited to train again. The Lord will provide!!
We sure went out of TC with a bang. Since my last email, we had 3 baptisms, and the branch is so excited!!! I need to keep my email short, but I want to finish the story of Jennifer. We found Jennifer my first Saturday in the area, and she was baptized on my last Saturday in the area. Such a crazy experience. She wanted to be baptized in Lake Michigan (Check that off the mission bucket list), but the issue was there was a 90% chance of rain on Saturday. We prayed very hard for good weather, and as you will see by the pictures, come baptism time, there was not a cloud in the sky. It was however, very windy and the water was very choppy and very cold. Jennifer's #1 fear is being drowned, so you can imagine how anxious she must have been. She almost didn't go on the dock, and was very close to not going in the water. Maddi was baptized first, and I stood in the water waiting for Jennifer. I have never seen anyone so scared. She asked me to baptize her, and every day for a week she told me, "I am just going to trust you and God that you won't drop me." We stood in the water for about a minute or so, getting tossed around by the waves, trying to find a footing on the rocky bottom, and she said over and over, "I can't do this." and with terror in her face, "Please don't make me do this." We kept telling her over and over that she could. We finally calmed her down enough to say the prayer, but again she looked at me and said "I don't want to do this," and I looked her in the eye and said, "Yes you can." Then... the funny part. I thought she said go, but she actually said no... So I went ahead and baptized her...
She came out with the most joyous look I have ever seen her have, and exclaimed, "You didn't drown me!!!!" She literally ran down the dock to the shore, where we gathered in a circle around Jennifer and Maddi and sang "All Creatures of our God and King. It was such a sacred experience to sing "Alleluia" to the Most High God after an experience like that.
One last thought I wanted to share. As Elder Coziar was walking down from the dock, Sister Alper, and old friend of Jennifer's and her fellowshipper, told him, "Only Elder Wheat could have done this." As I read that in the journal entry he wrote me to end our companionship, I couldn't help but cry. You are always told that you are sent to your missions to find someone only you can touch, but it is very overwhelming and emotional when you find out that it's true. It's crazy how fast you become family with those in your mission, especially those we teach. When we said good bye to Jennifer, she said a piece of her heart will be missing. I must say I am thankful that she loaned me a portion of hers with me, because I feel I left mine in Traverse City. I was only there for 3 months, but it has very quickly become home. I will miss that area.. the Galla's and Elder Coziar especially, but I feel the Lord has something planned for me in Grand Rapids. It hurts so bad to leave, but I am thankful with all my heart that the Lord let me go..
|Left to right: Logan (baptized Maddi), Elder Coziar, Me, Meghan, Jennifer, Maddi|
|In the water (May be the coolest picture of my mission)|
|Walking off the dock|
|Erika Woodcox's baptism|