October 18, 2016
Training, teaching, and visiting hospitals. All in a week's work.
Well, this past week was quite the whirlwind! I met my fresh off the plane companion and had a 5 hour meeting on Tuesday. Her name is Sister Ruske (pronounced Rusk) and she is my first companion from Utah. She is so excited about being a missionary and is always willing to do anything, even though she has been sick. That is why this is a day later than normal. She started feeling sick when she got to NC and it slowly got worse. She thought it might be pneumonia, so yesterday we went to the doctor to get it looked at. After 2 hours in the urgent care, they sent us to the hospital. After being there for 5 hours, the official diagnosis is indeed pneumonia. So any extra prayers sent her way would be much appreciated. Sister Ruske is so awesome though! Even with pneumonia, she didn't let that get her down or stop her. She is always cheerful and positive about everything! We also realized that we will have most of our holidays together: both of our birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. So these next 12 weeks will be fun and full of hard work!
Training is going well. I have heard, from other people who have trained, that training is a call to repentance. I now understand why. I am constantly aware of everything I do and say, because I know that she is going to learn from the example I set. It has been really good for me to look at the things I do and habits I have developed and evaluate whether or not they are good. It is also a little exhausting to train, but in the best way possible. I am constantly watching out for her and making sure she is doing okay, especially when we are biking on roads that have no bike lane (thank you NC for that). In a very small sense, I am getting a taste of what it means to be a parent. Maybe that's why our trainers are our "moms" in the mission field. Of course, parents do so much more than what I am doing. I am so incredibly grateful for all parents who sacrifice so much for their kids. Thank you for the sleepless nights, the tears, the fear, the constant watchful eye, and the never-ending love.
Update on Lisa! She is still so excited for her baptism and is inviting everyone she can! We had a fireside with our mission president on Sunday night and she loved it! These firesides are always very spiritual and powerful. It is an opportunity to investigators, recent converts, and returning members to share their experiences and testimonies. As Lisa stood to share her experience in meeting with us, she teared up and wasn't able to speak because of how happy she was. She knows with all her heart that this church is the only true church on the earth and will not let anything get in her way. After the fireside, she was talking to everyone she met about her baptism and inviting them all to come. She is so cute! It is amazing to see how happy she is about the gospel and her desire to share it with anyone who will listen. She is teaching me how I should be approaching missionary work. Even though she doesn't know everything about the gospel or the church, that doesn't matter to her. She has received a witness from the Spirit that this church is true and that is all she cares about. Her testimony is so sincere and pure that she can't not share it. That is the kind of missionary I want to be, the kind of member I want to be. Teaching her reminds me that this gospel is the greatest news anyone on earth could receive and that sharing it is joyful. We are helping her meet more members of the ward and she just makes friends immediately. She is so excited about being at church and learning about the gospel that everyone around her can't help but feel it too.
OH! Fun story! So, recently I have been challenging members to ask us questions we haven't been asked when they feed us dinner. I am totally fine answering the standard where are you from/how long have you been out/how many siblings do you have/what are your plans when you go home/etc but it's fun to get other questions too. So we challenged a family to ask us unique questions. The questions we got were "if you got asked a riddle, who are the three people you would trust to help you?" "if you had to invade a small country, would you use a tank or a jet?" and "if you could have any superpower, what would it be?" So if you're ever feeding the missionaries, feel free to ask them these questions. Chances are they have never been asked how they would invade a small country :)
I really don't know what else to say.....