|With Sister Jones|
Family and Friends,
This week has been crazy! Full of surprises, exciting, and a little traumatic. When I found out that I would be training I knew it meant that Sister Jones would be transferred, but It didn't really hit me until she was gone. Then it did, and I mean it REALLY did. If I'm being honest I've been experiencing what I can only think to describe as intense separation anxiety! It's kind of awful. I guess I've just never spent every waking moment of every day with someone that I fit so well with. Whew! I still see her at the V.C. every day, but right now I can't tell if that helps or hurts. We went to dinner with Richard our last night together. Richard kind of guessed that one of us would be leaving, but was really positive about it and said, "What's a year when you're friends for eternity?!" Amen. Did I mention she got transferred to Malibu?! Who would have guessed right? I can't wait to come back and visit everyone with her :)
My new companion (Sister Schiel) is doing great. She looked so familiar from the very beginning and on day 2 together I had the sudden realization of where I knew her from. She was Melinda's roommate last summer in Provo! It was actually a pretty entertaining discovery for both of us. I stayed there overnight once on our way to Disneyland so Sister Schiel has probably already formed an interesting opinion of me based on the experimental leg waxing that went on in her bathroom that night last summer (our first and last experiment). Plus seeing as Melinda is one of my closest friends, Sister Schiel has already heard many of my life stories just from a different perspective. I will admit it was a little eerie when we first made the realization because she already knew all these random things about me i.e. the story of my first kiss?! Weird...
On a more mission-minded note, it's been a big week for Angel and Richard! Richard passed the sacrament this week. One of the proudest moments of my life! Then in gospel principles class Angel got up and asked Richard if he would baptize him the following Sunday. It was a happy day. Angel had his baptismal interview and is all good to go. We have a ton to do in preparation, but I'd rather be stressed about preparing for a baptism than stressing about the lack thereof. A member that came with us to one of Angel's lessons this week noticed that their family didn't have a Christmas tree. She called us today and said that she'd bought them one! We took it over today and decorated it with them and Angel just kept saying, "I can't believe it!" and thanking us over and over again. It felt good to be serving and will be a memorable Christmas eve I'm sure.
Susan has re-entered our lives! Sister Schiel has already connected really well with her so I have high hopes. She still isn't ready or willing to give up any of the things the needs to in order to be baptized, but I think if we keep trying and she sincerely does too that she'll get there over time. Talking with her makes me so sad. Since she received the news from her doctor that her illness is not and probably will not improve she's been looking into assisted suicide and going on about how she wants to die with dignity. I can't imagine even considering something like that and it makes me sad to think about her and others like her who haven't embraced the gospel yet.
We had a mission-wide Christmas devotional today and the spirit was powerful there. It always is when a large number of missionaries gather. The music was beautiful and I was glad for the opportunity to sing. I had another opportunity to sing this week, but at a less joyous occasion. A man from my previous ward passed away and his family asked me to sing at his funeral. I got permission and Sister Jones played for me. I would rather have been there under different circumstances, but it was still nice to see some of the Pacific Palisades members again.
I don't really know what else to say except that I can't wait to talk to you tomorrow and thank you for the cards and gifts. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
I know that this gospel is true. I also know that this mortal journey we are now experiencing can be incredibly difficult as well as incomprehensibly joyful. This Christmas season I'm trying to remember more than I have before who Jesus Christ is for me. He is my brother, my friend, and especially my Savior. I know man is nothing, and I also know that through Christ we can do all things.
I love you all. thank you so much for all you do!