Dear Family & Friends,
Well y’all, transfers have made their way back into my life once again, and I am leaving Walnut Grove today. 😦 This week has been a whirlwind, and very bittersweet as I have prepared myself for what will most likely be my final time getting transferred. The week started out with several goodbyes, including a dinner at the D’s on Monday, and a tearful goodbye with T on Tuesday. It’s crazy, three months (or in T’s case 4 weeks) does not sound like enough time to build eternal bonds with people, but somehow, on the mission, it is. One thing I have been extremely grateful for this week is the opportunity I have had to serve my mission here in the United States, because I have no fears about not being able to see these amazing people again.
On Wednesday morning (at 4 AM) Sister H & I began the three-hour trek from Memphis to Little Rock for a doctor’s appointment, and my final Mission Leadership Conference (MLC). The nice thing was, the doctor’s appointment only took a total of three hours out of our wide open Wednesday, so we were able to meet up with some members from Sister H’s past area, and one set took us to lunch, the other set took us to dinner!! I loved being able to see Sister H interact with people from her past area. It made me really excited to reconnect with so many people I have met out here! In between the meals and doctor’s appointment we went down to the River Market in Little Rock and spent a lot of time walking around. It was so fun & such a good finish on an amazing companionship! We also took lots of fun pictures, which I will include in the email. 🙂
Thursday was my last MLC, and I was an emotional wreck! There has been a lot of finality about this transfer, because I’m training, so I pretty much know that this is my last area, and my last companion as I prepare to go to Jonesboro. Getting released as a Sister Training Leader was far more challenging than I expected it to be. During the meeting President Wakolo asked all the released leaders to bear their testimonies, and as I stood to bear mine, all I could do was cry. As I looked out at the leaders of the ALRM I was struck by just how blessed I have been to serve these past six months. Heavenly Father always knows exactly what we need, and He always gives it to us. I have learned so much from the opportunity I have had to grow and learn as I have served as a Sister Training Leader. I truly have a testimony of the fact that a calling is almost always given to you in order to provide you with a lesson that you needed to learn.
After MLC we drove back to Walnut Grove with Sister H’s new companion/my old companion, Sister F! Being together with two sisters I have been companions with was unexpectedly fun! We sang a lot of songs and told lots of funny stories. Once we were back in Memphis, our days were full of lots of goodbyes, all of which were painful! The P family particularly so. As we were leaving, L made me promise that when I came back to visit, that I would make sure to come to their house specifically, which I was very happy to promise! It was really hard to say goodbye to W & knowing that I would miss her baptism, but I am so happy that she has made the decision to be baptized, and that her family is actively supporting it. I have seen so many miracles here in Walnut Grove, I cannot complain about my time here. 🙂
Sunday I said my final goodbyes, including to the YSA branch, which I will miss TERRIBLY. Those are some beautiful, quirky people. I’ll include a picture of me with the two S’s, who were definitely my hardest YSA goodbyes.
As I type this, I am on my way to Arkansas, and tomorrow I will receive my new companion! I am so excited to receive a brand new missionary right here at the end of my mission. I think it will keep me focused and excited for the home stretch. Please pray for me as I continue my mission here in this new chapter, and please send lots of good vibes our way as we open up a new area for sisters in Jonesboro!
I love y’all!!
Sister Hannah Kathryn Thomas
River Market, MLC
S & S
I found sesame balls!!!!