Today is my birthday. I turn 22. :) The members who fed us dinner last night surprised me with a birthday cake. It was especially pleasant because there was this conspiracy where they went all out and got a hold of my mother and asked what my favorite kind of cake was. She told them anything Batman so.... I got a Batman cake for my birthday. :) And it was a complete surprise! They have a lot of young kids and they all drew me pictures. I loved it. Complete strangers threw me a party for my birthday and I loved it. :)
Missionary life. There's nothing like it ha ha.
I am sad to see my companion go. Sister Melling and I got along from the very start, and she has also grown to become a dear friend. The next couple of days are going to be interesting. :) She is with me, when she goes to the mission office for a farewell dinner with President Nattress and the other missionaries. Then I will hang out with Sister Bleak and Reed, the other sisters in the zone. We'll pick her up, she'll spend her last night as a missionary with us and we take her to the airport at .
Then she'll be gone.
It is a time for her to reflect and assess over the past 18 months, and that has me reflecting and assessing as well. What have I done here? What have I learned? What have I become? Truthfully, I know I've changed. It's hard to define exactly how I've changed. What surprises me is that I've learned so much about loving and respecting myself. I've learned so much from having a companion with me all the time. I've learned I am worth loving, and that I should never settle for less than what I deserve from an eternal companion. Missions... they're the best marriage prep out there ha ha. :)
I'll be in a trio with Bleak and Reed until, when I get my new companion. This time, I'm not so nervous to take over my area again. I've done it before, and Sister Melling has taught me a lot of skills. :) I am mostly just excited.
But in other news... my wards are amazing. Last night we ate dinner with these members (they were the ones who gave me a birthday cake.) and when we asked them to invite someone to the Mesa temple Christmas lights, they took it to heart.... and went right then to knock on their neighbors door and invite them! :) It was AMAZING. I've never had people do that! Their neighbors said yes. Missionary work: it's not as scary as we tend to think it is ha ha. I can learn a lot from them. :)
Also, our investigator Mike is progressing. We taught the Plan of Salvation this weekend and apparently he was up all night just thinking about it. He said it just made so much sense! :D Lessons with him are what I pictured all lessons would be like. He just lights up when he starts to understand. And when we invited him to be baptized, he said - and I quote - "Oh yes, absolutely!"
Basically, he's just golden. :) And I love him and that family.
In a world where there is so much grief and pain and heartache... I am happy for what I have. I feel peace inside my soul, because I know where I come from, why I am here and where I am going. Life makes sense, even when it doesn't. :)
I am loving life. I miss home, I miss the snow, I miss my family. But I am happy to be here. And I know I belong here. I look forward to the day when I get to see you all again, but I will make use of every day here. I'm changing, learning, growing. Meeting new friends and loving more people. I love it.
Thank you for everything. Thank you for your prayers. I need them. :)