I have, indeed, been transferred to Richmond Hill, so I'm ending my mission in the city. It's nice, but my feet are still getting readjusted to walking everywhere. They were absolutely killing me last night. My new companion is named Elder Nielsen, from Puyallup Washington. He's actually a really good guy. Our district is a really old one- five of the eight missionaries are going home in December. Most of them are familiar faces, too: Elder Sundet, Elder Moe, Elder Payne, Elder Roland. The branch is really fun, too. Lots of cool people. I even got to see the Soto family, a member family I got to know at the start of my mission in Bushwick, and also the Lopez family, who I got pretty close to in Far Rockaway. Hermano Lopez was the branch president in Far Rock, but he has always lived here in Richmond Hill.
We are opening a new pool, so here's how our area book looked on day 1:
Saying goodbye to Freeport was really hard. On Sunday Hermano Godoy pulled me aside and was like- I'm going to buy you new shoes. I was a little hesitant to accept, but I've found that if you insist on turning a gift down, you can offend people really easy, so I accepted, telling him to not spend too much money on me. On Monday we went to Burger Shack and I got a Nutella shake (Caroline sent me a little thing of Nutella, and now I'm hooked on the stuff), and then we went to a place where you can pet puppies for free. Super cool- I liked it a lot more than I thought I was going to. Packing was really easy- surprisingly so. I need to send stuff home, though- I had to get Elder Benitez to drive my stuff to my new apartment. I said goodbye to the Godoys, and they gave me the shoes. They're really nice. They spent too much money on me. I needed them, though. That one pair of shoes now has holes in them (achievement unlocked!). I said goodbye to Victoria and Jose (the peeps in the shop) and they were really sad to see me go. They gave me some cologne, some perfume (they said for when I find a girlfriend), and a Barcelona jersey, all for free. They are such humble and generous people. I love them so much. The hardest, though, was saying goodbye to Javy. We said one last prayer together, and I think there have been very few prayers so sincere that I have uttered in my life. All of us were crying our eyes out, just because of the love and the spirit that was there. I pray with all my heart that the Lord puts Javy in my path again down the road, and that we will see each other in the Celestial Kingdom, because Javy is one of my best and truest friends. He truly feels like a brother to me. He promised to skype me when he opens his mission call. Freeport has been so good to me, and I am sad to go. There's a work for me here in Richmond Hill, though. One last test for my mission. I've not much time left in my mission, and I'm starting to feel it.
Sounds like Spencer has made some huge strides in his spirituality. If I could give one bit of advice to him and to everyone else preparing for a mission, it would be this: Learn to love everyone, no matter what. Study and ponder 1 Samuel 16:7. Even more than a knowledge of the scriptures or an ability to speak and teach well, if you can get the hang of this one skill, you will be a strong, powerful missionary, and you will be a tool for change in the lives of everyone around you.
I haven't gotten my package yet- I didn't see it in the office during transfers, so I wonder if someone picked it up and still has it somewhere. I'll wait until tomorrow (Megazone), and if it doesn't show up then, I'll hunt it down. I really need those drier pods.
Well, guess that's pretty much it.
Elder Richard Brandt Hull