Hello, family and friends!
I have news. As a reminder, my companion, Sister Dodd, was actually called to serve in the Samoa Apia mission but was just here awaiting her visa paperwork. She arrived here along with a few other visa-waiters to serve in our mission in the meantime. This past week, she (along with a few others) GOT HER VISA and got on a plane and left me this past Sunday :( It was sad seeing her go, but I'm really excited for her to serve the people in Samoa. She'll be a wonderful missionary there as she was here!
Transfers are also THIS WEDNESDAY. President Nelson called me a few days ago and asked me to train a new missionary again - my 3rd trainee so far!! It'll be so fun! I don't know who it is I'll be training yet, but I may train another visa waiter again. It'll be good for me - I love working with the greenie fire!
Until Wednesday, however, I'll be working with Sister Naitoko. I met her at the MTC and we came out together. She had been training a visa waiter that left, as well, so we'll just hang out together, working in both of our areas until Wednesday.
The biggest change, however, is that when my new trainee gets here on Wednesday, she'll join Sis. Naitoko and I and we'll be in a TRIO covering both the BYU-I are and Sis. Naitoko's area in Rexburg. Meaning my area will have 24 wards added to it. We will be covering 152 wards. Prayers are welcome and appreciated. :)
This week I also got the opportunity to go on exchanges with the Sisters in Sugar City - my FIRST AREA! I have so many fond memories and beloved friends there. I was only there for a day, but it made me happy to think about how wonderful it is to be a missionary and interact with people in such a unique way. I love seeing others in a way similar to how Christ sees them. It's liberating an d mind-opening, if that makes sense. I love meeting new people. I love serving people. A lot of this week was spent washing others' dishes, packing boxes, sweeping floors, weeding gardens.It's amazing how when you're doing those things in Christ's name and for the love you feel for them, there's a very noticeable holiness that begins to accompany a task like scrubbing the crusted mac'n'cheese out of bowls and pots. And I actually mean that! The things that seem mundane, boring, lonely, stupid, difficult, or pointless become SO much more meaningful when you realize how it plays a role in the ETERNAL plan that God has for us.
I hope you all watched General Conference and enjoyed it.
My initial faves/highlights:
**Quentin L. Cook's talk about the stumbling blocks to our testimony. We don't need to be looking beyond the mark (Jacob 4)! The gospel is much simpler than we make it out to be and we need to question whether the things in our life are HELPING or HINDERING us.
**Kazuhiku Yamashita's talk about having AMBITION for Christ. I love that. It really inspired me to stop having pity parties, even if they only take place in my own head. None of us really ever has reason to make excuses or complain. It's time that we feel JOY and EXCITEMENT about serving our Savior in whatever capacity we're blessed to.
**M. Russell Ballard's talk about, well, so much. My absolute favorite part was when he discussed how just because something is inexplicable to US doesn't mean that it's inexplicable period. Living the gospel will never not be difficult, so we just need to have faith.
There was a lot more that I learned. Sorry this is kind of a novel, but I just wanted to let you all know that Jesus Christ is on your side! He and Heavenly Father want nothing less than your complete joy. They know what you need in your life in order to attain that.
I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear y'all's thoughts from conference.
Thanks so much for everything.
We didn't take a whole lot of pictures this week, but here's a mediocre-quality shot I got of Sis. Dodd the night before she boarded her plane to Samoa. :( I'm going to miss her!