So this was a great week. It's been raining like crazy! It's great fun. I am so grateful that we have a car, because the rain here is really strong sometimes. Apparently it's the start of the rainy season, so I might have to buy some boots. :)
Highlights of the week: exchanges, confirmations, and the mission baby!
First, exchanges! In my mission there are two sisters who are assigned to be sister trainers. They go on exchanges with all of the sisters in the mission to help them learn, kind of like Derek gets to go on exchanges with the people in his district. This week, I went on an exchange with Sister Wakefield, who is wonderful. My companion left and went to San Mateo to be with Sister Wakefield's companion, and Sister Wakefield came here to Richmond. That means that I got to be senior companion for a day. Scary! I really was scared at first, because it's definitely different to be the one that's in charge of the area for the day, but it ended up being one of the best experiences of my mission thus far. We started our exchange on Friday afternoon at the Visitor's Center, and then I had to drive (scarrryyyyyyy, haven't driven since October, and there was torrential rain and our car is ginormous compared to the Bug, AND we're in California) us back to Richmond. Thankfully, we made it there alive and I didn't get lost or crash the car. We were extremely blessed to have appointments all night long. Every single one of our appointments happened as planned, which is something that very rarely happens. I think the Lord knew that I would have a tough time handling driving around in the dark and rain working on our backup plan! We had a lot of excellent appointments, and I learned so much from Sister Wakefield.
On Saturday we had an appointment with a lady that we met on the street. We went in and sang "I am a Child of God," and when Sister Wakefield asked this lady about how she felt about the song, the lady told us that she doesn't believe everybody is a child of God, and that only people who study the Bible are children of God. It was astounding to feel the ABSENCE of the Spirit when she said that. We knew right off it was going to be a tough appointment. This lady was a nice person, but didn't want to learn about the Restoration. She wanted to "Bible Bash," as they say, and it was so hard to hear her rip apart the Book of Mormon, the Prophet Joseph Smith, and the nature of our Heavenly Father. Sister Wakefield and I tried our hardest to boldly testify without being mean or starting to fight with her. When we left the appointment, I felt exhausted. We had a member with us, a 16-year-old girl from the ward, and she said, "Wow, I'm not sure if I want to go on a mission anymore!" We had to reassure her that things like that very rarely happen, and that almost every appointment we have is spiritually edifying because there really are many people who want to learn and feel the Holy Ghost. It's true--that's really the only experience I've had like that. But I'm really glad that we had that appointment. Sister Wakefield and I talked about it afterward and she said that things like that are a chance to really draw closer to the Savior by following His example. He was blasphemed, spit upon, and abused in every way, but He exercised patience and restraint, and always focused on doing the will of His Father before He focused on defending Himself. It's the same thing with missionary work, and with any other instance in which persecutions come. The example of the Savior is always the example to follow, and the Holy Ghost will always tell us, if we listen, what to do.
Another thing I learned from exchanges--gratitude! I'm so grateful for Sister Osborn and everything she does to work hard as the senior companion. There's a lot to think about and do, and she does wonderfully every day. I didn't realize how much she does until I had to take the lead. I'm really blessed to have a great companion. I'm grateful for this exchange because I learned a lot about myself and I can see that I've grown and changed in a lot of ways, and that the Lord has really helped me be prepared to fulfill my calling.
On Sunday the [members of the family that was baptized] were confirmed! It's so great to see how much they've grown since we started teaching them just over a month ago. They're members of the Church! They have the gift of the Holy Ghost! What an incredible blessing. They're so solid and they have strong testimonies. On Sunday night the mission held a fireside called Porque Yo Creo (Why I Believe), which is an opportunity for recent converts to bear testimony. All three of our beautiful recent converts bore their testimonies. It was so amazing to hear each of them say, "Yo testifico que esta es la iglesia verdadera" (I testify that this is the true church). What an amazing thing.
Sister Wade, our mission president's wife, had her baby! We have a mission baby, a little boy. They haven't named him officially yet, but he's unofficially Elder Wade, jaja, and also Jacob David Wade, since he was their firstborn in the wilderness. :)
Other news, I can join the family of running injuries. BURSITIS, dun dun dunnnnnn. I did three days of hard runs in a row and I guess that's the price I pay for having bad form. It's so annoying! It's not too bad, but it's super annoying to go up and down stairs and whatever. Any tips, running addicts?