August 12, 2013
Well, I flew out to Iquitos again this week and, guess what, I STAYED WITH HERMANA PRICE!!!! And, guess what else, WE WERE COMPANIONS FOR A DAY!!! It was so great. Can I just point out that that girl is amazing? She was calling the Motokars and talking with everyone and just happened to pull together a wedding after a few last minute emergencies. It was amazing to watch her. It also boosted my own confidence to see that, while there are only two gringas in the whole mission, we worked together for a day and we were walking down the streets speaking Spanish, inviting people to church, and eating our jungle fruit. It really helped us both to realize that we can do this. Not to mention the fact that it was a blast!
We got our new mission president when the mission split, but I had only seen him about one time since he got here. (We're a little bit far away here in Tarapoto!). But, this week was really cool because after my companion's meetings in Iquitos, we flew to Tarapoto with President Gomez, his wife, and their daughter. It was really cool to get to know him a little bit better. Then, we had zone conference and he taught us a ton of great things. That night, I got to do splits and go teaching with their daughter, Amy, who just turned 19 this week. It was super fun to get to know their family a little bit better and it was Amy`s first time getting to teach with missionaries and she`s thinking about serving her own mission, so she called me her first trainer. She's a super cute girl!
The Divine Help:
Saturday morning was super rainy and wet and we were in our Motokar headed toward an appointment and there was a car parked on the side of the road (yes, with our luck one of the 3 cars in Tarapoto just happened to be there) and this car peeled out and u-turned in front of our speeding Motokar and we were certain we were going to crash. But somehow in that split second before the awful crash (there is no hope for motokars when they collide with cars) I just felt so calm. It didn't scare me at all to see this happened. As the motokar headed straight for this car, I really can't describe what happened, but it was like some little force gently pushed us back and we missed the car by literally a centimeter or two. It was insane. The driver couldn't describe it and was completely confused about why we didn't crash. It seemed physically impossible. Well, as missionaries of the only true church, we understood exactly what happened. God wasn't kidding when, in my blessing, He inspired President Topham to say that I would be kept safe by Guardian Angels.
This week just about did me in with the companion stuff. When she saw that I didn't fast she got right into me and all that I heard this week was that I didn't have enough faith and that I needed to be more like here and all that fun stuff. I even started being used in the lessons as an example of someone who needed more face. You know me and know that I didn't have it in my to say anything. I tried to laugh about it and showed her pictures of me passed out in the MTC for trying to fast and how I was told specifically by the Doctor's there that I should not fast if I want to serve my mission without coming home early. This didn't convince here at all and I was breaking inside. I was just losing it and I didn't know what to do. I wasn't showing anything on the outside, but on the inside I was super bugged.
The Lessons Learned:
With all of this happening, I was trying hard to force myself to look okay on the outside. Well, I didn't fool anyone. I was acting like normal but I had 3 people ask me if I was okay, after that Elder Burleson pulled me into the Branch President's office to ask what was wrong, the Relief Society President was teaching a lesson and talking about how sharing the Gospel brings happiness and mentioned that we could all look like Hermana Simonson with her happiness "On a normal day, because I'm not sure why she's sad today." Even Alex and Alexia pulled me aside and asked me what was wrong. I was super confused because on the outside I was fine. I was smiling and laughing. But, when someone mentioned my light was dim, I finally figured it out. Letting myself be bugged with my companion killed the Spirit inside me. The people don't think that I'm a happy person because I laugh and smile, they think I'm a happy person because, when I have the Spirit, I have a light within me. The outside really doesn't matter if I'm not Spiritually okay.
It was then that I reflected on one of the lessons that I taught a young Investigator, Kiara, when I was teaching with Amy. Kiara was having problems with her Mom and teaching the lesson about The Ten Commandments and Honoring your Parents didn't go over well with her. It was a great lesson as I helped her realized that we can never change other people and that we always have to be the bigger person, even when we're young, and help others and have the pure love of Christ.
As I thought about this, I realized that it applies to me even more than Kiara. I have to just learn to love no matter what. It's not enough to smile on the outside if I'm filled with pride on the inside.
I guess this is one of the many blessings of serving a mission. It's that I have this amazing opportunity to learn and grow and become better...even when it's hard. Really, my companion is probably one of the biggest blessings I'll have during my mission because I'm learning to be a lot more Christ-like and have unconditional love. It's not easy, but, as I learned this week, there's always divine help!!!
|Hermana Simonson and Hermana Price|