Well. I knew that my Mission President has done some surprising things, but nothing that comes close to this......
To start things off, This last monday was the day for transfers. Great! Another 6 good solid weeks done and another 6 weeks in front of me! Elder Medina knew he was being transfered. He had lost his Peruvian ID, which he needs to travel. He received a call from the secretaries saying that on monday he needed to print a scan of his Visa in order for him to be able to get on the bus to travel. So we all knew he would be transfered! I was thinking about how difficult it is to take out both missionaries from an area and put 2 new ones in. So I had a solid confidence that I was staying! Didn't pack up my suitcases completely and wasn't stressed out about it. Now a little back story. The Elder that had been there with Elder Medina and I these past transfers had been transferred 3 weeks in. And the elder that took his place was my comp from the CTM in São Paulo. So just 3 weeks later, he was transferred. Huge surprise! His comp took him to the bus station to get his bus for his new area. He would be coming back with one of the Zone Leader's to close the transfer with us. More back story, with all the new rules, no one knows they are being transferred until basically the minute they have to leave. So everyone packs suitcases, cleans the house, and has to wait until who knows when. So the Zone Leader was coming to our house for what we thought would be the transfer of Elder Medina. When he and the other missionary in my area got to the house, he told us that we were all being transferred. All 4 of the missionaries in that area were leaving... NEVER expected that to happen! Never! So I found out the Elder Medina was headed to Balsas Maranhão, Elder Felipe to São Luiz Maranhão. Both pretty far away. São Luiz not so far as Balsas. And I was coming to Timon Maranhão! Just across the river and border from Teresina. While at the bus station waiting for the bus to Teresina, 3 other missionaries showed up. One of them told me the the city of Parnaíba was closing. Meaning all of the missionaries were leaving, and new ones won't be coming to take our place. Parnaíba will not have any missionaries for a while... HUGE shock! HUGE! I never ever expected or even dreamed that that could or even would happen! Not in a million years! I was part of the closing of an entire city and Zone... I am really worried about what will happen there. The other companionship had a baptism set for the last Saturday, more very close to being set and Elder Medina and I were very close to more baptisms too... Families were coming out of the woodwork finally, everything was getting better! But now I am in a new area with a new comp and still doing the same work.
Timon (pronounced with a "ch" where the "Ti" is) is a great city! From what I have heard so far, pretty dangerous. The missionaries were assaulted and their cell phone was stolen, many members were assaulted this week. Gonna have to watch my back! But it´s a good city! Big too! Only 4 missionaries to cover the whole city, which means the areas are big. Bigger than in Parnaíba. Makes things interesting. My new companion is Elder Klegues! He is from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul and has been out a year and a half. Great guy and a good missionary!
We had a good first week! Good lessons, met good people and sweated A LOT! There is no wind here like in Parnaíba, so it feels much hotter. But it´s great! I really like the area! Won't go into the details of the week this week. But know that it was a good one! Being in a ward is way different that a branch! Much bigger, we actually have a chapel, the members are much more excited to help the missionaries, and it's great! Excited to help the ward grow and become stronger!
Other than that crazy surprise and change, nothing else to report this week. Still doing good and enjoying the work! I hope everyone back in the states is doing good and staying safe!
Have a good week and always remember to put the Lord FIRST in your lives!
Elder Cole Gunnoe