I accidentally titled this email "struggle butt" at first and was so tempted to leave it. But I'm trying so so hard to be "dignified" because I struggle... ya know. It seems God wants to really focus on something else this transfer. PATIENCE! Omylanta. Where to begin?
Sister Gochnour abandoned me. Our last day went a lot different than we had planned because Tuesday morning she started to feel sick. It got worse and worse and she had bad diarrhea and was throwing up. So she had to spend her last day proselyting... in the bathroom. She was SO sad :( I liked serving her for our last full day together though. I love her so freaking much. On our way to transfer meeting, we stopped at Brother Behunin's and she got a blessing. I've never seen the priesthood work so fast! It was amazing! She felt better almost instantly. I was actually feeling pretty good about training- like so excited. They have the trainers sit on one side of the chapel and the trainees on the other and everyone else sits in the back rows and watches you. When the trainees walked in... all of them was exactly the definition of the type of companion I didn't want to get (because I'm honestly a little racist) and I look at Sister G with wide eyes and she's over there laughing so hard, she's crying :) They assigned me with an even littler companion! She's from Pakistan. Sister Rasheed. And she can't speak hardly any English. She told me right away, because I was trying to talk to her and she wasn't responding. She's a temple square sister which means she's been there for a few months and now is being sent out into the real world for two transfers to see what a real mission is like!
Saying goodbye to Sister G and Elder Arbuckle was really sad! But, we got to see them more after our goodbyes!! So, Sister Rasheed's luggage got lost at the airport. We were told to just wait for it to come at the mission office. The Assistants turned me into a janitor and vacuum the church and get trash while Sister Rasheed passed out on the couch. I loved the alone time! We were told to go to the mission home to wait for her luggage to arrive. When it finally came, it was broken! All her clothes were plastered with bubble wrap stuff to the outside of her suitcase. We moved her clothes into a bag the Wirthlins gave us. During all this... I got to be with some of the departing missionaries!!! Elder Arbuckle came out and talked to us the whole time, but Sister Gochnour didn't know we were still there. Torturous. We're not supposed to know what they do before they leave for home, but I could hear the best two years and they were playing ping pong downstairs! Ah! Sister G saw me right before I left. They had us go stay with a Senior office couple because we're too far away to drive that night.
We left the next morning and more we got into our drive, the more I began to realize why the Lord put me with Sister Rasheed. So many parts of me that have been needing to change or grow will happen because I'm with her. Like, I need to learn to trust myself, to be patient (with myself and with others- her...), teaching more simply (she can't speak English), exact obedience when no one is watching (b/c I could do anything and she wouldn't realize it was wrong!), remaining focused (she doesn't relate to me on any level except missionary work... so there's absolutely nothing else we could talk about! haha). But that drive also showed me really how foreign she is. We made all our calls on the drive and she doesn't know how to use a phone! She kept accidentally calling random people, while trying to hold my gps on the freeway (her first time seeing a gps) (my first time driving since Oct). We just had the conversation of what "hang up!" means yesterday... I assumed she knew! Everyday is an adventure... (but I need to work on my attitude about it).
After the first day, we've found a few problems. She hates animals. She's absolutely terrified of them (like tears and tears during our lessons). I guess they don't have inside animals in Pakistan. Also, she hates the smell of the houses. I love these people so much that I even love this bad smell now! I didn't realize how much she hated it until we saw one of my favorite old ladies, Lida, and Sister Rasheed started crying and saying she's going to "throw out". Throw up I realized later. I was so confused because I didn't think it smelled that bad. Poor Lida, we just said a prayer and left. When we got back to the car, she said she needed to call President. So we called, she said she needed a new area and told him why. He's sooo stinking cute and he tells her that every area in this mission smells bad and has cats and dogs! Haha! She just bursts into tears... I felt kind of bad cuz I was cracking up. He asked her if she would give it another chance and not give up on the first day. She's made this far! I think she'll be fine :)
I'm trying to write down all the hilarious things she does, but there's so many! Another big issue she has with this place is that I sleep talk! Hahaha! She was so freaked out the first night. We had to go buy her some earplugs :) She said I say "soo cute" too much... even in my sleep! She's so funny. She dated a missionary in Pakistan (while he was on his mission) so we're going to have a chat that elders are not boyfriends. She's in love with every one we've met so far. Me and Brother B are having wayyy too much fun with this! And I actually really love having to define things for her, but reading the white handbook in the morning took us a hundred years. She wants us all to go to Pakistan to see her wedding!
Update on Maggie's baptism: You all saw the Facebook post about her quitting smoking tomorrow! She already did! But I'm worried that she wants to quit smoking more than she wants to be baptized now... just because Charlann did. I don't know. We're working on it.
DYLAN'S BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!! I am beyond excited!!! So, the Greenwich elders (district leader) have been invited to come to Wednesday night dinner at the Behunin's for Dylan's baptism interview! I was totally praying for elders to come to our area this transfer to be a good influence on Dylan somehow... this works! They also told us they're planning on coming to the baptism and they're bringing investigators. This is going to be the party baptism of the century!!! Dylan's getting baptized at 5, a branch dinner at 6, and a movie (Meet the Mormons) at 7! You all wish you were there. The whole program for the baptism is amazing too. We're trying to get as many of our people there as possible. I am so SO grateful to be the sister who finally gets to see Dylan Behunin get baptized. It's been 8 years of missionaries and he finally is able to! I've never had such a strong testimony of fasting and prayer... and exact obediance! I am beyond excited!
Thanks for all of your support in every way, especially through facebook this week! I sure love you all!
Love, Sister Brynnie Hallsted