Sister Patterson and I are staying!
We have no idea how we are the only companionship in our district where both missionaries survived t-texts--each missionary companionship has one person leaving...
Except for our Elders, as Elder Wilhelmsen is going home and Elder Paiva is being transferred. We just found out that the new Elders coming in are the office elders, so they only have 3 hours each day to proselyte.
What does this mean? The Elders' whole teaching pool is being turned over to us. Oh man. I was overwhelmed with that thought yesterday, especially I may be the "go-to" for each individual since I've been here since July. I'm feeling better about it now but it was a surprise we did not see coming! I sure thought I would be transferred closer to Boston but, as Remi said in the movie Ratatouille, "The most predictable thing in life is unpredictability."
I'm excited for all the new changes as the Missionaries in our District are going to other great areas. Sister Patterson have our Zion-like companionship, and we are ready to continue putting in full effort. In fact, although the idea of numbers may not matter so much, Elder Wilhelmsen told us last night that the number of Investigators (not all progressing, but at least they have exposure to the gospel) for the Weston 1st Sisters increased from 1 in August, 3 in September, 4 in October, 4 in November, and 9 in December. We must somehow be doing something right with the Lord's help for work.
I'll have been here over 7 months in this area. We will see what happens...
Dearest family, I sure enjoyed Skyping you all on Christmas. :) It felt so fulfilling and every minute of it was perfect. I hope the rest of your Christmas ended up being the best. I am glad that you are all doing well. Mom, I am glad you were feeling well on Christmas but am sorry you got sick after. I am also still keeping Grandma in my prayers. Sometimes I worry about her. She reminds me a lot of myself, including how I often push and keep going even when I know I should slow down, sometimes even to take my mind off of other things going on. She is definitely one trooper.
There were some more memorable moments from this week.
Since Elder Wilhelmsen is our District Leader and is leaving soon, he put together a different set up for role-plays at the end of last week's District Meeting. He had us all sit in a circle, and placed a "charity chair" at the front of the circle. We each took turns to sit in the chair, and each person had to say what the positive qualities they observed in that person, without repeating what others said, with their companion going last. It was a special and very memorable experience, as there were some tears and the spirit was definitely there. At the end, he invited us to be charitable with those we teach and come in contact with by sharing the qualities we admire in them and how much potential we see in them.
We also saw taught the first lesson to lady who came to church by herself. She is such a sweetheart and still wants to learn more, as she says it all makes sense. She has been searching for a church that feels completely right, as there were some religious practices she observed while growing up that she did not agree with. She came to church once again yesterday, and loved every minute of it. She asked us sincere questions that we were glad we could answer. I am very touched to see her progression and her desire to learn more of the gospel.
Right after her lesson this weekend, we hurried over to another lesson with someone we met at the Library (you know that's where it's at. :) ) We began to teach part of the first lesson, as we taught about God is our loving Heavenly Father, how the gospel blesses our families, and the importance of prophets, as well as Christ's earthly ministry and Atonement. I can see how he needs to truly know he is a son of our Heavenly Father, and we are also working on helping him learn more about our Savior and the importance of the Atonement. We asked him if he prays, but he says that he doesn't because he does not know how. So right there in that study room, we taught him step by step how we pray to our Heavenly Father, and asked him to pray more often, including that night. We followed up yesterday with how his prayers are going and received the absolute sweetest response from him...
I did pray last night for the first time.
I did talked to God
I'm sure his spirit was with me
Thanks to you all for your shining light in me.
Sister Patterson and I were very touched. Helping others come to know their Father in Heaven step by step is a one-of-a-kind experience. I am glad that we will be in this area to continue to see these people progress as we come to witness their conversion process.
Anywho, since there's really not much more that happened than those few experiences, I decided to take a different turn for this letter.
Do you ever wonder what happens "Behind the scenes"?
Memorable quotes from the past few transfers...
When Sister Bingham, Sister Patterson's previous companion, was telling me things I should know about her right before we became companions back in October...
Sister Bingham, as she was carrying some tissue boxes into our car: "Now, she uses a lot of tissues, so make sure she keeps them on her."
Me, when I was a little worried, thinking she probably got sick a lot..."Well, I usually keep a lot on hand too, since I have to cough up mucus. That keeps us on a similar page."
It turns out she doesn't get that sick and needs them when she becomes overwhelmed from emotions.
Sister Patterson and I were listening to our cd with overplayed songs, so when the breathy "God, be with you..." I cried out "No!" and changed the song, realizing what I said "No!" to. Haha we got a good laugh.
At the CF appointment, when Dr. Cernadas was looking over my PFT scores as I was going over with her my daily routine...
Dr. Cernadas:" Wow, it's like you're doing everything religiously!"
Me: "I know, right?!"
Then she realized the truth of what she said. That's what I call a true connection between a doc and her patient. :)
On the way back from that CF appointment, I saw a spider on the window, and ended up frantically squirming like no other as I about had a heart attack as he weaved in and out of the air vent. As soon as he came back out and my reflexes caused me to smack him, the same breathy "God be with you, till we meet again." came on.
Elder Wilhelmsen's famous line: "No worries."
When we were driving with the Elders, Sister Patterson saw a man outside of the car starting to shuffle his feet. She started to sing quietly, "Do a little dance," as he put his arms in the air and waved them around, right to the beat. Sister Patterson caused him to dance to what she was singing, and there's no way he could have heard her.
Sister Patterson's, "I wish that in these times, when you're afraid to say something because they might get offended that Jesus could just come in and tell them, and they couldn't get offended...because He's Jesus!"
At this last Friday's District Meeting, Elder Paiva had his turn to tell Elder Wilhemsen how he felt about him, as he had a hard time talking through his tears, "Elder Wilhelmsen is the most selfish person I know!" Poor Elder Paiva is still working on his English. :)
Those are the best quotes I can remember. I may include more later if any come to mind.
There are many things that I am still working on personally, including taking on different tasks as change comes along. I am looking forward to 2014, as it will be immersed in more efforts to hasten the Lord's work of Salvation, along with personal progression and growth. There is a poem that Sister Patterson's sister wrote that fits well with striving to reach our full potential while continually striving to do better. We are all imperfect, but our Savior Jesus Christ is there to help make up for our shortcomings, since we cannot do it on our own.
Teachability Is Perfection
“Perfection seems to indicate a sort of end. A final mastery of something. But how boring would eternity be if there wasn’t room for growth? So perfection is about becoming one in purpose with God. Therefore, we should focus on that, which is attainable by everyone no matter their level of education or mastery of skills. Perfection is not an end. It is not beyond us. When Christ takes over and makes up for our weaknesses-we become perfect. So that relationship with Christ and our Heavenly Father is the most important step towards perfection. Perfection is allowing Christ to fill the gaps-we don’t have to do it all by ourselves”
-Jessie Kate Patterson
I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!! Let's make the most of 2014!!
Love you all very much!