Hello family!So, first things first... I'm not being transferred?! I was pretty surprised as well. Elder Sedgwick is not moving either. So we get to continue to work Lowville! The weird thing is the realization I had that my next area will probably be my last. :( I am excited that I get to stay here in Lowville for Thanksgiving and Christmas! We are going to continue to make progress and I'm sure we'll see some cool stuff happen. And I was called as District Leader, which means I'll go on exchanges with other missionaries and give the trainings at District Meeting. That will mix things up enough to keep it exciting! It'll be good.
I didn't ever tell you about Rich passing away? It was pretty sad. Elder Bybee called me to let me know about it. He had a heart attack, then was taken to a hospital in Vermont where he had triple-bypass surgery. That all went pretty well, but then he had a piece of tissue go into one of the heart valves and he had a stroke. They were able to stabilize him, but he was completely on life support. Rich doesn't have any living family (only child, no recent spouse or anything) and had Elder Bybee as the point of contact, so it was Elder Bybee's decision to keep him on life support or let him go. He prayed and fasted about it, and felt that Rich wouldn't want to be left like he was, and they let him go. I had a really good talk with Elder Bybee about it all. I was pretty sad, but I feel like the experience with Brother Laconti passing was a form of preparation for this experience for me. It kept me from having any form of shock when I found out. It was just a simple understanding that Rich wasn't gone forever and that I'd get to see him again. Apparently the missionaries that were in Massena found a box full of family history stuff in Rich's apartment. They gave it to the mission office.
She moved to Lowville about 6 months ago. She had met Becky, our recent convert, and Becky invited her to come to Church. She came, really liked it, and has come every week since! She went to a different church when she was a little girl but wanted to find a church that she wanted to attend. She has done pretty good about reading the Book of Mormon and got an answer that it was true, accepted everything we taught, committed to obey all of the commandments, and just got baptized! She said a prayer at church yesterday and it was so great! She was thanking Heavenly Father for helping her find the Church and for everyone that was a member and for us missionaries. It was really cool. The baptism went well, although that crazy snow storm I mentioned earlier almost caused us to cancel it. There were some places of Lewis County that got 7 inches of snow in about 2 hours! Here in Lowville, we only got 3 inches. It was wild though! And we had to get out the heavy winter gear. This winter could be a wild ride!
Anyway, I know that this work is true! God has prepared people for the Gospel and it's just up for us all to find them. Mary is a good example of somebody that was ready and will be a great member of the Church. I'm so grateful I got to be here when we found her, taught her, and saw her enter the waters of baptism. It truly is a great privilege we all have to be members of the Church.
Love you all!