July 15, 2013
Hey guys. Remember that one time when my best friend ever came to the MTC just 3 weeks after me and ended up in my exact same zone so I saw her all the time and I was freaking out with joy?
It happened again!
Or something similar.
Transfers were on Tuesday, aka the very day after we email home. So, Hermana Larsen and I knew we were staying together, and we knew we were training a new missionary. But, we had no clue until the very moment President called us up to the front of the chapel exactly who that missionary would be. And believe me, we tried to find out. And, we got shut down real quick. But, I guess President himself doesn’t know until after he interviews the missionaries that night and prays about it. So really, only Heavenly Father knew. He likes to give me surprises.
So, after our training on being trainers–which was slightly stressful…even though we’re not supposed to refer to them as our babies [disregard last email haha] it’s like they are. We’re raising the next “generation” of missionaries and we cannot breed disobedient or lazy missionaries!–we filed into the chapel. Trainees on the left, trainers on the right. Obviously, we were all looking at each other on the way in. Who are we going to get? I hope she’s a good missionary. I wonder what she’s thinking right now. Is she as nervous as we are? In the middle of my train of thought, in walks a familiar face…
HERMANA LEWIS! HI!
I did a triple take just to make sure.
OHMYGOODNESS HI HERMANA ASHBY!!!!!
…..what are you doing here?!
After a huge hug and some slight reminiscing, I found out that she’s here on visa-wait for Argentina. Whatarethechances. So we sit down and get all reverent, and President gets right to it. He starts saying a name, hesitates, and announces, “I’m going to start at the bottom this time.” What? Ok? Butterflies up the wazoo in me and Hermana Larsen’s tummies.
“Hermanas Larsen and Lewis come up and explain your area.”
“You two will be training………[insert deep breath]……Hermana Ashby!”
[CUE SHOCKED FACES]
I reached out my arms to her. Hermana Ashby hesitated for a second. Hermana Larsen is shocked. President and the rest of the missionaries/”supporters” in the chapel are just confused.
Hermana Ashby says, “uhhh…I know her. She’s my friend!”
President is just looking at us like oh no what did I do…. Keep in mind that this is right after he explained to us that as he was praying last night all the names matched up perfectly. So yes. It was in fact divine intervention that after 5 years of not seeing each other, Hermana Ashby and I are now companions and with each other 24/7. In the words of Hermana Daines (she’s training too) “Are you kidding me?! Again?!?!” Not complaining.
It is so fun. She is an amazing missionary, and our companionship is great. We have a blast together and we just ‘clicked’ right from the very beginning. We love her, and we think she loves us. She says she does anyways! And we’re praying that her visa doesn’t come so quick…oops?
This week turned out to have more meetings than most, including MLC. Which turned out to be rather exciting because we got to go to……SIESTA KEY BEACH!!!! YES! President Cusick took all the zone leaders and sister training leaders to do our last session on the beach. Not just any beach, the #1 beach in the world. Or so it’s called. I believe it. Florida beaches have my heart. [Take note: Family trip out here pronto ok?] It was heaven to walk through that white, squeaky sand and look at the clear blue water from 100 yards away because we didn’t dare get too close. [#lifeofasistermish] But seriously. Go President Cusick! Not to mention I always walk away from his trainings with 150% more motivation to get out there and baptize the world! Invite invite invite! Work hard! Pray harder! And all that. [Plus he basically told us more obedience=iPads for the mission. Not that that’s my new motivation or anything….]
We struggled with work this week though because we had 3 full days in which we couldn’t do any work. That weighs on us as missionaries. We are happiest when we work the hardest. There’s no better feeling than collapsing into bed, no strength left, having given all we can give that day. Even when we have no control over if we can work or not [sickness, meetings, transfers, weekly planning] it does not feel good to not be out and preaching the gospel!
But the Lord knows we’re trying to be obedient and wants to bless us. We see that over and over again. We saw it hugely last night. Sunday night after studies, we hurried out of the house. We had a family who we wanted to contact. But they weren’t our first priority. It was the family of these 2 adorable girls that we met in the Walmart bathroom this week. Hermana Larsen had felt prompted to go back into the bathroom and ask for their address so we could come visit them. So, we were on our way to visit another family, but we saw the street that the girls lived on and immediately turned. CUE BLESSINGS. In this house we found 11 people all living together. Their mom is a total sweetheart and was so interested in the Book of Mormon. The littlest girl, Anahi [the one we met in Walmart] ran up to the door as soon as she saw us and shouted, “I knew it was you guys!! I knew you would come!” I guess after we met her she had been telling her mom all week that somebody was going to visit them. Her mom, of course, was skeptical, but the Lord led us right there!
The mom, Sandy, then brings out her daughter Victoria who had talked with missionaries before but had never taken lessons. But she knew a lot about how we got here and what we can/can’t do as missionaries. It makes me so grateful for those missionaries who plant those seeds….they’ll never know exactly what they did. But they really did make an impact on her. She not only came and verified that we were, in fact, the same kind of missionaries [I love these little black tags], but she stayed and listened. We prayed with their family–not an easy task as Sandy alone has 7 kids, plus a son in law, grandson, cousin, and mother living with them–and went out to the car to grab more Book of Mormons for them. In the car, we had just enough. 6 to be exact, plus 1 Libro. The kids were all fighting over who had to share them and who had already gotten a picture of Jesus for a bookmark. I guess if they’re going to fight over anything…hahaha it was adorable. That family is all stoked on the Book and beyond stoked for us to come back. Little Anahi wanted to come out with us and teach more people. cuuuuutie. Sandy said, “No..but maybe when you’re older you can save up and go on a mission just like them!” DO IT ANAHI. Kids are the best. We just sat in our car for minute after that lesson in total shock. And then said a companionship prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father.
What better confirmation that our work is sufficient and acceptable before Him than when Heavenly Father literally POURS miracles on our heads? I love this work. I love sharing the Book of Mormon with people because there is so much power in it. That book changes lives. And I know with all my heart that it’s true!
Starting a new transfer with a new zeal for being a missionary. A soldier in the Lord’s Army. It’s amazing.
I love it.
Love you all so much!