Monday, July 31, 2017

A fellow missionary was asked if being in a companionship was like being in an arranged marriage, and she replied it was much more like being each other's parole officers. Hehe. 

No, it's not always the easiest thing on the planet. Differences arise from political beliefs to family backgrounds to teaching styles to energy levels to eating habits. But in the process of overcoming struggles with your companion you really learn a lot about humbling yourself, taking a step back, and seeing what good lies in others. You learn what they need, what makes them happy. Or perhaps what maybe you, yourself, can improve on... rather than get defensive about. 

Luckily, I have not encountered many companion struggles on my mission. It has honestly been so good. I have gained so many friends on my mission as I have worked 24-7 with these girls, laughing and crying, building trust while talking about life, experiencing Austria/Germany, and together seeking to bring people into the Kingdom by the sharing of testimony. 

Really I have been blessed with 11 incredible comps who have all been such a lights to me. 

My first companion was beautiful Sister Gines (Utah).

Her 19th birthday was that very first jetlagged day in the MTC. Although it was really quite a stressful and exhausting day, I never heard a peep of complaint out of her. She always kept her cool, even when I would botch our mock lessons with my toddler German; I could always count on her to sneak upstairs with me to grab some Oreos when we were getting too antsy in class.

Sister Price (Utah) was the best trainer a golden could hope for. 

On the long train ride to Austria, everyone told me that she was "the coolest," and they were so right. To this day I'd say my first two transfers hold my most treasured memories, because with Sister Price we could have spiritual experiences and yet have fun at any time and in any place. She was incredibly patient and encouraging, despite the fact that I felt like a deer in headlight in just about any experience. She has a way of just loving the people and making them feel special. She connected with them-- for example, if they were from Iran, she would light up with excitement and exclaim hello in Persian! 

Sister Fast (California), one of my two beloved blondies and greeniebusters.

The first night she arrived, she made cinnamon roll pancakes at like 10:20 PM; her sweetness radiated outward in every way, from the to-die-for treats she would bake to the kind words that came from her mouth.  She has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met. She just needs to skip forward a couple years and be a mom already because she can make anyone feel right at home. 

Sister Selph (Utah), my other greeniebuster Blondie. 

She is intelligent, beautiful, kind and diligent, someone who I trust will accomplish anything she sets her heart on.  She loved the land of her mission.  With her talent for languages she could connect with people both German- and English-speaking. As well, her fascination with the history and the culture was both obvious and admirable to those she served. The uniqueness of Vienna was certainly not lost on her! 

Sister Slack (Texas), my firstborn daughter (golden). 

She is such a sweetie-- she has a glowing smile and really knows how to make someone feel special.  What a heart of gold.  I will never forget how much she spoiled me for the duration of my entire birthday!  She is genuine, and she knows her purpose.  I was so proud of her as she bravely went about trying scary missionary tasks for the first time, and now, as she trains a second time I know she has grown into such an influential missionary!

   Sister Moore (Utah), my foster child.

We were only 10 days together but we sure had a party in our trio! She is one of quiet dignity, not one to talk poorly of those around her.  Despite being such a young missionary, she was diligent in trying to talk to everyone and had a skill in speaking to those, for example, on the subway. She could just strike up conversations!

Sister Howsmon (Colorado) always had a smile on her face. 

Despite some of the weirdest things that we experienced, she could turn anything into an adventure with a positive spin.  She loved her mission and she was going to make the best of every second of it-- oh we had a blast!  And best of all, the first thing that one will notice about her is how much she loves her Heavenly Father.  Because that's how she talks about Him: like her Father!

Sister Franchino (Washington), my youngest daughter.

Literally the most hardworking person I have ever met in my life.  From the time she got up till the time she went to bed, if she wasn't doing missionary work, she was studying.  She really taught me so much about how to push through even the roughest of times-- just keep swimming, just keep swimming. I could always count on her to leave cute notes hidden for me... and you know what cheered her up? Going finding.  This was when she was at her funniest; man could she crack me up. I also learned so much from her.. to teach simply but powerfully!

Sister Woolsey (California) the lovely!

The perfect future dental hygienist whose backup plan as a "beautiful beach bum" is equally fitting.  
She taught me to chill out and enjoy the ride.  EVERYONE LOVES HER, because from individualized handshakes to genuine compliments, she can make anyone feel special.  I have never felt so confident as with her.  

Sister Saint Laurent (California) is incredible. 

We were only together a couple weeks and yet she taught me so much about endurance.  Despite everything, she rarely complained, striving rather to keep on working.  She is totally selfless and dedicates so much of herself to giving.  She is probably one of the strongest, most resilient gals I have ever met-- both spiritually and physically. I am still amazed by her.  

Sister Harwood (Washington), last but certainly not least. 

I have never met someone with so much in common. I ADORE THIS GIRL. She's caring. She's creative. Although a fellow introvert, she shows me that it is possible to overcome fears and become a powerful and eloquent teacher.  Seriously, she has a talent for being able to understand people on a deeper level and being able to adapt to their needs. I am so excited for our weeks together!

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