So this week really has been very emotional, a lot of ups and downs. To start, we had transfers last Tuesday. Sister Turner is now in North Augusta, South Carolina and Elder Thiel is in Macon or near there. Both have been out on their missions for a while and said they've never been so close to missionaries as they were in our little group of four, and I honestly believe that I will never be as close to a group of missionaries again either. I agree with Sister Turner that this has been and will be the hardest separation of the mission. I didn't want to be the missionary that transitions like this would be so hard on, but oh my goodness I don't know if I could have loved these guys more than I do. So to sum it up, it's hard. Very trying. But hey, I did pray to come closer to Christ and feel of the power of the Atonement more in my life, so here's the experience that Heavenly Father is blessing me with. Be careful what you pray for ;)
My new companion is great though, her name is Sister Trout. She's from Syracuse, Utah, so not too far from us. She was originally called to the Florida Jacksonville Mission, but she has only served in two areas in the year that she's been out, six months in Beaufort, SC and six months in Aiken, SC. We'll be good friends though, no worries.
This week was also pretty amazing though because.....MICHEAL IS BACK! There was no way in the world I was going to give up on him, and I'm so glad I didn't! He never wanted us to stop coming by. Things are back on track and going wonderfully though! We now know that his concern/holdup is knowing that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ, and what he said happened really did occur. I'm just so excited--we read with him from Joseph Smith History, he continues to watch the short Restoration video, and we're hoping to watch another movie called Legacy with him. He really is so amazing, as soon as he receives his answer that all these things are true he will be one of the most converted people ever. We're going to let him set his own baptismal date, I don't want to push him. It should never be me dragging anyone, this is their time and their life. BUT I still hope it will be this transfer! I think it will be. I may only be here six more weeks so I hope things happen before then. I wish you all could be there for lessons with him, they're so powerful. The way God has used us as tools to answer Micheal's prayers, holy moly! Best stories of my life! Micheal has so much trust in us and he just has this light about him that burns so bright. I'll definitely cry at his baptism, I can tell you that right now. Though I was more devastated than I had ever been before when he dropped us, once again he has brought me more happiness than ever before! I can't wait for the day he's all dressed in white, and for you all to see him. I hope you can meet him one day.
Another great thing! Mary got baptized!!! She was being taught by the Elders, but I really feel like she's been my investigator the whole time. She is so special. She trusts me a lot too, and I love that feeling. Knowing that she'll call me for things when she could easily call the Elders makes me feel really special. Her baptism was incredible. Even Elder Blankenship--I've never seen such a wonderful light in his eyes and about him, or a smile more sincere! It was just a fantastic day. I'll send pictures, and you can also see our new group of Albany missionaries in it. And because I never took a different one with Sister Trout :) Elder Blankenship's new companion is Elder Litwack, he's from Alaska. Wascilla, or something like that. This may be a hard area and I know we're all struggling with different things, but with Mary being baptized this past week, we just had three baptisms three weekends in a row in Albany. I guess you could say we're pretty proud :) It's amazing being a missionary. Even without baptisms though, the lives we see that are changing like Micheal and Bradley make every moment worth it. I don't measure success by baptisms, because I know there are many that will happen at a different time. I would much rather see these people in Heaven knowing Heavenly Father made sure there was a path for them to get there will people to help and strengthen them all along the way than for me to always witness each baptism. As long as they get there, I'm okay. This is a marvelous work, I feel humbled to be a part of it.
I'm thankful to be a missionary at this time. I'm grateful for the trust our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ have placed in me. I know they live. I know they are ever near, never too far away when we need them. I know they will strengthen me, and each of you if you ask. Have the faith and the strength to endure to the end. Pray always! "When it's too hard to stand...kneel."
All my love,
Sister Kaylee Applegate