September 29, 2014
Greetings dear ones!
This week has been such a happy week, and I am grateful that I get to be out here serving the Lord! Sister Fjerstad and I spent most of the week inside. We ventured out every couple of days to the mailbox or to the pharmacy, but that was about it! We got some serious bonding time in, that’s for sure.
Thank you for all of your prayers and fasts on behalf of Sister Fjerstad! You all are the best. Combined faith is a powerful thing. So on top of whatever is going horribly wrong with her body (we aren’t sure what is), she also caught a nasty tonsil infection this week. Honestly, I think the world is out to get my companion! I am incredibly grateful that I had so many throat infections and that I got my tonsils removed… I know exactly how she’s feeling and how to help her. It is such a blessing.
Miracle of the week (one of many): On Tuesday, Sister Fjerstad’s health took a drastic turn for the worse. The thing is, she doesn’t like telling me how bad it is, so I have to rely a lot of the Spirit to help me know what to do. I mentioned this last week, but my Sister Fjerstad Sixth Sense is so cool. The Spirit always helps me know what’s going wrong in her body and how bad it is. It’s gotten to the point where I know exactly where her pain is and what her pain level is without her having to tell me anything. So on Tuesday night, Sister Fjerstad was feeling awful right as we were going to bed. Stabbing pains in her stomach, intense nausea, nightmares, bloody noses – you name it, and she’s got it. I wanted to stay up with her and take care of her, but I was completely exhausted from staying up with her every other night. There was no way I could stay awake for another minute, but I knew that she would need me that night. As I was saying my nightly prayer, I prayed that Heavenly Father would wake me up when Sister Fjerstad needed me. I went to sleep, knowing that Heavenly Father would take care of her and wake me up when I was needed. I fell asleep in seconds. Then, I woke up suddenly at midnight. I turned over to look for Sister Fjerstad (our beds are pushed together so I can just reach over and help her), but she was missing. I got out of bed, went straight to the bathroom, and found her on the bathroom floor. She had been throwing up and was crying. As soon as I saw her, I said a million prayers of gratitude. I sat on the floor with her while she was sick, brushing her hair and singing hymns. It was a profoundly spiritual moment. We stayed in there for a long time, until she felt strong enough to literally crawl back into our room. I picked her up, helped her back into bed, and tickled her arms until she fell asleep again. It felt a lot like my tonsillectomy in May, except I was the caretaker this time.
I am incredibly grateful that Heavenly Father is giving me this opportunity to love and serve Sister Fjerstad. Honestly, she is one of the most wonderful people I know. She is such a joyful person! Even when she is feeling awful, she’s smiling and laughing. You all would love her. She is EXACTLY like MarKee Crone! It’s actually pretty crazy. It’s like being companions with another one of my best friends, and I love it!
We live in the same apartment complex as the Spanish sisters assigned to our area, and it’s a blast! Sister Dubon and Sister Caetano are such awesome missionaries, and we’ve become fast friends. Sad day though, Sister Fjerstad got Sister Caetano sick! Disease is striking the Eatontown sisters! Ah! On Thursday, Sister Fjerstad and Sister Caetano were both too sick to do anything, so we decided to have a sick party! Sister Fjerstad and I zombied our way over to the Spanish sisters’ apartment Thursday morning, and we stayed there all day. Sister Fjerstad climbed right into Sister Dubon’s bed, and their apartment turned into a makeshift hospital. I made banana pancakes for everyone, and Sister Dubon and I spent the day being nurses! It was really hilarious and fun.
On Friday, no one was getting any better, so we decided to go on an exchange. Sister Dubon and I NEEDED to leave the apartment and get some fresh air (and sanity), so our district leader let us go on a temporary exchange. We went and taught one of our less actives and two people in their area. I wore my Spanish nametag and everything, so everyone started talking to me in Spanish. The problem is, I don’t really speak Spanish… I understand a surprising amount, but my vocabulary is pretty limited. However, I do know how to say, “I know what my companion said is true”, so that was fun to drop in to the lessons. It felt amazing to get out and teach, even though it was only for a couple of hours.
Being a missionary is so fun! You get to help people feel the love of God and help them grow their faith in Christ. I love it. I also love being able to take care of my companion, though. I am learning that sometimes, your companion is more important than your area. Honestly, it hasn’t bothered me once that we can’t go outside and teach. For some reason, I haven’t felt the pressing need to get out and teach. I just feel this huge amount of concern and compassion for Sister Fjerstad! And before you all go thinking I am a saint (I know, that was your first thought), I have to give all the credit for that to the Savior. He has softened my heart, helped me to love the circumstances we are in, and to love my companion. Sister Fjerstad has become one of my best friends (I seem to be making a lot of those on my mission – it’s amazing!) in such a short amount of time. I am learning to love people in a completely different way than I usually do. When you spend all of your time serving someone who truly needs you, you grow to love them in a deeper, more charitable way. I am grateful for this, because, boy, do I need charity! I have been praying for Heavenly Father to help me be more charitable (I desperately need it), and He has given me this transfer to learn how! It’s great. Sister Fjerstad and I have TONS of fun together, and we have grown so close (helping your companion while she throws up in the bathroom is quite the bonding experience!). Missions teach you a lot of lessons about the gospel, but it also teaches you a lot of unexpected lessons about life.
On Saturday, we were SO blessed to be able to go to the church to watch the General Womens Broadcast. Seriously, that meeting was AMAZING! President Uchtdorf gave a killer talk. If any of you haven’t listened to it, you should. Actually, all of the talks were great. They were all about going to the temple and making and keeping covenants. We are so blessed to have temples on the earth. In them, we are able to feel God’s love, make covenants with him, and be sealed to our families for eternity! It is the most wonderful blessing in the entire universe. Anyway, when we walked out of the church building, we found that someone had completely toilet papered our car!
As it turns out, the Spanish sisters tp’ed the Zone Leaders car, who then recycled and tp’ed our car. It was so funny. We got them back though by tp-ing the Spanish sisters car and blaming the Zone Leaders. So far, no one knows our involvement, but we may have started a small war.
Sunday was an awesome day. We weren’t able to go to church that day, but the Spanish elders came over to administer the sacrament. It was amazing to be able to feel the Spirit that comes when we renew our baptismal covenants in our small apartment! What a blessing.
I now spend one hour practicing the piano/keyboard every day, and it is the greatest thing ever. I’m working my way through all of the hymn books, song by song. We have so much fun with it. Thank you! It was super funny when it arrived, because of the efficiency of the whole thing. I got it in less than two days! It had Poppa Cobb written all over it. Thank you for the incredibly thoughtful packages! They were full of sparkly things, stationary, and music. You know me so well.
I love you all so very much! You are always in my prayers. Have a jolly, joyful week!