So good to hear from you all this week. Was that kind of read to open up the email I sent last week and read that I had a hard time coming up with things to say? For some reason the spirit was confounding my mind. My tongue was tied and I had no idea why. We got back in to the car after I sent off my extremely brief email and I started crying. I told my companion what happened and how confused and frustrated I was. She said that the same exact thing happened to her! We both felt like everything we were typing in our emails were pretty superficial just "we did this..and we did that..." kind of accounts of what happened in the week. I told her that the last week of the transfer was proving really hard for me. I was feeling like there was something big looming above me in the air. An unseen pressure that was becoming increasingly heavier. I felt really overwhelmed, but I didn't know why. All of a sudden there were thoughts that filled my mind that I wasn't that great of a missionary. That I didn't know enough. That I didn't have the faith that I felt like I had. It was the strangest experience. All of these random thoughts just came pouring in my head at once. It became too much. Sister Mills suggested that I get a Priesthood blessing, but I said that I needed to go be by myself for a few minutes and offer up a prayer to my Heavenly Father for some much needed comfort and guidance. We were in the church parking lot. I walked to a patch of shaded grass and sister Mills waited for me in the car. I offered a vocal prayer and poured out my heart. Big, heavy tears fell down my cheeks and dotted my shirt. After I had divulged my thoughts, feelings, needs, wants, and expressed my gratitude to Heavenly Father I felt an immediate sense of relief. I felt excited again. Hopeful. Positive. Happy. Ready to get back out there and do the work.
So it did but at the same time didn't surprise me when President called later that week to tell me that I was going to be made a trainer. Can you believe it? I am TRAINING!!!!!! Hahah this greenie is training a greenie! I am sitting next to her right now at the library here is Silverdale. So transfers were yesterday (Monday) which is why I didn't email yesterday. So for the next 6 weeks, my third transfer in the mission, I am still in Silverdale!! It is crazy that I have only been out for 2 transfers and I am already training. There was a legendary sister in the Mission that a while back had trained her second transfer, so she was training when she should have been getting follow up trained. So for me to be training during my third transfer is right up there with her in craziness. I did not expect or anticipate training this soon in my mission at all. So much pressure. So much responsibility. So much expectation. So much patience. And that is all just for trainers in general, let alone a greenie trainer!! When President called to tell me that I was training I felt instantly so nervous. Sister Mills in Silverdale was all I had ever known. We worked so well together and worked so hard to build the area. We had been through a lot together and we were seeing the fruits of our labors this past transfer and couldn't wait to experience more miracles in this next transfer. Sadly, they transferred her up to fix up an area in Port Angeles. We had gone on Labor Day up to Forks, WA to do the Twilight tour (I know....we are embarassing.) But it was so fun. You all are jealous. Anyway, you have to drive through Port Angeles on the way up. Sister Mills was like "Man, this place is a hole!" Haha be careful what you wish for. Boom. You'll get transferred there.
So yesterday when we were at the transfer meeting, they gathered all the trainers together in the hallway for the traditional "run in when your name is called to get your son or daughter (elder/sister greenie)." So much excitement. So much buzz. I walk into the hallway and everyone was like "What??? you are training??? you just got here." I seriously felt like I was in the locker room of a championship team. People that had seen victory and loss together and were seasoned players. Now they were gearing up for the fight of their lives and getting pumped before running out into the stadium. And then the camera pans over to me. The waterboy. Who looks and feels a little (and by little I mean a lot) out of place. Haha. But it was cool though. Everyone said I can do it. President obviouslt thinks that I can. And my Heavenly Father and Savior know that I can do it, too. I was so nervous but when my name was called I ran in to get my greenie and was met by a 5'9 lanky hipster from Mesa, AZ. Her name is Sister Taylor Holman. Hahah she waaaaaay chill. She wears bracelets and rings and feathers. We like all the same music. And she likes to shop!! Score. Sister hated shopping. It killed me that she would even put a 10 min cap on the time we spent in Target. So it's great to know that now I could browse if I wanted to. But training has been awesome so far. It definitely puts you on the fast track to growing, stretching, and learning. It runs on humility, diligence, and obedience. Basically, if you are obedient and follow the Spirit at all times, it is the fool proof method for becoming my best self. My best missionary self. Best companion self. Best disciple. Best self all around. I feel like I can see my area with all new eyes again. The eyes that I came out into the field with. That everyone is a possibility for a baptism and that miracles will happen.
