Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Hey there-

This week has crawled like no other before it, and hopefully like no other after, too. I think it's been crawling for a couple of reasons, reason number one being that it was transfer week. Having a new companion for the first 24 hours is really weird, especially after living with the same person for three months. It took some getting used to to see Elder Steenstra's stuff where Elder Millar's used to be. Elder Steenstra is from a military family (Navy) and has lived just about everywhere in the US, which is something I can kinda relate to. Born in Philly (but a Vikings fan...); pretty cool guy. Another reason this week was so slow was the absence of district meeting. The week of transfers, we don't have our normal district meeting on Tuesday, and not having that meeting made this week seem so long. The REAL reason, however, for the eternity that was this past week was the "Hannah Situation".

We called it the Hannah Situation because it felt like a military-esque problem and we basically had a war on our hands. This girl, Hannah, is a fifteen year old girl who is friends with plenty of members in the area. She's wanted to be baptized for about two years and has been attending (and living in the boundaries of) a certain ward; her parents said she would have to wait until she's 18 to be baptized. However, just this past month, her father finally gave her permission to take the lessons and be baptized. About a week prior to that, she moved across the street from her old house and into another ward boundary; one that isn't under our stewardship and belongs to another companionship. Naturally, the missionaries who cover her area began to teach her and tell her that upon being baptized, she would have to attend the ward that she lives in as opposed to the one that she had been going to. Once the Bishop of her previous ward heard about that, he flipped and, well, long story short: The missionaries teaching her (who were doing absolutely nothing wrong) were the subject of so much hate and conflict, it made me sick to my stomach. President Black was called and chewed out some ward leadership, but it was all just so stupid and wouldn't have happened had everybody seen past the logistics and realize that she's receiving a SAVING ORDINANCE. Who cares where she attends as long as she's receiving the same Gospel? Oh, and the irony of it all? We found out yesterday she's moving to Oregon, so all of this ridiculous ward-warfare means absolutely nothing. She had a wonderful baptism this past Saturday, but the conflict behind the scenes sullied it for me a bit. Trials come in all shapes and sizes, and in ways you never see coming. I take solace in the words of Joseph Smith in Doctrine and Covenants 123:17; I know that if I do what I need to to the best of my ability, I can stand by and let my Lord and Savior take control. Everything shakes out like it's supposed to, right? Right.

Much love,


p.s. Please talk to people you don't recognize before sacrament meeting. Makes all the difference in the world.

Elders Dowdle, Kaelberer, Steenstra, and Quintana

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