Saturday, October 30, 2010

Crazy Adventures of First Few Days as Assistant

Dear Family,
I forgot to inform you last week that with the new assignment to be President McConkie's Assistant, I have a different preparation day than the rest of the mission! My preparation day is on Saturdays. Thus this is the reason you are receiving a letter from me today! I have no idea where to begin. This has been the craziest adventure! I've enjoyed every moment of it, but I'm on my toes because I am not sure what is going to happen next. There is never a dull moment when assisting in the upkeep of a mission.

It all began on Wednesday. At transfer meeting, President McConkie was up at the stand and he announced at the pulpit that two missionaries would be serving together. The only problem was that one of those missionaries was not informed that he was being transferred, so he was still in Greenville--two hours away. I knew right away that this was going to cause a problem, which I will discuss further later. At the end of the transfer meeting, President announced that Elder Poll was being released as his assistant to train a new missionary and that I would be Elder Tran's new companion. I was shocked by the amount of people in the audience who were so excited by this news. Throughout the transfer meeting everyone is relatively quiet, but when the President announced my new responsibility, there were many who voiced there opinions with "Yes," "Elder Cowan!" and other comments. I was nervous for my new assignment, but it was a relief to hear the sounds of so many missionaries who will support me in this assignment.

After the meeting, all the missionaries left except the departing missionaries and the two companionships who were waiting for the companionship from Greenville to drive down to transfers. We all drove over to the mission office so President McConkie could conduct his departing interviews. Two of the missionaries, while waiting, decided that they were going to send their packages off that they had carelessly "forgotten" to send home on their preparation day. These two missionaries were only supposed to be gone for one hour, but they were gone for three. The rest of the departing missionaries had to leave for the mission home to quickly eat dinner and prepare for the temple. I was left at the mission office to wait for the two missionaries who were mailing packages home. Anyways, the day got all messed up and Elder Tran ended up taking the departing missionaries to the temple, while President and Sister McConkie drove to the airport to pick up a sister missionary who has been serving at the Salt Lake Temple Square mission for the past year. While they were doing their activities, I was left at the mission home with the two missionaries who were supposed to drive back up to Greenville.

Wednesday evening: The departing missionaries came back from the temple and President gave them all some advice about returning home. Then we watched the departure video which is a slide show of pictures from all the missionaries going home. Afterward, the missionaries were all nervous about going home that next day, so they stayed up late and then we finally went to bed. The next morning we drove them to the airport and there was a 12 passenger pileup on the freeway, so the departing missionaries missed their flight. :( This is the first time that departing missionaries have missed their flight. :S They put them on a new flight which was supposed to leave 10 hours later. We watched them go through security and then we left. Elder Tran and I had to gather up a bike for the Salt Lake Temple square missionary and then we went to the office to do some paper work, but then we received a call from President that we needed to pick up the departing missionaries because they missed their second flight as well! We picked them up and stayed another night at the mission home with the departing missionaries. We woke up at 4:00 in the morning yesterday to help the missionaries leave and this time they made it on the plane. :) We then drove the mission van and trailer back to the mission office to pick up our car. During the night, someone broke into our car! :) We had to leave our car there, call the senior couple in the office and tell them to fill out the police report, and Elder Tran and I drove up to Camden with the Fullmers (senior couple who serves at the Ft. Jackson base) for our Post Development Meeting. Following that meeting, we got in the car with President and Sister McConkie and drove to Myrtle Beach where we had a Specialized District Development Meeting. Then we drove to Conway and had another Specialized DDM and then we drove back to Columbia! It was great spending five hours in the car with President and Sister McConkie. I am able to get to know them personally. It's such a great blessing to be around them. They truly are spiritual giants.

Today We woke up and spent all our day working on President computer. It works now and we now have to find an apartment to move into! Life is an adventure! I love the gospel and I love each of you!

Elder Cowan

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