It has been a incredible week! I hope i will be able to include all that happened in this email. I spend Monday threw Thursday in Eugene. On Tuesday and Thursday i went with Elder Migliori to each zones good bye President Young meeting. Elder Richards and Elder Jennings (Migliori's comp) stayed and worked in their area and in the office. It was really great to spend some final time with Elder Migilori and President & Sister Young.
Friday Mourning I went up the mission home had a final interview with President and said goodbye to them. Around Christmas time i gave President a Tie, and i bought the same one for myself so we could have companionship ties, we both wore them, and he gave me one of his ties, which was pretty neat cuz i have never heard of his giving a missionary a tie. It was hard to say good bye and leave the mission home. It was weird to think that the next time I would go to the mission home i would not be a full time missionary. Directly after that i drove up the Newburg with the office staff. I got to Newburg aroundand started setting up the transfer board in the office. The Portland mission was having a Zone conference in the Newburg that day and i was invited to come to it, so i could have lunch, meet my companion, and make some announcements about the coming weeks. I walked in during lunch. It was really weird to walk into the gym with 40 missionaries that you have never met before. I have been so use to knowing all the missionaries in the meeting i go to, it made me feel like i was a brand new missionary.
I quickly found my companion. His name is Elder Buhler. He is also from Orem and he is 27 years old. He is a incredible missionary i have loved being with him. He has one more transfer than i do. He did not know he was going to be the Salem assistant until two weeks ago (the Portland transfer.) He has not been a assistant before, but he spent two weeks with the Portland assistants, and he is a really mature and smart guy. So back to the Zone conference, at first it was weird but i got to know a few of the missionaries, and ended up being really fun to get to know some people. After the Zone conference Elder Buhler and I went to the mission home to set up the transfer board in President Samuelian's office. We got done and then waiting for their arrival. They ended up getting here at about. We probably were with them for 30 minutes that night and it was incredible. They are wonderful people, and they have great vision and plans for the OSM.On Saturday they took us out to lunch and we met with him for a little while, and then we got some time to spend in our area, and then at night we went to a meeting that all the Stake Presidents, Bishops and their wives in these 8 stakes were invited to.
The area authority (Elder Hansen) was also their. Most of the meeting was just a social thing and a chance for President Samuelian to get acquainted with the stake Presidents and bishops. While he was doing that we got the opportunity to talk to and get to know many of them. It was really a unique experience to be there with such amazing men and women. They were all very humble and Christ like, it felt very natural just to start up and conversation with them and talk with them about their ward or stake. The meeting went very well, President & Sister Samuelian are both incredible speakers and they gave wonderful talks about the vision they had for the OSM. Sunday was a pretty normal day. We had church and then a less active lesson, and then a ton of office stuff to do. Monday was pretty busy, we correlated with all the Zone Leaders, and met with President, and we did get a chance to go grocerie shopping which is really good cuz we did not have much food, at night we had a dinner and lesson with a Part Member family(Curtis and Janell) that has been coming to church. hopefully next week i will have more time to tell you about them but Curtis is the non member and he has been taught for a month or so and he has a lot of potential.Today (Tuesday) has been a incredible day. We had two meetings that each had 3 zones each. The meetings were so President Samuelian could meet the missionaries and they could get to know him. Once was in McMinvile (30 minutes away from here) and the other one was in Albany. The meeting were great. they were about two hours long, and then we spend a hour of President meeting each missionary and taking a picture with them. Last night President told Elder Buhler and I that he would like us to take 5 to 10 minutes each during the meeting on whatever we felt we needed to. We did not have anytime to prepare until the car ride over. I decided to talk about always striving to becoming a Christ like missionary. It is very easy to get caught up in doing missionary things.
We tend to justify our shortcomings by thinking 'all that really matters is i am working hard and being obedient.' Obviously those things are incredible important be we need to always being striving to be more like Christ and Developing Christ like attributes. In the talk shared some scriptures from Alma 7 and how Alma commands the people of Gideon to repent even though he says that he is glad they are in righteous paths. I talked about we all have things to repent or change in our lives, and that threw the Atonement we can have the power to make those changes and become more like him. I decided to also talk about the Christ like attribute of humility and how important it is to be humble threw this time, there are going to have to be a lot of changes made. There were many differences in how the OEM did it and how the OPM did it, and some decisions are going to be made that initially some missionaries will disagree with. I bore my testimony that President Samuelian was called of God and all he has us do will be the will of the Lord so we need to be humble and fully support every decision. Elder Buhler gave a great talk on change, and how important it is make changes for the better. President Samuelian spoke over a hour and just shared his vision with everyone, he talked a lot about culture and the type of culture we are going to have in the OSM. I am very grateful to be serving with President Samuelian, i have already learned so much from him and i know i will learn much more. I love you all. The gospel is true!
--Fearless Via FaithElder Covey