I'm officially in Maidenhead, with my new and green companion from Belgium. Elder De Bisschop (pronounced De-bish-kop) is wonderful, is three months into his mission, and has a very curt sense of humor :) I love him and am really excited about the area. From the sounds of it, we have another wonderful ward to work with, and some investigators that are seeing amazing progress.
There are so many joys and sorrows of transfers. We spent our last night in Oxfordshire on a boat house owned by one of the members that I love dearly. The goodbye to the Sutton family was heart wrenching. I'm pretty sure their smallest thinks I'm his brother. That will be a funny conversation one day: "Dad, why do I remember a red-headed older brother at our house all the time?" Yeah...I've been here a bit long :) It was quite the goodbye to the District as well. I've sincerely made some friends there that will last far beyond this life. It was sad to say goodbye, a few of us knowing we wouldn't see each other for a very, very long time. The perks and downfalls of making friends from around the world.
The principle of presence has been on my mind a lot through this transfer. Our whole lives are based around this principle, as we literally measure time and distance through the path of life by the crossroads that occur with others. I know with a surety that the Lord puts us in the right places at the right times, and allows us to meet those that we will learn from, be able to serve, and love. As we choose to be humble and open ourselves to those the Lord is purposefully putting into our lives, we become better and more diverse people, and come closer and closer to the person that God can see us becoming. There are people that I have met throughout this mission, missionaries or just those that we teach, who have completely changed my life. I am so grateful that I've had this opportunity to meet those people, and I would suggest that everyone treat those opportunities as precious. Because they are, and often they are just too temporary.