So new news! I have been transferred to Huambo (Province). I am actually already here in Huambo.... and Mom so you know that dream you had about me just coming home and lying in bed, well I think it might come true! Why? Because not only have I been transferred here to Huambo, but I am the new Branch President of Huambo! Pretty crazy right! I did not see that one coming at all!
Transfers happened a little bit early because Presdient Merrill was coming down for a zone Conference with the Lubango and Huambo Elders this past week end so he decided to do transfers and sustain the new branch president during church on Sunday. But I randomly got a call from President Merrill Thursday night and he said that transfers were going to happen early and that I would be transferred to Huambo and be the new Branch President. I initially took it pretty well, but then afterwards a flood of things came into my mind that I realized I had no idea how to deal with. We called my companion to be my first counselor, I do not have a second counselor yet, but we called a Portuguese man, named ilidio to be the secretary. I was sustained on Sunday and have already given two talks, given two temple recommends, delt with tithing and all of that. So it has been pretty intense the past few days.
Because of the zone conference we have had 13 missionaries here. All the Lubango and Huambo elders as well as the elders who were in huambo and Lubango, but were getting transferred back up to Luanda and the assistants. So all of us have been in one house the past 3-4 days... so that has been fun. So yeah it has been going well.
I am not sure how many (missionaries) we have now, we are getting two from the states this Wednesday, but I am not sure who they are I think Elders Rigby and Peterson. We have 13 new missionaries though that are either on their way here to Angola this week, have been reassigned for the time being (waiting for visas) or who are in the MTC! Pretty crazy!! I don’t know where we are going to put all these missionaries because we do not have very many leaving. Elder Montgomery was transferred to Benfica, and Elder Hannay took my place as zone leader. Elder Mccune is my new companion and my first counselor. He is from Utah.
Typically for transfers we find out on Monday and then transferred on Wednesday, but because of the Zone Conference here in Huambo we had transfers a little bit early.
:) yeah i wish I would have practiced more (piano)
If it is not too much of a hassle... maybe a little framed picture of Christ or the family to put on my Branch President desk :)
I dont think (conference) will be live, but we will get DVDs later on and we will watch them, but probably in Portuguese, which obviously I can understand, but it is just different in English, especially hearing the apostles actual voices.
I heard that BYU stomped on Texas that is pretty cool, also with ASU winning that is soo crazy! It sounds like the business is picking up and going well.
So Mom probably told you that I was transferred to Huambo and called to be the new branch president of Huambo. Pretty crazy, if you have any advice for me that would be great!
I talked with President Merrill and he said that he still wants me to focus on missionary work, but keep the branch running and functioning well. He told me that my goal should be to find and train someone to be the next branch president. President told me to try to be looking for someone member or nonmember that could be a future Branch President and then the hope is to call him before I end my mission and then my companion and I would be his counselors to train him... right now I am not sure if there is any one in the branch that could be the branch president, but I feel like there definitely could be... but that is going to be my goal before I leave (President Merrill told me that should be my goal, but if it doesn’t happen then that doesn’t mean I failed or anything it just means that heavenly Father had some different plans for the branch)!
Having said that, until then I am still the Branch President so any advice I would love!
I love you Dad so much and look up to you so much!!
FS experience…Wednesday or maybe it was Thursday I can’t remember but we passed by Mi and Chelsia, but we taught the entire family. One little boy when he sees us always comes and gives us a hug :) But we taught the Dad and the Mom as well the plan of Salvation. the mom goes to another church and the dad believes in God but does not go to church or anything like that. So we taught them and the dad who is kind of a smoker and kind of a hard man, at the end of the lesson said "maybe you goes can come over some day and we can make lunch for you guys" then he said "we like you guys coming over becasue we feel blessed when you come over. Also when we went over Chelsia was sick and as we were living the Spirit very quietly said "give her a blessing" I kind of ignored the prompting and thought "she will be fine she doesn’t need one" we left the house and the spirit was working on my pretty hard and I felt really bad that we did not give her a blessing. I thought well maybe we’ll call them tomorrow and if she is still sick we can come back and give her a blessing. The spirit continued to work hard on my and then the thought came that if I went tomorrow then the father would probably not be in the house to see and feel the power of the priesthood. (The dad works a lot and is out of the house a lot) When I thought that I stopped in my tracks and said Elder Hansen we need to go back and give chelsia a blessing, he was willing to go back, but I think I thought it was kind of weird but we went back and I knocked on the door and the mom came out and I said in our church we are able to give blessings of health and we wanted to know if chelsia would like one? The mother not knowing anything about priesthood blessings immediately without hesitation responded "yes she needs one" We went in and explained what would happen. We gave her a simple blessing that said she would recover quickly. When we got done with the blessing Cardosia their boy who is about 6 jumps in the seat waiting for his turn to give him a blessing :) he was doing fine so we did not give him a blessing (thinking about it now we should have just given him one though since he wanted it)
then the mother said I also have a sickness can I receive a blessing too? We gave her a blessing as well and the spirit was very strong in the room!
I have thought several times to myself what a precious gift a Priesthood blessing would be to these people. They have never felt the real power of the Priesthood probably ever in their lives and here for the first time they are able to receive and feel the real power of Christ in the lives! It really is a Miracle!
I love you so much Mom!
(Letter from Pennie Merrill to Sister Tilley)
Thank you for that information (about the orphanage)! You are an answer to my prayers. We have wanted to go there and take some of the Elders but no one seemed to remember how to get there or have any info. I guess I didn't ask the right person! Hopefully we can do a service project for Christmas!
We have felt the love and support from you and all the other Moms. Thank you for your prayers. That is where we gain our strength.
Have I told you how much we absolutely love your son? He is a great strength and such a strong leader. I am glad to hear you are ok with him staying here for a time longer! ;-) we love these young men so much it is going to be very hard to tell them good bye…your son is one of the chosen leaders whose testimony and loving personality touches all he meets. Thank you for teaching him the correct principles of the gospel and the desire to serve! Hope your day is good and thank you for your friendship.