Monday, August 4, 2014

The Missionary Glow

Hello All, 

     The last week of a transfer is always a whirlwind because all of the members and investigators want to meet with the missionaries before someone gets transferred away. Then the first week is crazy because you are trying to get used to a new companion, develop a friendship, take time getting to know each other, and still work hard, show her around, introduce her to people, and start the transfer with our feet running. It can get pretty crazy!
Not a final selfie!!

At the Farmer's Market; we found pineapple and cheese
     Luckily, Sister Motto came into this transfer with both feet ready to hit the ground running!  All I have to do is not slow her down and to somehow keep up with her! It has been great! She is just what I need at this point in my mission. I wouldn't have been able to ask for anyone else to ''kill'' me! ('kill me' is a phrase used to explain the final transfer of a mission). We have been having so much fun together and have already seen so many miracles.
Planning session on the Lake
      There is this Romanian couple that Sister E. and I met a few weeks ago, but their situation is really sad. Their children are still in Romania and they are struggling to find an apartment big enough to fit them all; they are both working like crazy and trying to find a way for all of them to be together. They have been super busy the past few weeks so we have not been able to meet with them recently. Our first day together, Sister motto and I baked some bread, dropped it by with a note saying how much we love them and to let them know we were thinking of them if the needed us for anything.
     Well, the next morning during companionship study, they called us and asked 'what are you doing today? can you come visit?  NOW?'  Excited and a bit confused, we packed up our stuff and went to visit them. When we got there, they told us that Frau Torkos was heading back to Romania to be with the kids, and Herr Torkos was going to stay behind to keep working and support them financially. It just broke my heart to see how humble they live, how many trials they go through, how exhausted they are, but they continue to hobble forward in faith, grasping hold to whatever faith they still have.  
      The very first time I met them, I got the huge impression that my role in their life would be to TEACH them the gospel. I felt the spirit confirm that I would NOT be the one to lead them to baptism or bring them to church. It would be my job to love them and to introduce them to the Book of Mormon and that I would need to let the missionaries in Romania do the rest. I really could not understand it at first why I felt this way, I just knew I needed to love them. Now I feel like I understand it all a little better. It is always such a blessing to look back and see the Lord's hand in my life and the lives of others, especially to see the timing of everything. 
     They live in Romania but speak Romanian and Hungarian. We have a Hungarian and Romanian missionary in our zone right now, so we will still be able to write letters and communicate with each other while they are still here. I think planting seeds is still as important as reaping the harvest! 

I final glimpse before she left the station
     Here is my funny story for the week- actually, it wasn't so funny to me at the time, but it might seem funny to y'all! We visited a member this week, Schwester H, before Sister Erdenetsogt got transferred away. Sister H asked how long she had remaining on her mission, and Sister E. said 10 months. Sister H. then went on and said ''Whew! That is a long time, just wait until you have 6 weeks left! That is the WORST! My last 6 weeks on my mission went by so fast, I was so miserable! Eventually you have to take off the name tag and BOOM it's like half of your heart just got ripped away! Just be grateful that you don't have 6 weeks!''  

Mom's influence on my morning sport
     ... She just went on and on and on; I kept sinking lower and lower in my chair, having a mental panic attack. Would that be true? Would all of that spirit and comfort that I have felt for the past 18 months just go away? Would I all of a sudden become a nobody, with no calling and no purpose? Honestly, I was freaking out a bit.  
     When we got to go to the train station, and I saw all the missionaries going home. They were all of the missionaries that I have served with my entire mission and I have looked up to for the past 16 months. I have seen them frequently over the last year and a half, but when I looked at them on this day, in this moment- something about them was just... odd. I couldn't explain it, there was just something off...
Sister Jenson & I saying good-bye... she's going home!
      I was talking to Sister Motto that night, and she said that it is "the glow"... the returned missionary glow. They had fulfilled their purpose, and they were going home to fulfill another purpose in a different part of the world with different people.  
When I thought about it, I realized how right she was. It wasn't that these missionaries weren't radiating the spirit; they had a different light about them, a different spirit. It wasn't bad, it was just different. I will be different when I go home, I have to accept that. But it is not bad! I will just have different tasks to do, different people to touch, different responsibilities. But I won't lose an ounce of the spirit I have, the strength I have received and I will continue to grow.  
     After Sister Motto helped me see it a little different, it was a lot easier to accept the fact that I am going home. That is a fact and I can't run away from it and I really can't deny it any longer; nor can I allow it to make me sad or can I allow it to demotivate me. Sister Motto has actually been really, really good for me. It was hard to say goodbye to Sister E for sure, but change is EXACTLY what I needed at this time. It has been a lot easier to focus and to not get distracted. There will be some obstacles that I will need to face head on, but I have to accept that this is all a part of life! Sister Motto has agreed to let me have my 'freak out' moments AND I know she is just the right person to beat me back to reality!!
A countdown too cute to be angry about it

Treats from home to help when I feel "B-IZZE"
     Sorry if I talk about going home a lot! If I have to deal with battling with these thoughts then I'm gonna take you all down with me!! I have started to write a list of "moments that have changed my mission or changed ME on my mission"; miracles that I have seen and the lessons that I have learned from them. It has been a wonderful way to reflect and enjoy memories of my mission. In case you are curious, it has been done in a very "non-trunky" way!!
     In all seriousness, I love my mission. I love the people I meet, the miracles I see, the trials I go through, the companions I serve with, and the people on the street that I want to give a knuckle sandwich to; I love the stormy days, the sunny days, the tender mercies, the newly discovered scripture verse needed that day, the children who smile at everyone on the bus, and the realization that this is all possible because I have a Father in Heaven who loves me. If we stop to see the little things, that is where we can truly see God's hand and love in our lives.
     Thank you all for your love and support!   

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