In photo, left to right: Elder Forster, Elder Andrew, Elder Brook. Keepin' the posterity alive!
Early Wednesday morning me and a two other missionaries in Stockton headed up to the mission office in Sacramento. We joined a group of eight other missionaries and received training from the APs (assistants to the president) and President Lewis. We learned about how to train new missionaries and how much more obedient we need to be and how much our new companions will do everything we do. I thought about Elder Forster and everything I learned from him. Around 10am all the departing missionaries (Elder Forster included) came into the chapel and we stood and sang "Called to Serve" as the group of new missionaries marched into the room. We sat down and President Lewis called out our names and put us with our new companions. My companion is Elder Brook! He's from Lakewood, WA. He has one older sister. He loves video games and movies. He worked at Gamestop before his mission. He's pretty cool. It's fun to train, but boy it's hard work. I remember how clue-less I was and maybe how much my trainer felt overwhelmed. But it's great, Elder Brook catches on fast.
On Sunday in church our new bishop was announced. Bishop Ganoe has been the Valley Oaks bishop for six years and in the bishopric for 13. He has been the best bishop I've known on my mission. Besides his service as leader of our ward, he has been always willing to give the missionaries rides, has us over for dinner at least once a week, and has been extremely generous to us. Almost all of the other missionaries in the stake know him by name! We are sad to let him go. Our new bishop is Bishop Micheal! I don't know him very well, but I'm sure he will fulfill his calling well.
Our Sunday was a miracle. We had nine investigators to church. It was crazy! With us having no ward missionaries and it being Elder Brook's first Sunday in the ward, we felt a little "spread thin" trying to make sure everyone felt welcome and comfortable. But I think everyone was happy. The best part of church was Gospel Principles class. Because there were so many new faces in class, our ward mission leader, Br Anderson, went around the room and asked everyone to introduce themselves before he began the lesson. The Spirit was felt as everyone (who were almost all non-members) shared spiritual experiences and bore their testimonies. It was amazing! Many of them said that they will come again. We hope and pray that the spirit they felt at church will remain with them as continue to study and pray and progress. Back at the apartment after church Elder Brook and I knelt together and thanked the Lord for the blessings that He has given us. The purposes of God are being accomplished! We have our work cut out for us to help our investigators become truly converted.
Love you all!
Elder Chris Andrew
California Sacramento Mission
8267 Deseret Ave
Fair Oaks, CA 95628