New Area

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I have been transferred to a new area, in a totally different state! I’m now serving in Belfast, Maine. Along with that, I’m serving in a branch which has a different organization than a ward does and should present its own set of challenges to overcome.

I’m serving with an Elder Shupe who has been serving for 20 months and is district leader (for those keeping track, he is my third companion who is district leader) over 4 other companionships: Rockland Branch, Ellsworth Branch (1 and 2), and Machias Branch. Also turns out that our stake has only 5 wards out of 14 branches and wards. So we are a small stake and the Belfast Branch has the most members.

Some things that happened during the week:

Monday: Played more basketball, there is not much we can do in the Canterbury area, so… yeah

Tuesday: Transfer meeting! I am transferred to Belfast Maine. My previous companion is training again, and my new companion is the district leader again! My new mailing address is 30 Court St. Belfast, ME 04915. Anyway, I have no problems living in Belfast, except for the half cut grass…

Selfie in my new apartment
Selfie in my new apartment

Wednesday: District meeting for the first time in the new area. This is going to be a great 6 weeks! All of the district members are interesting, fun, funny and generally know what they are doing.

Thursday: Got downed due to sickness on both our parts, but we had a good day, preaching the gospel to all who will listen.

Friday: So Belfast has a yearly Celtic celebration, and that was happening for the weekend. Celtic Celebration: What is it? No idea. What is it for? No idea. Did you go? Not really. I will say that they are LOUD I mean they had music, and fireworks that sounded like World War 3 or something, because there were bangs and booms for about 5 minutes. We did not see the colors because of the stupid trees, but it was loud…

Saturday: We had a member baptism, which my companion was honored to perform, and I was able to participate in the confirmation that night. I also met most of the Branch council that night in a semi-formal setting.

Sunday: Branch Council at 8:00, Church at 9:30 (wait, what?) Yes, I know that is not a standard time to have church. I have no idea why we do it then (neither does my companion, or his previous companion. We had a good time and got a few visits in.

Which leads us to today: Emails, Shopping, Sight-Seeing? I don’t know.

My mother emailed me this morning: “Would you take some time in your letters/blog to answer the following questions with as much detail as possible?

1. What has helped your testimony grow this week? Describe what you learned or experienced. This week has been bombarded with Satan’s influence and not just my area but the entire zone I believe is feeling it. In my opinion this only means that something is about to happen that WILL weaken satan’s influence. An Apostle said that Satan knew that the restoration was about to occur, so he encircled Joseph with darkness and tried his best to bind his tongue. In Joseph’s words “I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.” While he can’t focus his efforts into one blast like he used to, he (Satan) continues to exert his influence to bind our own tongues. We need to remember that we have the power to crush Satan’s head.

Another boost to my testimony…We have a challenge going to finish the Book of Mormon in the time it took to translate it (~60 days) and I’m in 2 nephi right now. I got challenged to finish it as quickly as possible by a fellow district member, and we’ll see who finishes first…

2. What is one interesting thing about your area that makes you smile? Why? My companion is Elder Shupe. He is… Miriam again. And dare I say almost looks like it. Here’s a picture, taken moments ago. We are sitting in the clerks office right now, being awesome missionaries. Elder Shupe July 2015 3. What was your favorite/least favorite missionary moment this week? Describe. My favorite currently is District meeting. Every Wednesday we have a meeting as a district and are trained by the district leader (who is my companion), talk about issues that we are facing, and the investigators that we are teaching.

4. Is there anything we can add to our prayers to help you? Praying for investigators, for example? Well, there is the above mentioned satan’s influence that we could use any help we can get with. We know that your prayers can help that. Other than that, currently there is nothing that springs to mind, except the prayers of safety and being able to find those who are prepared to receive the gospel.

Anyway. I hope you all have had a good week, and good luck to you in the future weeks to come!

Sincerely,

Elder Richard Seely

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