Transfer Doctrine has come and gone! And the big news is that I am staying and Elder Meiners is leaving to go to my old stomping ground in Fairfield! He wasn't quite fortunate enough to be able to go to Cordelia 2nd Ward, but he is going to the Hmong branch. Going to the Hmong branch is a dream come true for him since he went hard at studying Hmong when we were in Crescent City together, so he'll do well there. My new companion is going to be Elder Corn, who I think will be coming here from Winters. I already know Elder Corn - he was my second district leader after Elder Call in Crescent City. I've noticed I've gotten to a point in my mission when I already know most people that transfer into the zone before they get here. I've been around long enough to meet a lot of people and make a lot of good friends, as opposed to 8 or 9 months ago when I didn't know ANYBODY except for the five Elders I was around in Crescent City. Elder Randall is also leaving and is heading to Napa and Elder Huff is coming in his stead. I'm going to miss Elder Randall - he's been a good friend to me since I've been in Novato. He goes home in December so it's probably going to be the last time I see him in the mission unless he comes back to take my companion and me out to lunch like he said he would! Elder Corn and I will be an interesting companionship. I'm not sure how it's going to go but I'm going to be optimistic about it.
So I had a fantastic day on Saturday! My investigator in Fairfield, Elise, was baptized! I'm so psyched for her! I was pretty bummed out that I had to leave the area before she was baptized, because she was ready while I was there but there was a good reason why she wanted to wait so I had to accept the fact I wasn't going to be able to be at her baptism... or so I thought! Earlier in the week Elder Kimball, who was my companion for a majority of the time I was teaching her, told me that her baptism was on Saturday and asked me if I wanted to Skype into the baptism with him, and of course I said heck yeah! So we were able to "be there" for the baptism, and it truly was a special experience for me. Not only did I get to see familiar faces that I really miss, but I remember Elise when we first started teaching her and seeing her now and how far she's come is amazing to be a part of. She had so many good questions and thoughts, and she definitely worked Elder Kimball and me hard and made us do a lot of thinking, but she finally came to the conclusion that baptism is important and something she wanted in her life. I'm so happy for her and grateful that Heavenly Father allowed me to be a part of her life. By the way, Mom, during the baptism I was told by an anonymous source that Sister Graham is coming to visit you, which is so cool! So you dropping this little "secret" to me is not new information. I have my sources too. :)
Like I promised last week, I was able to help set up for a baptism yesterday for the Stickles family. It was for their daughter who just turned 8. So I was able to attend four baptisms in the last two weeks, which is definitely a record for me!
Well, General Conference is coming up! I am so excited! I cannot believe it's already that time of year again. I feel like it wasn't that long ago that I was watching it with the Grahams at their house. Elder Jeffery R. Holland promised that, "if we teach by the spirit and you listen by the spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you." I promise that if you take a question to General Conference and diligently seek for an answer during it, by the spirit and through the words of our prophet and General Authorities, you will receive an answer. I'm so grateful for modern day Prophets and Apostles, and for the guidance and counsel they convey to us. It truly is a blessing from our Heavenly Father.
Love, Elder Hayden Ellis