I haven't been posting Ross's emails from the past few weeks for various reasons, but decided I better play catch up real quick! On July 27th Ross hit the sixth month mark...only 18 more months to go! Ross continues to love his mission and the people with whom he works. He celebrated the six month mark with what he calls...
An ESPN Top 10 Most Memorable Moments in the First 6 Months:
10. My first teaching experience in the MTC
9. Leaving the MTC for the Field
8. Elder Nelson getting transferred
7. Being Elder Nelson's companion
6. Arriving in San Diego
5. Leaving mom and dad at the MTC
4. First baptism
2. Getting to be District Leader at my 3rd transfer
1. Being closer to the Lord than ever before
(He wrote this list as well as the below message in his Tuesday, July 27th email)
Everything this week has been pretty good. I rolled my ankle in basketball today, but you know me, I'll be alright. We have 2 baptisms coming up this week either on Sunday or Tuesday. They accepted the date for Tuesday but we are going to move them up for Sunday.
This week we had President interviews. In mine he asked me how I was doing physically. I said, "Well president, I am pretty good. But my mom is a little worried about me." He said, "Why is that?" "well i have lost 30 lbs and she says that it is unhealthy." Then he threw me a curve ball....HE FIST POUNDED ME!!! and told me, "Elder Little don't slow down in anything. Weight, missionary work or anything. You have great things ahead of you and you can not slow down. I've got plans for you." That is the 3rd time he has said that...I am beginning to believe him.
Other than that the week was pretty chill. Sorry this is a short email, but I don't really have a lot to say. President has been calling me a lot lately. We have a bunch of new sister missionaries coming in to work at the MOBAT (Mormon Batallion) and he is going to put a set in my district. We have to rearrange the boundaries in one the missionaries that are already there so we can put them in. He says that I am just as important in this as he is. And this also means I will now have 10 missionaries in my district. But, as of right now, my district has 12 people with baptismal dates and we had 10 people at church last Sunday so we are doing really well.
Well thanks for everything!!! It really does mean a lot the things you send me, and I promise I will get a hand written letter in the mail some time. (I'm pretty sure this has yet to happen!! My poor parents!~Hillary))
(This is from his Tuesday, August 3rd email)
Transfers are tomorrow and I am not very happy about it... yes, I am getting transfered again. I don't know what this plan is that president has for me, but it sure is weird and I can't really understand it. The worst part of it is, is that there are 5 open spots in the desert...where it is currently 117*. So it is looking like I am heading out there, or a bunch of missionaries are saying that I could be going to be a ZL in Sweetwater in Elder Nelson's old area or I could be a ZL in the desierto. And to top it off, 2 of my best friends left to go home today. Elder Nelson and Elder Hanks. They reached the end and they are home right now with their families. It is a tough day today, and I don't have a lot to talk about.
Well, this week has been pretty slow. Our area is just inching along right now and the week before transfers is always the hardest. We, or I guess I should say Elder Avalos, has 2 baptisms coming up on Sunday and a few more later this month. It will be tough, because it seems like just when an area starts to get good, I get moved and pick up another area. It is crazy. But, just like Coach Byrd, President Donaldson sees something in me and I know that he has the keys and recieve the revelations to take care of me and put me where the Lord wants me to be. I just have to put my trust in the Lord again and hope everythings turns out for the best. It usually does, but sometimes it takes a while to figure it out haha. But, dont feel like that I am depressed or mad or angry or on the verge of going AWOL. I will be ok, its just when transfers come around when I feel safe, I'm not, when I feel not safe, I am safe. CRAZY!! I just remebered I have to pack again. Dang, I hate transfers. But, it's alright the Lord has a plan for me and if that plan has me going to the desert to taste a little bit of what h*** feels like, then so be it.
Speaking of Satan, he has been working big time on me. Like you said mom, I do have to give a lot of girls the "get thee hence satan" look, and sometimes not even that is enough. My area is right next to SDSU (San Diego State University) so there are college girls galore. Let's just say that it is like A&M in the summer time, except everything the girls wear are tighter and 6 inches shorter. And mexican girls love white boys. The funny part is that when we walk by they speak spanish about us and think we cant understand and then I hear what they say and usually turn around and say, "gracias! soy guapo, ya se" which translates too, "thanks, I'm cute, I know" hahaha they get embarrased and walk off. But, Satan puts these "beautiful daughters of God" in my path as temptation. So me and Elder Avalos have been singing a lot of hymns lately hahaha. I know I know, sounds corny, but it's the only thing that works.
Well, that's about it, so I guess I'll just close. Thanks for everything you do and be looking forward to next p day when you can find out where I am and what I am doing. Thanks for everything mom and Dad!!! les amo muchimsmo!
(And finally, this is from today's email, Tuesday, August 10th)
Well where I am.... I am now in Logan Heights...just a few miles down the road from City Heights. Mom, I wouldn't google this place, it's worse than City Heights. Oh, and now I am a Zone Leader. Yep, Elder Nelson left and I took his place as Zone Leader in the Sweetwater zone.
At the end of every transfer, president sends out a letter to the zone leaders on Tuesday and they call the people leaving. Then, Wednesday at 10 we have a transfer meeting where president announces who is going where and who their companion is. That's basically how they do it in most places.
Well yeah, I am a Zone Leader now. 2 transfers as a junior companion, 1 as a trainer/district leader, and now a Zone Leader. The theme for my mission as of right now is, "Whom the Lord calls, He qualifies." Wow..when president called my name, he looked at me and said, "well Elder Little how long have you been out?" I said, "just hit 6 months." He laughed, "Well, I just keep throwing things at you." Then he told me I would be the ZL in Sweetwater with Elder Mendoza. It's crazy. I guess you could say I am following my "father's" footsteps...Elder Nelson was here for 2 transfers before he went home.
Well all I can say, is just like dad said, I am out of the preseason and into the regular season. I am finally starting to understand how to follow the spirit in working.
Well that is all for today. My companion is from Houston!!! Baytown, TX. We are the youngest ZLs in the mission. He has been out 8 months and me almost 7. It is great, I will write more in a letter!!!! Thanks for everything mom and dad!