I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve and for such a wonderful experience in the Idaho Pocatello Mission. Over these past six months, I have felt like I have been given the wings to fly. I have felt such a great amount of trust and love from President and Sister Brinkerhoff. Because of their efforts, I feel complete. I am whole, and I have felt the strengthening power of the Atonement in my life. I feel like I am ready to take on the world, and I will never forget them, and as cliche as it sounds, they will forever hold a place in my heart. Words cannot express how grateful I am to them, and how much I honor their sacrifice to serve myself and the other missionaries assigned here. They are friends and mentors who have forever changed my life!
This week has been packed full of strengthening sisters!I was in Idaho Falls helping a sister that has had a big problem with homesickness. We spent a bit of time talking about the reasons why we are serving a Mission, and how we can stay motivated. This Sister is an incredible missionary that has a gift for teaching, and gains great joy when she is helping others. The hard time for her though, and when she gets homesick, is in the morning when it might not seem like she is doing, "Missionary Work". To help fix the problem, I had her do some mental re-writes for her Morning Schedule. Instead of thinking, "I am studying to help myself", I had her re-write it to say, "I am studying to help my investigators". We broke down every action of the morning schedule, even showering, to help her re-focus on her purpose. I also had her and her companion categorize their Patriarchal Blessing into Commandments, Warnings/Advice, and Blessings. This way they could receive personalized guidance from the Lord as to what they need to do right now on their Missions. It seemed to help, and hopefully these Sisters can receive strength from this exercise to help her homesickness.
I was really inspired by the training given in Mission Leadership Council and I have created several goals for my personal progression. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know, and how insignificant I am in the grand scheme of things. I love the quote by President Uchtdorf that says, "This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God". As more time goes on, the more I come to understand the truth of that statement. I also have come to truly realize that positions of Leadership are given to those that need to serve their fellowmen. In my past I felt like I have served others, by being a Sister Training Leader, but being a Traveling Sister Training Leader is a whole other world. For these past two weeks I have had the goal to perform at least one significant act of service for each companionship that I have been put with. It has resulted in a lot of polishing boots, cooking breakfasts and hand massages- even diagnosing problems with hair care!
Even though I do not spend a lot of time for myself, I have never felt more fulfilled or loved. I truly have found the joy in losing myself by serving others, and because of that I am happy.
Later that night, I went with the Sister Training Leaders for the Southern half of the mission, Sister Creek and Nielson. They are just delightful and it was so cool to see their Area! They cover Grace Valley, and it is soooooooooooo beautiful! Also it was pretty cool because I got to see the very start of the Wasatch Mountains. It was a bit weird though to think that my family lives right along these mountains too..... but I got over it. We went to a.... I don't really know if you can call it a town, more like an area called Thatcher, and it was so beautiful! I love seeing all of the beauty around me. The past few nights I have been sleeping on the ground, and I have gotten to a point where I have gotten used to it!
This past week has been excellent. I have enjoyed seeing various parts of the Mission, and I have come to peace with my departure because I know I have served my best. I spend these next two days in Pocatello, and then I fly out very earlymorning! I have loved being here, and am sad to go, but excited for the adventure to come.