Before I left on my mission I was absolutely terrified to leave my comfort zone of Cedar City, to leave those I love behind... you know the usual anticipated missionary fears. I remember having a thought that brought comfort; no matter what I was going to go through or no matter where I was going to be, at least I had someone by my side at all times. Now that I am home I reflect back on those people who were by my side at all times; my best friends, my other halves, my sisters, my companions. I have so many things to say about them but to sum things up let's just say that I am eternally grateful for what they taught me and for their examples of women I hope to surround myself around for the rest of my life. They emulate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I sometimes wonder what I did in the pre-earth life to be given the privilege to serve with these amazing women.
Anyway, so what I want to do is share what I love about them most. I will go from first to last companion. Ready, go.
Sister Nielson: We were companions in the MTC (Missionary Training Center). If you have ever experienced the MTC you know the emotional toll it takes on you, however, you see the progress you make for the little time you are there. I doubted so much on my ability to teach the Gospel. I doubted whether or not I should even be in the mission field. I was difficult to work with. To this day I am grateful for Sister Nielson's patience. Not only with me but with herself. By her example of patience, she taught me to never give up and to never doubt my ability.
Sister Lovato: Oh, Sister. This is my trainer! My Oregon Mama. Getting out into the mission field is something I never imagined. I was tired. I was sick. I was homesick. Again, I was tired. Sister Lovato taught me to have fun while doing missionary work. "Oh.. uh.. hi, is there a house up there?" *inside joke* On the other hand, she taught me by being exactly obedient will bring forth miracles. She would have me get out of the car and back her up if it was only a foot. I'm glad I learned obedience from day one.
Sister Singer: When I think of charity I think of Sister Singer. My follow-up trainer. We were definitely companions to cross paths in this life. I have learned so many things from her that it would take pages to fill. I have never seen someone accept another as she has. She taught with love. She served with love. She is the prime example of Charity and love and I'm grateful I was able to learn what true charity was by being her companion and working next to her. I wish to emulate a fraction of what she is one day.
Sister McDonald: Working in a YSA ward during the Holiday's is a tough task. We tracted more in that transfer than I did my entire mission. However, Sister McDonald was always hopeful in finding new people to teach and without a doubt we always had at least one amazing lesson a week. She taught me how to be hopeful in all things and not just mission work. My grandfather passed away the day we were put as a companionship and she reminded me of the Plan of Salvation and how it brought hope.
Sister Hollingshead: Oh my sweet Sister Hollingshead. I knew about her before I was even her companion because her Aunt is in my home ward. I was so excited to finally meet her and yet alone be her companion. We opened Eola Hills together therefore we met a lot of new people that we were teaching. I have never seen someone have such compassion for someone so quickly than Sister Hollingshead. She accepted people for their trials, addictions, and struggles and loved them in an instant.
Sister Clove: Before Sister Clove I was the junior companion. Asking for tips, learning the ropes, learning their teaching skills is what I did as a junior companion. I was blessed to be Sister Cloves trainer. I remember driving home from the New Missionary Meeting and I was so afraid to be her trainer, I was now the one she had to rely on for tips, learning the ropes, the missionary lingo. After my first companionship study with Sister Clove I was floored with her knowledge of the scriptures. I was so excited to learn from her and boy did I. I have multiple notes scratched into the margin of my scriptures because of her. After that day I wasn't afraid anymore to be her trainer. I will be grateful for the experiences I had with working besides her.
Sister West: When President Young paired us up he said that there was no doubt in his mind that we were meant to be companions. This was my second trainee! Sister West had one heck of an upraising and let's say she came out one heck of a woman because of it. Whenever something wasn't going as planned Sister West never hesitated to ask Heavenly Father for help. She knew that if this was Heavenly Father's work then He would help us know what to do. She is one of the most humble people I will ever know and I'm grateful for her example of humility.
Sister Hadfield: Sister Hadfield was my international trainee! AKA she was waiting for her visa to Australia and was reassigned to the Oregon Eugene Mission. I was happy she didn't get that visa when it was supposed to get here. She taught me heaps (see what I did there?) about confidence. As she proclaimed the Gospel, you could tell that she walked with confidence knowing she is a daughter of God. When she taught, she taught with confidence because she knew that what she was teaching was nothing but true. We had a short 6 weeks together but I will cherish those 6 weeks for the rest of my life.
Sister Savage: Sweet Sister Savage. She had some trials that she had to overcome but each day, she got out of bed, got on her knees and prayed to Heavenly Father. She would get out and talk to people about the Gospel. She would testify. She would forget herself and get to work. When I think of Sister Savage, I think of endurance. She had her own things to worry about but there were days where she would sacrifice her own trials so she could help others come closer to Christ.
Sister Prologo: The transfer we were together was one of the shortest because the mission split. However, one thing that I noticed was how often she prayed. That is one thing I know Heavenly Father wants for his missionaries to do. Missionary work is nearly impossible without prayer. She was more sensitive to the Spirit because how often she prayed. Let me tell you how grateful I am for that. We had an interesting area that had a lot of run down parts that were pretty scary, therefore, there were times where I thought it was safe to go in but she didn't. I trusted her and it was always best.
Sister Francom: Sister Francom and I were the two Sister Trainer Leaders to go from the Eugene Mission over to the Salem Misson. I would say that my time with her was the time I grew the most on my mission when it comes to diligence. I was also the most tired with her. I was so grateful for her hard work as a missionary. We had so much success and I know it's because we were diligent and obedient. Let me add that I laughed with her all the time. Remember Robyn?
Sister Palmer: She was my last companion of my mission and I was ready to learn from her. My time with Sister Palmer was too short. We only spent three weeks together because my mother passed away and I came home. Sister Palmer was called to be a Sister Trainer Leader with me and I was excited to see how she would contribute. Each week would we get on our knees and pray about which sisters we needed to go on exchanges with and she would always ask Heavenly Father what they needed help with. Each time we would go on exchanges, it is exactly what the Spirit whispered to her. She genuinely cared for those sisters and prayerfully asked Heavenly Father what she could do for them.
Now that they are all home, I hope they read this and know how much I love them and how incredibly grateful I am to have been able to work with them and learn from their example.
*super long post but if you are wondering what missionaries do, click here*