Monday, April 28, 2014

Exchanges, Interviews, and the UnBirthday Party


I never mentioned last Monday that it was Patriots Day, which is New England's holiday to celebrate all that's happened here back when in history. It's also the day that Boston Marathon takes place. Half of our mission had the sweet opportunity to go to the temple in Belmont, since the temple is open on Monday holidays for the missionaries. It was a great privilege once again to go. :) We also carpooled with a couple of Elders from our District , so after the session we decided to head over to the one Chick-Fil-A in Massachusetts.

It was a crazy but fun-filled day as there were people all around the mall wearing "Boston Strong" t-shirts and there were signs throughout the streets of Boston in commemoration and for the incident last year.  It was neat to be able to see how people still show support.

Last Monday at the end of our P-day, we went to the Zeller's to have family home evening with Beth and Amy. Caitlin Zeller (the girl with Down Syndrome who came with us for baptisms at the temple a while back) called Sister Nielson and I up beforehand. We have to have the phone on speaker, as Caitlyn spilled the news to me..."Sister Roy, don't tell Sister Nielson, but we're going to have a cake for her! But don't tell her!!" (It was Sister Nielson's Birthday two weeks ago.) When we arrived at the Zeller's, we enjoyed a feast of left-overs from Easter. When dessert was brought out, including some left over cake from Easter, which was going to be Sister Nielson's Birthday cake as Caitlyn insisted Sister Nielson needed a mini party. Oh man, it was pretty great from that point on! Right as the cake was brought out, Caitlyn's sister pulled up in her car with her boyfriend (they are about 17 or 18.) Caitlyn jumped to the window as she saw their car pull in, exclaimed, "I think they're kissing!!" then burst the front door open and ran without hesitation to the car they were in. From that point on, we all watched as Caitlyn spoke with them, then grabbed their arms and dragged them inside.

We couldn't stop laughing, shocked at Caitlyn's bold move. As soon as Caitlyn's sister saw we had a cake, she asked Sister Nielson, "Is it your Birthday?" as we all said in unison "Two weeks ago!" and sang to Sister Nielson as she had a slice of cake in front of her. She blew out "the invisible candle." Then it was time for Sister Nielson to open her small gift, which was "electric blue" nail polish and a bracelet made out of wooden beads and pipe-cleaner. She told her thank you for the gift. Caitlyn bluntly replied to her gratitude and told her that the gifts she gave were found in her room and she didn't want them, so instead of throwing them away, she chose to give them to her.  The present was placed in a box with pretty red sparkles on it...but Caitlin politely took the box out of my hands and told me she wanted it back and I couldn't have it because it was too pretty.

We all had a fun rest of the night and sure had some good laughs. :)

With Sister Gledhill and Sister Badham after exchanges
On Wednesday, Sister Nielson and I went on exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders--Sister Badham and Sister (Yes, momma) Gledhill. I had the sweet chance to spend a day with Sister Badham. :) Once again, I worked with another positive, joyful soul for exchanges. Through her example I was able to see how to do a better job with member visits, including continuing to uplift and build them. She helped show how to keep the appointments within the allotted time and to fit the commitment in no matter what. She was a superhero at getting out on time, and it was easier than I thought. We had a busy day, and there was one appointment where the member kept telling stories in the middle of the discussion as she knew we had to go. My jaw must have fallen when Sister Badham simply said, "Can we leave you with a closing prayer?" And the member said, "Sure!" As simple as that. It was great day, and during our concluding debrief as both of our companionships met to discuss what we learned, Sister Gledhill and Sister Badham gave advice for our area since it's been a little rocky/ slow lately. We were all able to strengthen and help each other that day.

The following day, our zone headed to the Cape for individual interviews with President Packard. Before he began interviewing each of us, he introduced what the Assistants, Zone Leaders, and Sister Training Leaders would train on. Ironically enough, I prayed either the previous night, the night before that, or that morning (I often forget what I pray for each night because I'm so tired when I go to bed) that the Lord would prepare me and my future husband, whoever he would be, to learn what we needed to and become the individuals we would need to become for each other. So that morning He expounded how, out of all things, the Lord revealed to him how many of the companionships in this mission get along and don't fight or disagree on much, but they don't truly love each other. He straight up explained how everything we learn on our mission prepares us for life, especially for our marriage relationships and families. President Packard wants to ensure we learn as much as we can while we're out here as we work within our companionships to constantly build, strengthen, and love one another. He spoke about how sweet his and Sister Packard's relationship is. He also said, "I don't measure my success (to help you) until I meet your kids." That may sound weird to some people, but it brought the spirit in even more, as we all knew how much he cares about how we help how our future will turn out by what we do now. He continued on how we need to be part of a completely united, complimenting, and loving eternal companionship in the future, and that physical contact isn't what brings husbands and wives together--it's through the spiritual uplift and growth, through living the gospel, ministering, communicating and doing all things in unity. It was powerful instruction and we all felt the spirit strongly.

The training was so good as it all focused on how to minister to each other in our companionships, best communicate, and work together in unity in our companionships. I was the last missionary in the mission to be interviewed by President Packard, as he gave great advice for the area. Our discussion started off with a couple of scriptures we could put on our dinner calendar since not many people have been signing up--Alma 8:19 and Alma 58:7. We got a good laugh when he opened the scriptures and had me read them! We also conversed about the Tobi medication---whether to do the 30 minute version or the 2 minute version. As I figured, he wants me to take good care of my health and always put it first. He reminded me how I decided coming out on the mission that my schedule would be different than the white handbook to take care of my health. As he listened and provided ideas, it seemed more that he trusted me to do what's best and it will all work well, which I know it will.  It was once again an uplifting and helpful interview with President Packard, as the whole day was fulfilling.

That's about it for this week. I better get going and want you to all know how much I love you!

Love, Sister Roy

P.S. Brandon is going complete hipster. :)
P.S. number 2: Spring in Utah is looking and sounding beautiful! Next spring I'll be able to go running around up there and go on more hikes! (But don't worry, I'm not trunky.) :)
P.S. number 3: Thank you for your prayers for the McGill's friend with CF. I found out I misheard--he's been in the hospital for 2 or 3 months and was in a medical-induced coma for 2 or 3 weeks and is number one on the lung transplant list at Boston Children's.

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