Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Knowing the Heart

September 9, 2013 

Another week down! After last Monday, I really had a new view on the mission and remembered that it really is a privilege to be here. I think I needed that slap in the face a little bit because I had, once again, found myself caught in the Pride Cycle. It's amazing how easy it is to fall into that. I've just been really trying to focus myself in being more Christ-like, and God gave me the perfect opportunity to try it this week.

At the end of every month, we have a zone council where everyone has to give their baptism numbers for the month: How many baptisms, how many of these baptisms were families, and how many of these baptisms were adult men. It can be a bit of a downer sometimes.

We've always had the most Baptisms, and honestly, this time I was sick of it. I watched the faces of all these Elders just looking so down as the Zone Leaders went off about how they need to be more like the Hermanas and I had honestly kind of liked it before, but this time it got to me.

We were all sitting there looking at the numbers on the board as the Zone Leaders asked us one-by-one what we thought. When it got to my turn, I had the strongest feeling: You KNOW what you need to do. I knew it was crazy and that my companion might kill me, but I couldn't deny the impression. I sat there for a minute as they were waiting my answer and I said, "I think that...well honestly I think that three companionships are liars, and one of them is us."

I walked up to the whiteboard and erased the Aeropuerto 1 number, as well as Partido Alto, and Shilcayo 2. I gave Aeropuerto two baptisms with one family (Patty and Astry), and Partido Alto one Baptism (Teresita). Then, I turned to Shilcayo2 (us) and wrote a big fat 0-0-0. I was almost in tears as I said that we hadn't baptized anyone in our own Branch, we had only Baptized the references that the Elders had given us and that it wouldn't have been possible without them.

I explained that the only reason we had ever baptized more is because they were all looking out for us and that we couldn't keep taking credit for that. Maybe I was acting a little crazy, but in the end I had several Elders come up to me practically in tears, and it made it all worth it.

I also spent another 3 days in Iquitos this week! I've decided that Iquitos is kind of like my new Provo: The place I go to about once a month to see my friends and sleep on their floor. :)

This week was especially great because not only did I get to see Hermana Price, but also Hermana Vàsquez (mi "mommy") who are now companions!!! How awesome is that? Hermana Vàsquez just keeps on protecting me. Seeing her was such a well needed blessings. Long story short, I might have let some things get to me this last month and so this past Sunday, I decided to try and do the whole fasting thing and it went about how you'd think it would. Not a good idea.

Well, Hermana Vàsquez heard about it in the meetings that she was in in Iquitos with my companion, and she basically freaked out. She pulled me aside and told me she knew that something else was wrong and just asked me to tell everything. I told her how everything had been going and we both cried a little bit and before I knew it we were at dinner with all the sisters in the mission (you know, the whole whopping 8 of us) and Hermana Vasquez and Alvear were outside and it looked ugly.  Hermana Vasquez, as always, was calm and smiling, but Hna Alvear was yelling a bit.

Later that night, Hermana Vasquez and I were put together in the waiting room and I almost didn't dare ask her what she had said to my companion, but she read the look on my face and put her arm around me and said "Well, I told her that if she ever lets you pull a stunt like that again I'll kill the both of you, and a few other things that I had to say to protect my hija."  I laughed and just really enjoyed that time I had with her, knowing the sad truth that this was probably the last time I'd ever see her.

She was so comforting and told me to remember that God loves me and knows my heart and that I don't have to prove myself to anyone. She gave me this beautiful gold necklace of the Lima Temple and when it came time to say goodbye there were a whole lot of tears.

It's crazy to see someone that had been such a huge part of your life and know you might never see them again...and that's just the start of the mission pains! But, I know it will all be worth it. I just keep on loving this work and doing my best to be a good missionary and, with the help of my old trainer, I'm keeping in mind that the only opinion that matters is the one of my Heavenly Father, who really does know my heart.

Love you all!

Hermana Simonson

Hermanas in the Iquitos Mission :) 

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