Monday, January 6, 2014

Grounded for a Day

Hey everyone!

Happy 2014!! Here's some news...Sister Patterson and I are 1/3 way through. Crazy? I think so. But who's counting? ;)

One thing is for sure... the weather is crazy here. Last week, as you may know, it was freeeeeezing. The entire mission was actually red dotted (grounded) inside and not allowed to leave. The temp's dropped to 0 degrees, 30 mph winds came in, and gigungus snow storm hit dumped another foot and a half of snow. This resulted in a large change of plans because Transfer meeting was originally scheduled for that day and the departing missionaries' flights were cancelled. To compromise in some way, our beloved Packard's decided to hold the first-ever conference call for our entire mission spread throughout New England. Over 300 missionaries tuned in/muted their phones to hear the transfer changes/assignments announced again, as well as to hear all the departing missionaries bear their testimonies. Sister Patterson and I blasted the heat inside our car as we listened since our phone reception in our apartment decides to drop every minute.

It was a cool opportunity to have a conference call like that, since the whole mission was joined together in it. In his concluding thoughts, President re-stated a quote a departing missionary came up with, "A mission is like training wheels for an unselfish, consecrated life." That stood out to me, as a mission is only practice and preparation to consecrate and devote our lives to the Lord while reaching out to and serving those around us. I now these 18 months will fly by and will one day be let go, and it will be time to apply what's been learned and go by faith and confidence in the Lord while enjoying the ride.

For the rest of that day we were grounded, we planned like crazy and our phone almost died from all the calls we made. Dad, I used the Lion House Roll mix you sent to knead, rise, and bake a batch of divine flaky goodness. They were soooo good. :) The storm lasted about a day and a half, and then the temp's dropped to a whoppin' 8 degrees. Right now, though, it's 60 degrees with rain. Welcome to Massachusetts. That's a missionary's weather forecast for ya.

Sister Patterson and I are working with the new Elders in our ward--Elder Fish and Elder Terry. Our teaching pools have always been combined with the Elders', but now that these Elders are assigned in the office, we are trying to help them out by seeing who we can teach. We will be working more with the Ward Mission Leader to see what we can do with our priorities, since we now have a larger teaching pool. These new Elders seem nice though and I know there will be much good coming from them being here.

Everything is picking up pace. You remember the two kids from the family that hasn't come to church in a long while, who we have been teaching? (They were the family we doorbell ditched after decorating their door with Christmas-light shaped notes.) Well, we set a baptismal date for them for February 8th!  They are precious beyond words and it is such a treat to teach them. :) Sister Patterson and I are so excited for them. 

For other happenings this week, Saturday was a crazy day, as it started by beginning the second lesson at Anne Marie's--the Investigator who showed up at church. She set up an adorable tea-party setting with herbal tea (she heard at church we don't drink tea) and apple cider, as well as healthy blueberry muffins. The lesson went very well, as she didn't feel overwhelmed and wanted to keep learning more. I am blown away at the pace of progression Anne Marie is making. 

Now, the only reason I am about to go into what I'm about to tell about is because of what I learned from it.  During Anne Marie's lesson, though, I was experiencing some immense pain near my stomach (CF digestion problems.) I had to fight through it, and there were moments I fought tears from how painful and uncomfortable it was. The lesson also went a little overtime, so we hurried home afterwards to prepare a few things and I took a med to help settle the pain, we then hurried to the library for another lesson. That lesson got pushed a little behind since no study rooms were open, but once a room was available we began the lesson. During the whole time, the pain continued and I felt dizzy from not eating (we were continually going and I was allowing my medication to settle in), and I missed a few doses of Hyper Sal (the salty medication to breathe in) for the past few days since I ran out and Walgreen's was waiting for the shipment, which caused my lungs to be tight. During all this was taking place, though, I didn't feel there was much of an option but to press through the appointments since they were set; I wanted to fully experience the joy from teaching and the spirit that was felt.  By the time that lesson was finished, it went over time once again. I could have helped direct it better, but I'll be honest--I was feeling pretty weak.  We had another member coming in 10 minutes for our following appointment, but during that short spurt of time, I took a moment, feeling overwhelmed by my physical limitations.

It was there, after taking a moment, when I received a feeling--This is partially how your Savior felt. He gave his absolute all to save everyone. He was desperate because of His immense love and desire for everyone to safely gain Eternal refuge. And yet, as He felt all weight pressing in on Him, He was still rejected by many, mocked at, ignored, scorned at, and turned away. However, during all of this, He chose to endure to the end, because He knew who He was Atoning for. This brought greater hope and assurance. I remembered I am on the Lord's team, and just have to try my best. I have learned from good moments as well, but I became more grateful for the hardships that draw me closer to my beloved friend and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to remember what He's done for us all.

I feel that 2014 is going to be a year of great personal growth here out on the mission. It's so strange, yet exciting how 2014 will be the mission. I'll be out here in Massachusetts for the whole year (unless there are mid-transfers before Christmas...but who knows), still set apart as a representative of my dear friend and Savior, Jesus Christ. It'll be a year of serving, teaching, pushing, striving, and becoming. It's going to be awesome. :)

I love you all so much! Do something fun this week. :)
-Sister Roy

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