This day has been incredible! First of all it is President’s birthday today! Sister Poulsen asked if we would go with her to Costco to pick up cakes and ice cream for President and all the sisters. We, of course, said yes, but first went to TC for a little bit. I contacted 2 more of the referrals that Peter gave us and it was so fun. They are so prepared as always, and I wanted to give Peter a chance to talk with them and share with them his testimony and say goodbye to them before he leaves. We called Danisa one of his cousins and they talked for a little bit, and it was so sweet. Little African kids were singing in the background and Danisa was so so happy and excited for Peter to serve the Lord. He told Peter that he wants to take the discussions, but he would like to not only have us call them but would like to have missionaries come visit him. Man!
Peter was so cute afterwards. We were just talking to him and he said, “I didn’t know that I couldn’t hold babies, now I am sad, I hold babies in church every Sunday.” Okayyyy stop! Then we talked a little bit because he did not know that we are ALWAYS on Temple Square and never leave and he said, “That is so cool that you get to serve so close to a temple every single day.” Peter is the most sincere boy I have ever met. It is the day before he goes into the MTC, and he is just like teaching all of his friends with us on the phone, and teaching a mission prep class tonight. He told us that we could call him that whole day, and he would help us whenever we needed him. He said, “Its ok I don’t need to rush, I just want to help my Africans.” The cutest African I have ever seen.
Then we went to Costco. Sister Poulsen was so cute. I learned a lot about her and President. They are so fun. They love Lake Powell and they have horses, and they just have lots of fun trips and things and toys that they use all the time. When we got there the cakes were not finished, so we just walked around and waited. We obviously went by the Blend Tec guy and he made us green ice cream, then we walked past these 2 guys who were advertising honey butters. They were delicious. Then we saw Sister Poulsen getting ice cream so we told her hey you need to stop by and try this honey butter….ya we sold her on that! She bought 2 of them! J hahha we got everything and came back to Temple Square and then we had to set up for the party. We cut all the cakes and put all the pieces on plates. It took us forever! We were sweating we were so hot cutting the cakes for like a solid hour. We all surprised President and were all down here singing happy birthday to him! He is the sweetest man. I love him so much. It has been such a blessing to serve so close with him and get to know him on a more personal level. We also had our last district meeting today. NO way I cannot believe that it is already the end of the transfer…eww! But the whole day I was just looking forward to Peter’s setting apart.
We drove to the chapel and they were having mission prep. They invited us in and it was kind of interesting, but I really liked it a lot! They had everyone there share with each other how they got to the point they are now in their spiritual journeys. Peter shared such a tender testimony. He talked about how rough it was when he was in refugee camps in Uganda and how he felt so blessed that he ended up in America. He knew when he got here that he needed God more in his life. He said that he was taught by 2 missionaries; 1 from the US and 1 from Fiji and how he knew that he needed to be baptized. He didn’t have a strong testimony yet, but knew that in his heart he should.
Then he became less active and didn’t go to church, but one day got impressions from the Holy Ghost that he needed to go back to church so he did. He continued to go every week and his testimony grew and then his stake president, President Degraph started asking him if he would want to serve a mission and he was only in high school, but he knew it was right and so he met with him a lot and he helped him prepare to serve his mission and now it is the time to actually go.
Sister Marsh and I both shared our testimonies of how we got to serve a mission and how our mission has blessed us. Sister Burton shared her testimony after us and she told us how her mission that she served in New Zealand has changed her life forever and how she knew that she needed to serve again. The spirit was so strong and already I started to cry. I knew I was doomed for his actual blessing. I was reflecting the whole time on how blessed I have been to serve a mission. How the mission has completely changed me. I will never move backwards, I want to continue forward. My heart is so full of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to serve Him and for letting this change my life so much.
We talked for a little bit outside before we went into President Degraph’s office. He gave some counsel to Peter first. He read from D&C 4 and how missionary work is that marvelous work that he is about to be a part of. That he will work on those Christ like attributes his entire mission and strive to follow in the footsteps of his Savior. He gave him 3 pieces of advice.
1. Work hard
2. Be obedient
3. Love the Lord
He then asked Peter to bear his testimony before he set him apart. Peter bore the sweetest testimony. He talked more about how hard life was in Uganda in refugee camps for 13 years. How he would go 3 or 4 days without eating sometimes and how he never imagined or believed that he could ever be in America and be where he is right now. His friends all told him he was a “Chicken with his head cut off” and that he was doing the wrong thing, he didn’t have a testimony at that time but he knew in his heart that he needed to be baptized and be in the church. He said he knows how much God loves him, and that he answers his prayers. He said that Heavenly Father has ALWAYS answered his prayers no matter what. “I believe the church is true. I believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the BOM is true.” So sweet…just cried the whole time.
After his setting apart, we had to say goodbye and then we went in the car and just cried. We talked about it for the whole car ride home. Peter is such a sweet kid. When he speaks or shares his testimony it is so pure and close to his heart you can tell that he does not even know how to express himself. He was raised in such humble circumstances that he TRULY is grateful and so thankful for all the things that he has in his life. The gospel means everything to him. Sister Marsh and I talked about how the African people are so sincere and grateful because that is how they were raised…They are taught and brought up to be so humble and grateful for everything. It is incredible to be around them. I just want to be around him all the time.
This was an incredible experience for me! It has made me reflect on my own setting apart and all the things I’ve been able to experience while serving the Lord. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for the choice I made to come on a mission!!!!
After this whole long day lots has happened. We’ve been working on getting everything ready for Transfers this Wednesday. We literally haven’t left our office for 4 days! 7:30am-9pm just staring at the computer screen. Lets just say I’m an Excel Master now J We had to make schedules for every companionship in the whole mission and just a million other things I don’t even know how to explain. It was hard knowing everyone's companions before they did. Because they bother you all the time and obviously you can’t say anything! But everyone found out this morning at Transfer conference who their companions are so the pressures off now. Haha.
I am so excited to serve again with Sister Asay! I couldn’t have asked for a better companion in the MTC & I’m soo excited to learn again from her. YAY J I am a lucky lucky girl
I love you all sooo much.
Have a wonderful week
P.S. I'm super sad to leave Sister Marsh though. I've learned so much from her it's ridiculous. She's been such a good example to me of how to truly LOVE your investigators and all the Sisters in the mission. They other night we got kind of stressed out with all that's going on and for some reason we thought that we were mad at each other. So we had personal study instead of companion study (bad idea we know) because we were just annoyed, then planned super fast and went right to bed at like 9pm.
I just layed there and started crying thinking Sister Marsh wouldn't even hear me until I heard her nose start to sniffle too. Then I built up the courage and just said "are you crying" and in a shaking voice she replied "noo". We both started crying even harder and just opened up to each other that we were just stressed out and annoyed with ourselves not actually mad at each other. Sister Marsh said "To be honest, I'm just so sad I'm not going to be your companion anymore" Then I just started crying even harder! haha.
I ended up moving down to her bed and we just layed there and cried! haha so dramatic. We couldn't help but laugh. We decided we were just DONE with our bunk beds. So at like 10pm we took our beds off and threw them on the floor right next to each other! hahaha. We've loved it for the past 4 days. It's the BEST. We can just talk and be like right next to each other. Just living it up the last few days we have together. I'm excited for her to train next transfer though. She's going to do GREAT. & then in 6 weeks I'm going to have to say bye to her cause she's going home! LAME!