Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Banished to Scranton

Hello hello everyone! 

Well so transfers happened last week and I have been exiled to the Scranton area...haha not really exiled but that is where I am now! Not actually Scranton but right next to it in Wilkes-Barre! We are the Scranton Zone and I've already had some members tell me they want to take us to the train station where they shoot The Office at haha. My new companions name is Sister Shaffer! I are pretty much like the same person...it's kinda weird how similar we are. She is from Sacramento area in California, more specifically Elk Grove. She went to BYU-I at the same time that I did, she has all sisters, and I have all sisters, her dad had all sisters, my dad has all sisters (not that that is of any importance to our companionship but it's just funny) and the more and more we talk the more we find out how similar we are...it's weird. But this transfer should be fun! 

Also we are the STLs over the sister in Montrose, Susquehanna, and the Great Bend area. And I also get to see the Susquehanna River everyday! It runs right through the middle of our area! I was so excited to tell grandma that lol.

Anyway this week was very interesting. When I found out I was going to Wilkes-Barre I was so nervous because I went from Philadelphia where there's people everywhere to talk with, to Scranton and honestly in my mind I just had the picture of the boon docks lol. I didn't think it would be as populated as it was but our area literally has everything you need in it. We live by all of the stores and outlets too so that's nice. Also with coming to this new area Sister Shaffer and I doubled-in. Which means that neither one of us was here before we both got here at the same time. And amidst doubling-in we were also moving apartments! Because the branch that sister Shaffer was in before was called Tunkhannok (tunk-hannock) which is literally the boon docks. But anyway they closed that branch and moved the sisters from their to here. Oh and we also drive a truck! Which is awesome! We named it either Teancum or the Stripling Warrior...we haven't decided yet lol. 

And so last Tuesday when I got my new companion we started for our two and half hour drive up to Wilkes Barre! And somewhere in all of the travel our phone got water in it and broke...so when we got here we didn't know anyone and our phone didn't work so we couldn't get into contact with anyone either....it was kind of scary lol. And the only way to contact anyone really was our iPads so we emailed president and eventually we got a new phone. But in that while that we didn't have one we also didn't have our area book so we didn't have any investigators or members we could stop by either. So it was just us by our ourselves. And so on Wednesday we didn't think we could really do anything her than unpack so that's what we decided to do and thankfully we did because soon after some members came and knocked on our door and asked us if we needed anything. Then they also invited us to attend the home comin of a sister missio are coming home from her mission in Logan Utah, she was coming home early because she was in a car accident. Her name is Sister Stevens and she is the sweetest thing. We had the opportunity of going to the airport and being there when she came home. A lot of the ward was there because sadly her family was out of town and the time she came home. And when we watched her come home I just balled...I couldn't help but cry for the fact that this sister reluctantly came home from her mission yet she had accomplished so much. She was glowing with the spirit but it was so hard to see her come home because it made me think of the day when I come home...even though I don't want to think about it, it was hard not to when one of your companions went home that same day and then you watched another missionary come home too. It was all very emotional lol. But I was grateful for the opportunity to be there and to be with the ward.

We also had a cool experience with a member named Sister Dean. Sister Dean is awesome. She is like the ultimate member missionary! She is so excited about everything. She and her husband are such wonderful people. Her husband actually is very sick but he still does missionary work however he can. So the other day we were having dinner with the Deans and sister Dean saw this young man waking up to her porch and she said "I'm going to scare him!" So she runs over and flings the door open and scares him...then she blurts out "hey I have missionaries from my church in my house do you want to talk with them??" And we began talking with this young man named Joe and he had a lot of good questions. And then it really hit me that was that easy to just invite someone to listen for just a few minutes. Sister Dean has really helped me to realize that missionary work is easy. You just have to talk to people. And invite them. 

The rest of the week went pretty well, we got a new phone and the ward had been so good to us. I love it here already! One thing I love is that the members know and expect how missionaries should be and that is something else that helps to keep me motivated! 

Oh and also I had dinner with one of Scott Schmidts roommates and Robbie Cooks friends the other night. Joseph and Emma Leatham. They are awesome! Super random connection! 

I don't have much time for a huge long spiritual thought so I just wanted to share something that one of my dear friends from my mission shared with me this morning. She is from Kaseville Utah, and she told me of how she went to the funeral of the a Sister Missionary that was killed in the Pittsburg Mission...

The story was told by Sadie's father of a man, who had tight-rope walked across Niagra Falls many many times in his life. His fans loved him, and had full confidence in his abilities. However, on one occasion, just before he was about to set foot on the rope, yet again across Niagra Falls, he turned to his beloved fans and told them that this time would be different because he was going to push a wheelbarrow across the rope while he walked. Looking out at his fans as they cheered him on, he then added, "and I want one of you to get in the wheelbarrow." His fans, who had previously shown so much faith in him, suddenly became silent. No one had the courage and the faith in this man to get in the wheelbarrow.

It seems that too often, we outwardly express our faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ, yet when put to the test, find ourselves fearful and unwilling to do what is required. Sadie's dad, having been put to the ultimate test, and with tears in his eyes, stated with all of the conviction of his heart, "I want you all to know, that I am in the wheelbarrow."

At the conclusion of the service, Elder Bednar gave a few words, saying: "there have been many times when people have asked me 'Why does God take some of His children home so early?'" he said his response is always the same: "I don't know. But, I have faith in the one who does know, and that is enough."

I will say that I have never seen so much faith in a family. The Wells family is incredible. Despite a heart-breaking circumstance, they have used the Atonement, and found the faith to continue on. I left the service asking myself that same question, "am I in the wheelbarrow?" I know that I am so imperfect, but I hope that every day I can wake up, regardless of the circumstance in which I find myself, and say with the same conviction of Brother Wells, "I am in the wheelbarrow."...

I know that I'm not perfect. But I know that I can try to do my best and do whatever the lord asks of me. I want to be able to say just like that man that I am In the wheelbarrow. Are you in the wheelbarrow? Will you do what he asks of you? We might not know the reason for everything in life but I promise each and everyone of you, whomever may be reading this email that if you do your best to trust the lord and His plan for you, you will one day look back with an understanding of why He asked that of you. 

I know that the Lord has a specific plan for each of us, if we but trust in him and in his timing. 

I love you all! Until next week! 
~Sister Amy Callaway~ 

Oh and if anyone wants to snail mail me my address is now 3 Beaver Ct. Wilkes-Barre, Pa...and I don't know what the Zip Code is! Or you can always use the mission office too..721 Paxon Hollow Rd. Are. B Broomall, Pa 19008

Sister Shaffer and I with Sister Stevens! And then a funny lamp shade I decided to use as a hat lol.

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