Hey Mom and Dad, you probably got an email from President Johnson but there's a big change happening in the mission on July 1st. The Lancaster and Chambersburg zones are being put in to the Baltimore mission...I am in the Lancaster zone which means yes, as of July 1st I will officially be serving in the Maryland Baltimore Mission and will no longer be serving in the good ol PPM. It's pretty crazy I know. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but the Lord needs me there.
President Johnson prayerfully decided which missionaries would be
transferred in to those zones, and I am one of those. I know that even though I never even got to go to Pittsburgh, that the Lord needs me in the Baltimore mission and that this is all part of his plan for me. It is interesting actually, when I first read my call letter, the part that talks about how my assignment may be adjusted always stood out to me and I didn't know why, but now I do! That was the spirit telling me to expect the unexpected haha.
So yeah this is really crazy, like for example me and Elder Ramos
aren't in the same mission anymore! Or some of the other people I've served with and became friends with. It's so crazy like we straight up got reassigned and I'm not in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh mission anymore it's crazy. Also the Baltimore mission doesn't have iPads so we have no idea what's gonna happen there but it's gonna be frustrating if we have to get rid of them and use paper because iPads is sooo much more effective it helps so much with teaching. Lots of crazy stuff! I just keep thinking how weird it is that the Baltimore Maryland mission is my mission now. It's crazy. I have all sorts of mixed feelings about it but whatever happens I know it's part of Heavenly Father's plan for me.
In other news, my new area is super sick! There is Amish people
everywhere it's crazy. We live in New Holland and our area goes down to the edge of Lancaster. Some small towns there is more horse and buggies than cars. And Walmart and other stores have horse and buggy parking lot. Elder Mink is super awesome we get along super well!
So yeah that's what's going on, President told us to email mom and
dad, more info on Monday. Also let your brother Dave know dad, tell him to email me so I can ask him about areas he served. I'm also gonna email Ryan Garcia on Monday cause we're in the same mission now! Unless he's in the one stake that is being put from Baltimore to Pittsburgh mission which would be funny but a bummer.
This is really weird, sad, and exciting at the same time. I'm excited
for the future, but I just really hope that my new mission president
doesn't separate me and elder mink especially because now next
transfer is only 4 weeks away for the new mission! I'm really hoping he doesn't separate us so soon because we are having a great time together so far and we want to work really hard to get the work in this area moving!
I love you both and am so grateful for all of your love and support
- Elder Poulsen
Bradley Kent Johnson
Jun 23 at 9:59 AM
To: Parents of Missionaries Serving in the Chambersburg and Lancaster stakes/zones of the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission
I am writing to make you aware of a significant change in our mission. On July 1, two of the nine stakes in our mission – Chambersburg & Lancaster -- will become part of the Maryland Baltimore mission. All of the missionaries serving in those zones will be in that mission for the balance of their service. Your son/daughter is serving in one of those areas and this change will affect him/her.
Below is a letter I sent to the missionaries serving here that will answer questions about this change.
Thanks for sending your son/daughter to this mission. We have loved serving with her/him and are grateful for your support. Each missionary we serve with has been a blessing in our lives and we are thankful for their consecrated service. I am certain, President Christiansen, the Maryland Baltimore mission president will feel the same way.
To: All Missionaries in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission
Change has always been a key part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, it is in many ways the very heart of the gospel. The idea that we can change and be forgiven of our transgressions is the “good news” of the gospel we teach each day.
A significant change is coming to our mission next week. On July 1, there will be a change in the mission boundaries. The Chambersburg and Lancaster Stakes/zones will become part of the Maryland Baltimore Mission on that date. All missionaries currently serving in those zones will therefore become part of that mission.
Below are some questions that many will have, along with my answers.
Why is this happening?
The church is a very dynamic organization. From the day it was restored April 6, 1830, change has been very much a way of life for members and the structure. In an organization that is constantly growing, changes in structure are regularly needed. This mission has had the most stakes (nine) of any of the 24 missions in the North America Northeast Area. In addition, these two stakes are less than 90 minutes from Baltimore. Pittsburgh is 4.5 hours from Lancaster and 3.5 hours from Chambersburg.
Who makes boundary change decisions?
Decisions like changing the boundaries of a mission are made by the General Authorities that run the Church and the Missionary Department.
What will happen to the missionaries serving in those zones?
On July 1 they will become part of the Maryland Baltimore Mission. They will serve the remainder of their time in that mission.
How can they be transferred to a new mission when they were called to serve in the Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Mission?
One of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reviews and approves all transfers/assignment changes between missions for each of the missionaries involved. Any time a missionary, any place in the world, is transferred from one mission to another, it is approved by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. For example, when a Temple Square sister is assigned to another mission for three months that is always approved by an Apostle. Likewise, an Apostle approved each of these changes.
Remember, each missionary call letter includes the sentence “Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president.”
Are they going to that mission because you (President Johnson) don't like them?
I love every missionary that serves here. This change is one of the hardest things that has happened in the last two years. Sister Johnson and I hate to say goodbye to any missionary. All will be missed. Our hearts are heavy as we contemplate this change.
Who will be their Mission President?
President Randal Christiansen will be their new mission president. He and his wife are wonderful people. They have served for one year so they will be in place for the balance of all affected missionaries’ missions. Pres. Christiansen was an attorney before he was called to serve in Baltimore. Both have a wealth of church experience. I have attached a photo and short bio of the Christiansens.
President Christiansen was called of God. He will be a great mission president and the missionaries that will serve in that mission will be blessed by his leadership.
When will this happen?
July 1, 2016
I am in the Chambersburg/Lancaster zone and don't want to go. Or, I'm not in Chambersburg/Lancaster, but want to be, so I can be in the Maryland Baltimore mission.
Please ponder and pray about this change. I have every confidence you will find your own testimony that you are right where the Lord needs you. In time, the Lord’s hand in your life and in this change will become very evident.
Each of the Elders and Sisters who will be changing missions will be missed. They go with our thanks for their service in this mission and our prayers that God will watch over them the balance of their mission. We know that if they will work with their heart, might, mind and strength they will have a memorable, moving and marvelous experience there. We look forward to seeing each of them at a mission reunion in the coming years.