Here I am, sitting at a computer in the St Louis County Library...COMPANION-LESS. Talk about having a broken heart!
This past week during district meeting, we sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" as our closing hymn. All the other sisters in my district are going home. We're sitting there singing--some of them crying--and I couldn't help but feel so broken-hearted. The reality didn't hit me as hard as it did then: missions end. And for a moment as we were singing, I realized that I won't see these people again for a very, very long time. Reality hit: I live on the freaking other side of the continent from them all! Not to mention, another country!
But I am grateful for eternal friendships. I am grateful that relationships last beyond this earth life. The BOM Institute Manual states, "those who labor in the Lord's vineyard share a bong of love that comes from laboring in the 'harvest' together. [Its] deepened by common experiences of faith and testimony." As I've gone along my mission journey, I've recognized that these people have turned into more than just my companion, or just another Sister or Elder I serve around. They have all become family. And so being torn apart from people you love ALWAYS HURTS! And even though I stick out like a sore thumb, culturally, and feel like I come from a completely different world than all my mission friends do, I am grateful for the reality that when we do meet again, I will, like Alma, "rejoice exceedingly to see [my sisters and] still [be sisters] in the Lord". I'm glad we can say "God be with you till we meet again".
Anyway, this week has been so great despite the emotional tragedy of my companion leaving. Every single day just brought more exciting news and experiences, but left my heart breaking a little more every day that our companionship was coming to a close. I'm so uber grateful for all the teaching experiences and miracles that Sister Webster and I had witnessed in this area together the past transfer. I have been so blessed to have her as my companion.
On Wednesday we had visited one of our less-active members. Every visit with her is the same and I never know what to do to help her feel better. When we visited her this week though, she was going off and ranting like mad. Oh my curse words.Then just when I was pretty fed up with all of it, all of a sudden she starts pouring out her heart about her past and all this guilt that has been weighing upon her for years. She has a picture of Christ in Gethsemane hanging on her wall behind the chair she always sits in. Sometimes I wonder if she really looks into the depth of that painting and what it means for her personally. But this time as I was listening to her sorrow, the painting stood out. I told her, "you know, every week we sit here in the exact same spot. You have that picture of Christ hanging there. As I'm looking at you, and looking at what's behind you...you don't ever need to question who in the world loves you. Because He does. No matter what you've done, no matter where you're at, He loves you. And He suffered for you so that its possible to be relieved of that guilt through repentance". We both bore testimony of the Atonement and of the help that the Bishop could give her. We invited her to set an appointment to meet with the Bishop, and told her we would followup with her in a couple days to see if she did it.
Right after the appointment, one of our investigators called and asked if we could come over. We had been trying to reschedule with her all day, and we weren't going to pass up this opportunity to have a lesson with her this week. Even though it was 8:45 at night -_________-" We get there and I'm super excited to see her because our last lesson with her had gone so well and it seemed like she was finally lightning up a bit. But this lesson was so dreadful. I realized part way though it that she was totally tipsy on alcohol! Ayaaa. She started getting all needy (just like our first few lessons with her) asking us for money, to use our phone, for a place to stay, and swearing up the a-wall. What the cheese?! I felt like all swearing that I've been sheltered from the past 17 months all just came in buckets over the last two appointments that night!! Goodness gracious. I've just about had it with her. I am SO grateful for Sister Webster and how kind she is. I know I was supposed to learn grace from her this transfer. And I'm so glad that she says things with grace...because she balances me out when I don't. So I went off on our investigator and pretty much called her to repentance. Not that she got any of it because she was drunk. UGH.
Anyway, although that night left us flabbergasted, we couldn't help but feel so energetic. We were like, "wow usually this would leave me spiritually exhausted, but I'm on a high right now!"
A couple days later, we followed up with our less active. To my surprise, she DID call up the Bishop. I asked her how it went and how she felt and she said, "much lighter. Thanks to you. My spirit is high today for the first time in 35 years."
OH MY WORD, AM I HEARING WHAT IM HEARING RIGHT NOW?! Gah! The Atonement is SO AMAZING! Heavenly Father pores out so many blessings, its ridiculous! Seriously, I could go my whole mission working my butt off and not see any fruits of the labor. If I was designed to be a planter, then so be it, I'll plant the seeds. But He has allowed me to see countless amount of times the way people's lives change when they choose to exercise faith in Jesus Christ. GAH! I LOVE IT!
And bless Sister Webster's heart. I felt a little bad that I sounded a little harsh at our investigator's lesson. But during our studies the next day she told me that she was reflecting on everything that had happened, and that she honestly believes that there was a shield around us that night. Then she says, "you don't even realize how strong the Spirit works in you. That shield was there last night because of you. I'm going to miss having that shield with me when I go home."
And thus it was all throughout the week, speaking lines like that to each other and realizing how much we were going to miss each other.
We were finally able to find two new investigators!! All the investigators picked up thus far have been formers. But we were finally able to teach two brand new people! One of them is Debbie's daughter who really really wants to get baptized! WOO!
I don't really know what else to say. I just feel gratitude.
Because I was able to drop Sister Webster off at the mission home, I got to see all the other Sisters going home (Its a whopping 13 sisters!) That was a huge tender mercy. Sister Minyard, one of my best friends, was there and I was pretty much in tears as I was saying goodbye to her.
And now I get to hang with the YSA Sisters for the next two days. OH YES, ITS GOING TO BE A PARTY! :) I love Sister Bailey and Sister Sperry!!!
And my next companion is going to be Sister Huppi!! I love Sister Huppi! She is such a fireball! She is a hardworker and has so much energy! I'm super glad she's the one killing me off hahaha. We are going to have a blast!
Anyway, that's missionary me.
Also, GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING! I can't do my normal "media fast" to prepare for conference because, lets face it, missionary life is already fasting from media haha. So I just fasted everyday. I definitely have a renewed testimony of the power of prayer and fasting, FO'SHOZ.
Gah! So many awesome things happened this week! Sorry I can't share it all with you. This is already an essay enough ;P
Have an awesome week!
Ponder and apply what you've learned at conference!
See you in 6 ;D
|I thought this would be fitting for my last transfer planner.|
|Waiting for General Conference :) My companion is a beauty!|