Exchanges were so so fun this week. It was like when I went on exchanges in Oak Grove for the first time: all the fun of missionary work, without any of the stress. You get to make new friends, see the old, teach awesome people that you don't have to worry about, all around best. I've determined that everyone in the city of Biloxi is elect. Everyone. Alright, not everyone, but there are lots of good things happening there, and we even found an awesome lady named Naomi. She let us right on in, and we taught the first lesson, which answered this huge question about the true nature of God, and whether she was correct in praying to the eternal Father, and closing in the name of Jesus Christ. She was super sweet, and when she prayed at the end of the lesson it was purely gratitude.
Ocean Springs was insanely ridiculously cold chill you to the bone sauce. I was a little bummed because the other sisters were going to go see Haley (the 13 year old that Mongie and I taught a bit), but we ended up teaching their investigators that they found two weeks ago that are being baptized in two weeks which was really cool. The lesson was a follow-up on the kingdoms of glory; apparently they were facing a lot of opposition from friends and family and just wanted to make sure that they fully knew everything, so that they could defend it. They had the cutest term for the opposition, they called it "getting Joseph Smith-ed." Ah. So fun.
I didn't get my transfer call until Friday evening, but at that point I already knew I'd be leaving. I had been carrying a last little flame of hope that I'd stay, but that morning Elder Edwards (the "Fleet Coordinator" aka senior missionary in charge of cars) called me and asked me where my car was so that they could take it, and shuffle it to were it needed to be on transfers. I mighta cried a little. I had figured they would move the STLs if there wasn't another STL area opening (they currently have to do 15 exchanges each transfer, so are hardly ever in our area to work), but I knew if the other area opened I'd be long gone. OG just aint big enough for the six of us (that number includes the ZLs). By the time my actual transfer call came, I already knew I was leaving and had kind of guessed where I'd be going, since both Sister Johnson and Sister Cottrell told me that they loved working there and that there is always plenty to do. Greenville Mississippi here I come! My new companion is Sister Welch who used to be in Hattiesburg, so I've met her in passing before. She's nice and really tall. That's all I know. There isn't any more.
Also, by way of crazy news, due to bad weather transfers won't be until Thursday this week. Say whaaaaaat. We got a call this afternoon that Elder Edwards was coming at 4:00 to pick up Sister Johnson (she just finished out her mission), instead of her leaving during transfers tomorrow since there wasn't going to be a tomorrow anymore. It was good news for me since I hadn't started packing yet, but bad news for her since we had to send her off in a mad dash. Basically life in general will be shut down tomorrow; schools are closed, library will be closed, etc. No word yet on whether this is just an overreaction on the part of the South due to a few snowflakes, or if it's legit. Keep you posted.
Now on to your questions:
-I did not get a new companion yet, I'm still with Sister Cottrell.
-Mongie served for just over a year, and will come back if they figure out her back and she's sure that her coming back out won't bring back all the old problems
-I actually am sick, but the instacare charge was unrelated. Healthcare Express has been dogging me for a co-pay that they didn't make me pay until I got a letter forever and a half later saying it was overdue, at which point it was already to the maximum late fee, thus I forgot to pay it as it didn't matter when I payed it now. Payed it Friday because Sister McDonough texted to remind me.
-The current sickness is probably just a persistent cold. Woke up last Monday with a sore throat, and over the week developed sinus pressure, a runny nose, and a cough. Drinking plenty of water and that Vitamin C stuff, so I'm not too worried about it, and neither should you be.
-Thank you so much for the package! I got it Saturday when we got back, and wore the skirt to church because it was my last Sunday there. Perfect timing on your part. Very considerate.
-Old companions have not received their visas yet, but two different sisters did last week, so it seems like it's speeding up.
I'm excited for change, but I will for sure miss it here. I've learned lots, and just wish that I could have helped the area more. I did my best though, and saw plenty of miracles, even though they weren't in the ways I was expecting. Look out Greenville, here I come! In three days!