My Dearest Family and Friends,
This has been and probably will be the hardest week of my mission. Good to get it out early I guess. Last Tuesday was our Trainer/Trainee meeting in Grand Island. We split up into trainees and trainers so I got to be with my Sisters from the MTC. This was such a tender mercy of the Lord. These girls are my family out here and I was so grateful to be able to hug them and hear how they are doing. This was such a great meeting. President and sister Weston instructed us trainees. They are so stinking awesome! Pres. Weston in Justice and S. Weston is Mercy. I am so grateful for them.
That night we had an awesome lesson with our investigator Sylvia. We watched the Joseph Smith movie. Afterwards I was bearing my testimony on eternal families, which was odd because I usually don't when talking about the restoration, but I felt prompted to. I later came to find out that Grandpa had passed away and I know that it was the spirit and Grandpa prompting me to share my testimony on eternal families.
Wednesday we were in Seward for our district meeting and when we left I saw that I had a missed call from Sister Weston. I didn't think anything of it. She informed me that Grandpa had passed away. I was not expecting that to be what she was calling about. I was blessed to be able to tell her all about him and she let me know that we could go to our apartment and just relax for the day. After I hung up the phone we went to lunch with the sisters in our district. I pulled myself together and stayed that way until we got in the car again and I lost it. We went home and I crashed and slept for a few hours. That was the only way I knew to cope with the situation. I feel bad for S. Gomez because I'm sure she felt useless. When I woke up we went to the Branch Mission Leader's home and he gave me a great blessing of comfort and peace. That was such a blessing. We went to softball practice after that because it kept my mind off of home.
Thursday we had appointments all day so that was great to keep me busy. One of our appointments was with Miguel at his uncles, the Munoz's, home. The Munoz family is one of my families out here. We taught the plan of salvation. I was fine through the whole thing until it came time to bare my testimony and I lost it. I felt comfortable with telling them what was going on because we are close to Miguel and the Munoz family. Brother Munoz shared how lucky they are to have such valiant missionaries serving in this area. He told me how proud he is of me being out here and working through this hard time. How grateful I am for the members of this branch.
Friday was temple day. What a tremendous blessing it was that we could go. Usually the missionaries in Columbus don't get to go because it is 'too far away' but 2 weeks earlier we had permission that if we found members to drive us that we could go! Heavenly Father knew this is what I would need after loosing grandpa. I am so grateful for how aware and involved he is in each and every one of our lives, especially mine. Sitting in the Celestial room was such a sacred experience. The room was filled with missionaries and President and Sister Weston welcoming us in. I was able to sit and ponder about grandpa and as I did I felt him so close to me. Ashley was there too. We are so blessed to be sealed together as a family so that we can feel of their presence always. I could not be out here doing this right now if I didn't know that Ashley and Grandpa were here bearing me up.
We got to go to dinner with the sisters in our zone, which was another tender mercy. It was so nice to be able to be around these strong influences. They were all so supportive and loving to me and it definitely helped.
Saturday was the softball tournament! We.....lost 3 games and won 1 due to a forfeit....bummer dude! But it was still way fun! Kept my mind off home and we had 5 investigators there playing with us! I got a little toasty and I am still sore.
Sunday was a beautiful day. One of our closest member friends, Sister Spicer, was waiting as I walked into sacrament meeting to give me a big hug. I am not sure how she found out about grandpa but I am grateful. She told me that her grandpa passed away after being on Dialysis for so long as well. I talked and cried with her for a few minutes. I am so grateful for her! She and Brother Spicer invited us over for dinner so we got to spend more time with them. Sister Bishop went through almost the exact same thing that I am currently going through. Her grandpa also passed away her first transfer of the mission. She let me know that we are welcome to go over to her house anytime if I ever need to talk about anything. It was great to talk to someone who had gone through the same thing. She understands that it is something that I have to go through along with only my Savior, but who better to go through a trial with than with my perfect older brother who knows and has felt exactly as I do.
We went to the trail center and then to a concert put on by the missionaries in Omaha. It was called, " Oh how lovely was the morning" and it was songs about the restoration and Joseph Smith. Between the 3 sets of missionaries we brought 2 non-members, a non-member family and an inactive family. It was so great to be in Omaha with them allowing them to feel the spirit of the pioneers and their ancestors.
This week will not be quite as busy so I am scared that it will be hard to keep my mind off home. Luckily I get to see my sisters again on Friday. It is Zone Conference and Elder Robinson of the 70 is coming to 'tour the mission.' I am trying to refocus on the work, which is harder than it seems, but I know this experience will only strengthen me. There is time and a season for everything and I know that I am out here at this time for a reason. As hard as it is, I am grateful to be out here at this time. This is definitely strengthening my testimony and my ability to understand and teach our investigators better. "Thine adversities and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment." Keep that in mind no matter what you are going through this week. Always remember that we have an older brother who is perfect. He has perfect love for us and wants to help us through these times. Call on him to succor you in you time of need. I love and miss you all something fierce!
"We can be together for ever someday, we will be together forever someday!"
P.S. I don't know if the Baucoms read this so if they don't, tell them I met Sister Youngberg, aka Kaela's roommate! She is Sister Page's companion! Small world eh?!
Columbus Softball Gang
Guess who I saw?!?!?! Sister Page! Best day ever! Luckily I get to see her again on Friday!