Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30. 2013

Today is officially the last day of this transfer and the beginning of my final transfer as a missionary. I'm not quite sure how I feel about the whole situation. I'm definitely staying in Lenyenye with Elder Dalton to the end which is cool. I don't have to worry about getting a rough companion to finish up with. Some good news is that Elder Msangi is leaving! Hooray. I've never met a harder person to live with and I've lived with him for the last four and a half months. His companion, Elder Ouma, is going to be training for my last transfer so there will be a greenie in the flat. Won't that be fun for him to see someone going home right as he's starting out. I wonder how he'll feel about all of that.
We had our interviews with President Omer this week. It was pretty cool. It was strange to think that it's my last one before my departing interview. He's an awesome guy and I hope that I'm like him someday.
Also Elder Bednar is coming to my mission at the end of this month, but I don't know if we'll be able to go because of some stupid church policy that says that only missionaries that are within two hours drive can attend and we are five hours drive. President Omer has appealed to the area presidency, however, because there are only 18 of us out this far, and the other 150 missionaries would be able to see him. So it's not really fair. I hope we get to go.
This Sunday was incredibly awkward. We had the standard three hour block and a baptismal service afterward. At the baptism though, we found out that the font had been slowly draining until the moment before the baptism so it was below knee depth. The first girl that was baptized went fine except that it looked pretty awkward that she had to go down so far. The second girl however had to be baptized 3 times, because the first time Elder Ouma not only said her name in the wrong order for some reason, but the girl's baptismal outfit filled up with air and didn't go all the way under the water. The second time he said the name correctly but the baptismal clothing still wouldn't go under the water, so the third time we had to have her sit down in the water, and lay down to be baptized. It was incredibly awkward. I can only imagine how she felt. Then as the baptismal program was ending and everyone was filing out of the chapel, the family history representative for the branch stood up and ordered everyone to sit back down so he could talk about how they should be doing family history. My companion turned to me and asked "Does he have authority to do this?" I doubt that he did, but this is Africa, and in six weeks I don't have to see that ever happen again. It's hard to describe in an email, but it was quite an awkward sight.
Our attendance at church was alright though, even though it was raining pretty hard. The rain was a welcome substitute for the scorching heat though, which has been making everyone pretty miserable. It was over 100 degrees plus humidity the past few days. I've never sweat so much from just standing in my life. It's going to be weird to go home to snow from the blistering heat. I don't know how I'll be able to adjust.
Anyway, I love and miss you all and will see you all sooner than you know. I hope you're prepared.
Elder Balmforth

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