Tuesday, January 14, 2014


January 6, 2013

What a week! Monday afternoon brought the Transfer Meeting again and I was ready. SO ready. I so badly wanted to open an area again and train again. I love it SO much! The meeting came and there I was, ready to do it all over again. The changes were announced and guess who was called to train and open an area? Not me! Hermana Dickey, my “hija!” I was excited for her, but when I realized that I wouldn't be getting transferred I was a little sad. Train and Open Areas every transfer is all I have done since I left Tarapoto and it was all I wanted to do for my whole mission. I started thinking that because my Anxiety Issues maybe President decided I couldn't keep opening areas or that I hadn't taught my companion enough or something like that. It was a bummer! I felt like it was the middle of the championship game and I had just been benched and looked up thinking “But why? I was doing so good!”

Okay, let’s be honest. Technically I am still training and opening an area. Training lasts two transfers and opening an area lasts as many as three or four at times, but, expecting that I would only be there for one transfer like last time, I accelerated everything and did all of the 12 Week Program in six weeks. I guess now we’ll just use our extra study hour to do more practices.

Anyway, as I let myself feel incapable and a little sorry for myself, I talked to another Sister Leader from another part and she told me that she hadn't been transferred either. Later, it was explained to us that Sister Leaders won’t be doing a whole lot of crazy area openings and things like that anymore because the tone of our mission has changed and our focus was to help the other sisters and we couldn't have a huge weight in our own areas. We were given a new list of responsibilities. Now, I have to spend at least 2 days a week out of my area doing a “work visit” with other sisters to see how I can help them in their areas. I have to keep visiting the Baptism dates that the sisters have, do interviews, obedience checks, etc.

It wasn't being completely taken out of the game. It was more like being a player that moved on to supervise. I wasn't benched…I was coached. My focus is now more of helping others have success and open areas and train and doing less of it myself. At first I was bummed. I remember thinking “Why don’t I just give the dumb leadership binder back to the offices so that they can send me out into the deep jungle with a newby to keep opening areas?”

But, little by little, I started to get a better attitude. We had the Leadership Council again (another month has already passed!) and I realized that, whether I believe it or not, I can make a better difference in the position I am than in the place I want to be. It was cool to see how one little idea that I had ended up becoming a lasting Mission Standard of Excellence. I also saw how not opening an area right now has helped me to actually work in several as I go out to work in different areas. It’s not exactly the preferred role that I would like to have right now, but I am trying to be happy and make the best of it.

This has also helped me to see how God’s promises have been fulfilled in my mission. I have seen how my experiences and trials have been able to bless all of the sweet new sisters that I work with. It would be easy to get frustrated and not answer when the call me with a bazillion questions or because they’re sad or stressed or sick or don’t know what to do. But, wanna know who keeps me in line when I’m tempted to shut down? I just try to think of a scared 19 year old girl in Tarapoto down on her knees crying her eyes out. Her body had broken out in some foreign rash and her leaders were on their way to take her to the Hospital that scared her to death. She didn’t understand a word that was said to her and she was convinced that she never would. She missed her family and friends. She wanted to go home more than anything. She asked the one English Speaker that she knew to give her a blessing and she was promised that all the experiences she was having would be for her good and for the good of many others.

I never, ever thought that I would come out of that place that I found myself in when I first got here. I cannot believe how much I have grown in this time. I didn't understand how my trials (which seemed absolutely unbearable in that time) would help me AND others, but now I see them everyday. The mission really is a “Refiner’s Fire” like I learned so long ago, but it is so worth it. SO worth it. If I have to step back a little bit to share my experiences with others, it is worth it. “Not my will, but thine be done!”

We had a beautiful Baptism on Saturday. We've been teaching Helenci (Rosa’s daughter) for awhile now but it was hard to get her to really accept Baptism. Her husband and kids are all members and seeing her Mom’s Baptism helped encourage her to want to do the same thing. Her husband came up to us after the service and told us “Thank you for completing my family.” It was so sweet. He was inactive for a long time, and now the whole family is strong in the Gospel. It was so sweet. Oh the people here, oh how I just love them. Members, Converts, Investigators, Other Missionaries, Companions, people in the street, everything. I love it!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Simonson  

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