This was a crazy week! We got our transfer calls last week! I have been transferred to Richland! Now there are only two zones in our mission that I haven't served in! My new companion's name is Elder Williamson. He's been out for 6 months, and he's from Riverside, California. Our ward here is fantastic. We have a lot of investigators who are really close to baptism, but just need a solid baptismal date.
We had an awesome evening last night. We had a good dinner with an awesome member family. Then we took that member with us to give a blessing to Jennifer, one of the investigators that I hadn't met yet. She has so many crazy things happening in her life, including a daughter who is addicted to heroin. We had a great lesson with here, and really felt the Spirit. And now she is excited to come to church and work towards being baptized! We followed that up with a lesson with a new investigator, Phil, who committed to read the Book of Mormon and continue to meet with us! We've had a great first week here in Richland.
I got an email today from Elder Brinkerhoff, one of my old companions who is in the Yakima Mission now, today. This is the first paragraph:
"This week began with the news that my dear friend Brian Kisner had passed away. This is news that came only soon after I was given word that another dear friend Mike Gilbert had suffered a heart attack. I found out last p-day from a Zone leader currently serving in second ward and also Elder Thompson that Brian had passed away while traveling in Idaho over the Christmas break. Christmas Eve was his last day on Earth. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend his funeral this morning and be reunited with my Yakima 2nd ward family. The funeral was presided over and conducted by Bishop Christensen: A very spiritual giant and one of my heroes. He bore powerful testimony of the Savior and His love for us. Brian's powerful passion for life was remembered by his loving mother Rochelle and his son Jeremy. They had many wonderful memories to share with us and lots of laughs from his former days fixing up and riding motorcycles! That made me very happy. We enjoyed a luncheon afterwards with lots of catching up and friendly faces to remember while I felt down. I was looking much forward to when Brian would be able to receive his endowment in the Columbia River Temple in a few months but I know that God has other plans for this great man! :) I love him and my Heavenly Father very much."
Brian was a convert that Elder Brinkerhoff and I taught and baptized in Yakima. This happened a month after Mike Gilbert, another convert we taught and who was eventually baptized also passed away. It's incredibly reassuring to have a knowledge of God's Plan of Salvation. I am very blessed to be able to share this message. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's church on the earth.
Love, Elder Plehn