The Sleeping Giant, that was Silverdale has been stirring and now I know it will stand on its feet this next transfer. We have been working pretty regularly with Taylor, the 16 yr old boy from HI. He was on-date to be baptized but because he is a minor he needs parental consent. That is where the plot thickens. His parents are supportive in the sense of giving him rides to church and allowing us to come over and teach him, but they are not too keen on the idea of him actually changing his lifestyle and making long-term commitments. The progress that Taylor has made so quickly and his love for the Gospel was not anticipated on their end so I think it has definitely taken them by surprise. It's frustrating to hear that they want him to "shop around" for other churches but I can see where they are coming from as parents. So to help them better understand where we and Taylor is coming from, we are taking both of his parents on a church tour today later this afternoon. To let them see where Taylor goes on Sundays and hear more about what he learns. My companion hasn't even been to our church building before, let alone given a church tour and we have appts until our appt with them. So.....I have a large responsiblity in the success of the church tour. It will be a make or break moment for Taylor. No pressure...
Grody food story. So....I have come to the conclusion that I do not really have a liking for Samoan food. At least the food that I have tried. I always feel awful when I am offered food of this time drinks that I just have a hard time swallowing. We were at our recent converts house the other day. The mom offers us something to drink. Our options are water and pineapple juice. I never have been a fan of liquid calories so I just ask for water. But she gives me pineapple just anyway cause my comp asked for it. Big mistake. Umm it was thick and white and creamy with chunks of pineapple in it. Hmmm. Not exactly sure what "carnation" is but I think it is sweetened condensed milk or something of the sort, because that is what the mom said was in the drink when I had asked. Yeah I took like 2 maybe 3 sips at the max and the only liquid that was swallowed was whatever fit through the cracks of my teeth. But a good food story....shave ice!!! Remember the Hew-lens?? The family that has been in HI almost my whole time in the mission? Well they are back and we became instant friends. They invited us over for dinner once but we already had an appt but they dropped off food at our house anyway. Lau lau, Kalua pork, rice, poi, and guava cake. Tasty. Speaking of tasty our long anticipated ward luau is finally approaching. Our ward council has been planning this for months and we have been inviting our investigators, less actives, and recent converts out to it. We were even raising a pig just for roasting that Bro Elkington and Bro Hew-len were going to do. But the pig must have heard the plan and started skipping meals or something cause its only 100 lbs and it needed to be 200lbs to feed all the people that will be attending. But this is the best part: a professional hula group is coming and performing at it and guess what.....so are me and my comp!! Hahah sis Hew-len is part of the dance group and she is also in the Young Women presidency so she asked all the YW to participate and she got permission to teach us the Hukilau!!! Haha so I learned it the other day with Sis Mills and now Sis Holman will have to learn it. Its way easy and fun so it should be way fun to perform it.
Have I told you much about my favorite companionship ever, the Finnegans? They are the military relations senior couple missionaries for our stake and the Bremerton stake and truly have been a God send. My first transfer in the area it was so hard to be able to get on base to reach all of our member, part member, and less active families on the base because we didn't have people that could take us. They help us out so much and it has been the biggest joy to serve with them. Sister Finnegan is a convert to the church. She joined the church in the "old country" as she calls it. In other words, her homeland of Scotland. Elder Finnegan just retired as the MTC bookstore manager. They are from Orem, UT and are my grandparents away from home out here in the mission. Whenever we have a really rough or hard day we go over for a cookie or just to talk for a bit. They are the greatest. They have all married kids, grandchildren, and even some great grandchildren. We had a satellite broadcast from SLC for our stake conference this past weekend with Elder Packer, Elder Holland, Elder Snow of the Seventy, and Sis Dalton from the General YW Presidency. One interesting message that was shared in the adult session on Saturday night (which was not broadcasted) was how much the church needs senior couple missionaries. We need you and we need you now. You know who you are that I am talking about. Just plan on going and everything will work out for your good so that you will be able to go.
Well, my time on the computer is running out. As always there is always so much to say and not enough time to say it. I am working hard and praying for miracles. I have come to realize the power and importance of having the Spirit with you at all times and in all things and in all places. If there is anything in your life that is keeping the spirit from dwelling within you, change it. And change it now. It is precious gift to be given the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Let it be your guide. Your comforter. You protector. Your friend. There is a scripture my comp shared with me in John 14:16-18 about the Holy Ghost. Look it up!
Love you all,