Week 42 - We have a New Mission President!

 With both of our mission presidents and their wives!!
President and Sister Chesnut (incoming) on the left
President and Sister Hermansen (outgoing) on the right
July 6, 2015
Hey guys!!

Happy belated 4th of July!!!! I couldn't be more grateful to live in this country and to have the freedoms that we have. 'MURICA!!! It sounds like life is going a 100 miles an hour back at home, and I think life here might catch up to you guys because I feel like we are going about 150 miles an hour right now. This past week has been crazy!! (But fun, good, crazy!)

The Chesnuts and the Hermansens
So first of all, we have a new mission president!!! He is awesome. I already love him and his wife both SO much. It has been such a unique experience to be an AP (Assistant to the President) during this transition period!  We were in the office when President and Sister Chesnut walked in for the first time! We – my 3 companions, the office staff, and President and Sister Hermansen – were all waiting for them, and when they came in we started cheering and clapping.  The Chesnuts were so surprised!!  We went around and President Hermansen introduced each of us to them, and we shook their hands and gave them hugs. It was so cool! After a short visit with them, and LOTS of pictures, we finally left and the two Presidents and their wives sat down and discussed the mission for a few hours. And then, on  Tuesday night, President Hermansen left for good! He drove home to Utah the next morning.

The four of us AP's with our new mission president -
President and Sister Chesnut
The 4 of us Assistants had a long meeting with President Chesnut the next morning (Wednesday).  We discussed the upcoming transfer, and a bunch of stuff that he had questions about.  It has given me a whole new perspective on how crazy being a mission president really is! We've also learned that President Hermansen did a lot of the little side jobs that now none of us know how to do, so we are all learning together. President Chesnut asked Elder Freeman and I to accompany him to all of the “Meet the President” meetings across the mission, which we were super excited about!

On Thursday we had our first MTP (Meet the President) meeting in Sparks, with all of Reno and Reno North zones. Then as soon as we were done, Elder Freeman and I hopped in the car and drove to Fallon!  We got there before President Chesnut did, and he called us about 10 minutes before the meeting and asked us how to get to the building! And of course this was mine and Elder Freeman's first time in Fallon, so we just followed our GPS there, but President Chesnut’s GPS was leading him astray, so we had to tell him how to get there.

We had our MTP meeting in Fallon, and then Elder Freeman and I drove to Elko, NV.  We got there around 9:30 or so, and stayed with some of the Zone Leaders out there. The "East" side of our mission consists of the Winnemucca, Elko, and Ely zones and they all came together for one meeting in Elko on Friday morning. After that meeting, we drove home and made it back to Sparks around 6pm. It was a lot of fun to drive out there with President and Sister Chesnut, and we had lunch together in Elko on Friday.
However the drive between the small towns in northern Nevada is pretty dull and boring...because there is absolutely NOTHING in between the towns. Just sagebrush and nothingness. It is such a boring drive haha, I was really looking forward to the drive just to see what the rest of the mission is like, but the Sparks/Reno area is in this bubble, and as soon as you leave, there is almost nothing until you run into the small towns along route 80, such as Lovelock, Winnemucca, Battle Mountain (known as the armpit of the U.S....so in other words just a lovely little city....not!) and then Elko. And it's weird because in Elko, the next decent sized stop on route 80 is Salt Lake City!! Very weird – since that’s where my grandparents live. But the meetings were fun, and it was fun to see the other half of the mission, and meet all the missionaries, because there were a few that I had never met before!

But man, President and Sister Chesnut are drinking from a fire hose right now...and my companions and I are trying to put a sippy cup on the end of the fire hose, but it is still quite the challenge for them. I can tell they are a little overwhelmed, but it is cool to see that they are obviously called of God, and can receive revelation for our mission, even though they barely know the missionaries! They have relied a lot on us, as Assistants, to figure out certain things, which we don't mind because that's our job!  He has been asking us all sorts of questions about how the mission runs.

With both of our Mission Presidents
We got back from our trip on Friday evening, and on Saturday morning President Chesnut wanted us to come do our companionship study with him. So we went over, and while we were there, we found out that the 6 visa-waiters that were assigned to come to our mission briefly to wait for their visas would no longer be coming.  So that messed up just about all of our transfer plans, and we had to close 2 areas at the last minute on Saturday morning. We had planned to lose 2 of the visa-waiters, so we set up 2 trios (companionships of three), so if we lost 2, it wouldn't be a problem...but we didn't plan to lose all 6!  So we spent about 8 hours in the mission office on the 4th of July making all of the changes to the transfer plans because of that. So I spent most of
Missionary from 'Murica!
Independence Day in the mission office!  But in the evening, we went over to the home of one of the ward members, and about half of the ward was over there.  We invited all the people we were working with to come and have dessert and watch fireworks on their lawn, because they had a great view. It was a lot of fun, and there were TONS of people walking around, so the 4 of us challenged each other to pass out as many pass-along cards as possible. It become like a dare-challenge, and Elder White and I were dared to go and give a card to two Police Officers strolling around, so we went up and tried, but they wouldn't accept it haha. Oh well, their loss!! It eventually got dark, and we had permission to stay out past 9:30 to watch fireworks as long as we had a member ride and went straight home afterwards. We ended up getting home late, but it was a ton of fun. I sure was thinking about you guys back at home, I'm guessing you went to Ida Lee like usual? That is always a blast. 

Celebrating the 4th of July!!
As far as missionary work goes, there hasn't been a ton of that lately because we have been so busy with the new President and our trips to the meetings.  But hopefully after transfer day tomorrow, things will settle down and we will be able to go out and proselyte. I tell you – I am going to miss Elder White and Elder Twitchell so much!!! They are both studs, and it has been an absolute pleasure to serve with them and learn from them. They will be missed a lot, but I think Elder White should be sending me a wedding announcement here in the next few weeks...he has a pretty serious girlfriend waiting back at home!!

Well that's about it for this week. Tomorrow will be a fun but crazy day as we get 17 new missionaries, and say goodbye to 22!

Flooding in Sparks
Ohhh, and about the floods...yes we had a huge flash flood the other day, and apparently it was all over the news.  I was in a lesson for the whole thing, but my companions were stuck in it. Thankfully they were in a truck, and were able to drive through most of it, but it made them 30 minutes late for their 8:00pm appointment!  Our area was the only area that was impacted by the floods, so it is all good now. But apparently it was crazy for them, and there were dudes out in pool floaties and all sorts of crazy stuff, but I missed all of it!!

With my two Mission Presidents...
President Hermansen and President Chesnut
I love being a missionary. It is the best calling in the world! I love sharing the Gospel with everyone. I love meeting new people, and getting to know their stories and their backgrounds. I know this is HIS work and that he leads us through the Holy Ghost. I know that even those who aren't full-time missionaries can be lead by the Holy Ghost, and sometimes we just have to take that leap of faith, just like Nephi had to do when he was commanded to go and get the plates.."And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do" (1 Nephi 4:6). Nephi didn't know how it was all going to turn out…if he would be killed, or if his brothers would get hurt, or what was going to happen, but he trusted in the Spirit, and everything turned out ok. I know that can be true for us…when we do what is right, it will all be ok in the end!

Have a great week everyone!!


Elder Todd
My last picture with President and Sister Hermansen
The Hermansens and their last 4 assistants
Fireworks in Sparks
Watching the fireworks with Elder White 
4th of July!
It was hot the other day
Elder Johnson and his companion, Elder Leon -
who is a STUD from Mexico!
Barely speaks any English, but he is awesome. 

Driving to the East side of the mission.
It's a SUPER boring drive, as you can see from the pics below:

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