October 16, 2014

I'm out of the MTC in 5 days!!! So my address here is good only for a few more days.

This has been a crazy week! I don't even know where to start. Right after I sent my letter last week, half of our zone of 25 missionaries got reassigned to go to Independence, Missouri, Vancouver, and to all these other places! – they will serve there until their visas come to go to their countries. Everyone was freaking out. The next day, it turned out to be a mistake by the travel office. They actually were heading to their missions. Now, everyone in the zone has left except for my district and a sister going to Slovakia. Elder Raisor and Elder Taylor were reassigned temporarily stateside to DC, and Elder Hardy and Sister Thatcher to Fort Collins, Colorado. It was a big surprise overall, but I know they are going to do great.

On Friday we had Infield Orientation, which went over some essentials before we head out into the mission field. It has a pretty bad name here considering it's just meetings and lessons all day, but they did a good job of making it interesting. All of the teachers were funny and told stories about when they were in the field. It was a really good way to remember some of the obvious stuff we forgot in these last 2 months. At the end, they had a play about the average day of a missionary. Elder Raisor volunteered to be in it, and he played a pretty funny part of playing the ward coordinator, and knowing one of the investigators because the investigator was his yoga instructor.

Brother Hammond, one of my teachers, was teaching us how we can be simpler with our message. He gave an example being a kid who only liked cheese pizza, and we had to convince him that there are better pizzas in the world (as long as they don't have mushrooms). Then after that, he pretended to be a kid who was afraid of swimming, and that was my time to shine since I was a swimming instructor this past summer. It was good to remember that experience and connect what I learned about teaching swimming lessons with missionary work! Although when I was talking to him, he asked me
"Ще бъдеш ли с мене в водата?" (Will you be with me in the water?)
"Да, ного близо на тебе." (Yes, very close to you.)
"Ще умра ли?" (Will I die?)
I didn't really hear him so I just smiled and said, 
"Да да да." (Yeah yeah yeah.)
That gave everyone a pretty good laugh, and me also when I realized what he said.

Sunday was a sad day because it was our zone's last day together. These were the people who came to the MTC when I did. We all said our farewells, and then that night had a huge, emotional testimony meeting. It was awesome to see the faith of everyone here. They were all so excited to share the gospel, and they are going to do great at it.

Monday morning the Polish, Czech, and Slovak missionaries left, which was about 20 people. It felt really empty the next day, although we still had our district. We spent that night together, giving each other blessings of comfort and sharing our love for each other. We got really close to each other during our time as a district. We woke up at 2:30 Tuesday morning to send Elder Hardy and Sister Thatcher off to Fort Collins. We got to the travel office, and Sister Thatcher was nowhere to be seen. 5 minutes after they were supposed to report, her companion found us and told us she accidently slept in. When she arrived our adrenaline was flowing, running with her luggage flying behind us – she barely made her plane. Then the next morning Elders Raisor and Taylor left for D.C.

Luckily and unluckily, one of the Polish elders named Elder Park got an eye infection to the point where he had delay leaving, so he is my companion now. We get along really, really good together. We have our own district together, named District X. He has a great sense of humor and keeps me laughing all day, every day. It's nice to have someone here still from my group. His eye is doing a lot better, so he hopefully should be out of here on the 20th.

I called the travel office yesterday and they said I would probably be stateside until the 27th, which bummed me out. Today I looked in my mailbox and I got reassigned to the work in the Provo, Utah mission starting next Tuesday the 21st. I'm really excited that I can finally get out into the field though. I'm still hoping for the visa to get here soon! I think since I'm serving in Provo that means my visa is close, hopefully before the end of the month, but we'll see. For now I help with the new Macedonian missionaries and I still have a lot to study.

I'm so thankful for this opportunity I have to help other people. This is the gospel of the Lord, and I can't wait until I can see it help other people like it's helped me!
Elder Rigby


My zone, gone.

My old district, all gone.

My new companion,
Elder Park
District X !!

Jumping for joy over my new mission assignment!

Here in Provo, Utah

(check out the shadow!)