This has been a hectic week! I spent the beginning of the week saying goodbye to people, while still doing missionary work. One of the members didn’t know I was leaving, and when I told him he said, “You suck!” It was funny! I spent most of P-day packing. I miss Washington, it was a great place to be a missionary! When it came time to leave, our branch mission leader drove us to Greenville for me to get on the transfer van. He kept joking that I was happy to get out of Washington. He’s funny, I’ll miss him! It was about a 3.5 hour drive crammed in the back of the van to Portsmouth which felt even longer. When I got there the Zone leaders picked me and Elder Godfrey, the new zone leader, up and drove me through busy Newport News to my new area and new companion, Elder Byrd! We drove on a tunnel bridge which I had been wanting to do since I got on the mission and learned that they existed! One minute you are driving on a bridge over the water, then you go underwater into a tunnel!
Anyways, I am now serving in the Poquoson Ward! The Newport News South Stake had boundary changes just before I got here so we lost a few areas, including Langley Air Force Base, but not much else. Things have been really busy for missionaries here adjusting to the changes, and I came in right in the middle of it. We share the ward with a sister companionship. They cover the actual town of Poquoson while we cover the rest. Our area is rather wealthy, and there are a lot of military people here. We also cover Langley off-base family housing where several of the members live. They don’t tend to stay very long, so the size of the ward fluctuates often. We expect to lose about 5 families there next month, (I think.) Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to proselyte in off-base housing, but we do say hello to people walking on the street. Another thing about the area, It is half car/ half bike. We trade off the car with the sisters every week. This week we are biking, and Elder Byrd is waiting for his bike to be fixed. Thankfully, we have a back up called “ghetto bike” However, if it rains, he refuses to ride it because the brakes don’t work in the rain I guess. We’ve already done a little walking here. The area’s small enough we can do that, but it was still a lot of walking.
I’m still learning about this area, and I’m trying to get to know as many people here as I can. We helped one family move on Saturday, and we had a pretty cool experience with a member family last night! We were trying to visit some people in an area, and Elder Byrd decided we should drop by a member family that lived across the street. We did and it turned out they were spying us across the street! They mom told us about a friend she is talking to about the gospel! We were able to do a role play with them to help her prepare to talk to her friend. It was great!
I loved General Conference this week! I learned a ton! We have a really solid investigator who watched it. There were several talks that I think were specifically for him! It was perfect! We were also hoping to have another investigator watch it with us, but there was a problem. He only wanted to attend one session and we told him the different times. He said the 8pm session (priesthood session,) worked best with his schedule. We told him that particular session is tailored specifically to the men in the church so he decided to make the 4pm Saturday session work. Well, Saturday morning he called us and told us he changed his mind and wanted to go to the 8pm session instead. Apparently, he forgot what we told him the previous night, and he showed up with his wife. I caught her in the corner of my eye with a sort of horrified look as she walked in then out of the chapel. I nudged Elder Byrd that we needed to chase after them. Sure enough, it was them. He scolded us for not reminding him of the priesthood session, and said he would try to come on Sunday, but he didn’t. We told him his wife was completely welcome, but he didn’t want her to feel weird being there 😦 That was pretty disappointing. General Conference was amazing though! Some talks I really liked: Elder Choi, Elder Rasband, Sister Jones, Elder Clayton, Elder Uchtdorf, Elder Costa, Elder Eyring, and many others!
I hope y’all had a blessed week! Here are pictures of my new companion, and something I noticed about cigarette signs that I think is kinda funny.
-Elder Samuel Runyan