Dear Friends and Family,
Yeah, so this past week was transfer week, and I didn’t think much of it because I was in the middle of training Sister L. PSYCH. Monday morning I got the transfer call, and so did Elder M, and so did Sister B, and so did Sister J. Everything changed! Not only was I getting transferred, I also found out I was going to the Arkansas side. I cried all morning. THEN, Sister N was going home, so we had to all say goodbye to her Monday afternoon and I cried again! Since N was leaving, H came into a trio with us, and while it was great because we all became really good friends, it was not great because we all became really good at whipping each other into a crying frenzy.
Monday night I was laying on the floor contemplating all the things I had to pack, when Sister H came out of her room sobbing and asked if it was too late to get a blessing. It was 10:25, but it is never too late for a blessing. We had to call the elders, and since we were in a trio they were allowed to come to the apartment to do the blessing, and while we were so thankful, it was weird having them there.
Tuesday was the most painful day of my mission so far, we drove around a million places so I could say my goodbyes, and it was so difficult. Transfers hurt. That night we had Book of Mormon Class, and when I got there I cried too, because I am just so proud of our little Book of Mormon class. After class we all stayed at the church and wrote in each other’s transfer journals. S B brought me a locket with a picture of her dog in it, and some crystallized ginger. Then I helped Elder M make an ornament, and then Elder T showed us all these bugs he got from an elder serving in the Spanish branch and they were alive and he told us to eat them!! It was really weird, but I did eat one, and it was pretty gross.
Wednesday morning came and I was having some serious issues with the whole transfer situation. I didn’t understand why it was happening, and why it was happening now, right before Christmas! I had to be to the church by 8:00 to drive to Little Rock, and of course it was raining. The sky was almost as sad as I was. I said goodbye to sister L and we both cried so much, she is such a sweetheart. I ended up in the mommy van with a bunch of missionaries that I don’t know and Elder M. We talked for a while, but we were both leaving our first areas, where we had been for so long, and the sadness was palpable. We arrived in Little Rock, and the transfer meeting started. My heart was beating so fast, I had no idea where I was going, or why I was going there, and I felt confident that no matter where it was, or who it was with, I would be upset. I was only half listening when President Wakolo said “in Little Rock ASL (American Sign Language), Sister L will be serving with Sister Thomas.” I shot out of my seat, what???? I probably had the most confused look on my face walking up to hug my new companion, but I was so confused, I’m not an ASL missionary!
After transfer meeting Sister L took me home and we got settled in. As the time passed, I felt a little more comfortable. That night we went to Book of Mormon class, and while we were there I met two deaf members, K and P. As I sat and talked to them in my broken ASL, I slowly realized that I knew I was here for a reason, that these people needed me, and I don’t know all the reasons why yet, but I will. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways, and sometimes he works in ways that hurt us, but while his way is not always easier, it is always better, and I know that. I have been called here for a reason, I have been reassigned as an ASL missionary for a reason, and I know that if I am faithful and confident in my work and my call, that I WILL see miracles, I know that because I have seen that truth time and time again on my mission. God sometimes blesses us in unexpected ways, but the surprising blessings are most often the best. My new companion, Sister L, is in her last transfer as a missionary and I am so excited to serve with her.
I hope y’all have a wonderful Christmas, but I think mine will be the most wonderful since I get to talk to my family!!
Sister Hannah Kathryn Thomas
Saying goodbye to Sister Wilson
Me with two new ward members