Monday, May 5, 2014

Who Says This Ship is Sinking Anyway?

There just aren’t even words to describe everything. It’s funny how, two weeks ago, I was sure that things couldn’t get any harder. Well…they did. On top of not having a companion, having a dying area, and my health going downhill, we faced some pretty serious problems this week.

For the last couple weeks, I had just been trying to pretend like everything was okay in our little district, but it really wasn't. I knew I needed to talk to the Zone Leaders but I was worried that I would cause trouble, and they would be mad because I took so long to tell them. Better to just let it blow over, right? Wrong.

After lunch on Wednesday, I felt a really, really big need to call them. It took a lot of courage, but I called them and said that I needed to talk to them. So, I met up with them at the church and I talked to them alone and told them everything that has been happening (we had had some big problems with our District Leader). They told me that they were going to have to talk to him and I got really scared because I knew that he would be mad but, long story short, I was kind of put into "hiding" for two days and then my District Leader got an emergency transfer and once he was gone, my Zone Leaders gave me permission to go back and work in my area.

One problem, I wasn't so sure that I wanted to go back and work in my area. I just remember thinking “What’s the point? Everywhere I go I just remember everything that has happened and I feel scared. I’m probably getting transferred in a few days anyway. I don’t have a companion, I don’t feel good, the area is already down the drain, the members don’t want to work with me, I have no one to teach, everyone in the ward just keeps asking where my District Leader went and I don’t want to talk about it, I’m not doing any good anyway! I am just going to avoid my area and in a few days someone new can come in and it can be THEIR problem!”

I was thinking that way as I followed Hermana Allphin and Hermana Hernandez through their area. We were working out on the river where we have to walk on these funny plank bridges. It always reminds me of Pirates of the Carribean, so my mind wandered there for a second (I know, what a horrible, unfocused missionary!) until I remembered on of my favorite lines from those movies. “A GOOD CAPTAIN ALWAYS GOES DOWN WITH HIS SHIP!”

I could not believe how much that thought applied to me. I started thinking back on the day that I first got to this area. I was tired and frustrated and could not believe that, yet again, I was going to open an area and start training. No Area Book, no map, no knowledge of the area, NOTHING. The ward only had 57 people going to church and missionaries had never been in this part of the ward. It was ridiculously hard but, after months of hard work, the area became very well known for the success that it was having.

Opening the Area Book (now that we have one!) is amazing because every page, every person taught and found, is Hermana Simonson and Hermana Hernandez, and then Hermana Simonson and Hermana Ventura, and then just Hermana Simonson. This area IS my ship. We have seen so many miracles here.

I asked Hermana Allphin if I could make a phone call, and I found members willing to work with me. I went back out to my area, willing to “thrust my sickle with all my might.” If my area was going to go downhill, I would at least be out there going down with it.

Sunday came, and I was able to bring three full families of Investigators to the church, and almost all of them committed to Baptism. The Anxiety Sister was there and happier than ever, people were glad to see me, and the Spirit was strong. The best part, and one of the most rewarding parts of my mission, was walking into the chapel. We have had a new schedule change (Peruvians do NOT do well with early) and I was half expecting the chapel to be empty. Well, it ALMOST was, except for three or four rows of amazing people that had gotten there even earlier than I did.

Want to know the best part? ALL of the people on those three rows, the only people that were there, were my converts. I didn't know whether to smile or cry. These people really have been converted, and I have been a part of that. How blessed am I?

I found so much peace during the meetings. If my area gets handed over to someone else, they will be lucky enough to come to an area with lots of progressing investigators and I can honestly say that I left my area better than I found it.

If I stay here, I will be able to keep working with these amazing people. And, no matter what happens with the transfers today, I know that I will at least have a companion…and District Leader…from here on out. Everything is just great.

Love you all!

Thanks for your prayers and support. This work is amazing!!!

~Hermana Simonson

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