Monday, July 11, 2016

What just Happened?

Hello family and friends!

Oh my goodness gracious...get ready for the most complicated email
ever. This past week has been C-R-A-Z-Y. Crazy. Like the most hectic,
dramatic week of my entire life. At one point I felt like giving up,
that's how bad it was. Oh the joys of being a busy STL. But don't
worry, I still love my mission and love being a missionary :)

Ok, so here's how my week went...and because of missionary leadership
confidentiality, I'm going to change the names in this email so you
won't know who I'm talking about but you will understand what happened
this week. So to start out, Tuesday morning was Zone Meeting. Sister
Stromberg needed to go down to Vallejo to teach in their zone meeting,
so we car pooled with some sister down there early in the morning,
dropped her off, and then drove back to Fairfield for our zone
meeting! Our zone meeting went super well! The zone leaders and us had
made some super funny videos the night before to help with each of our
segments. And in each of the videos, we used missionary's last names
as puns in the video. It was hilarious. Anyways, zone meeting was all
that and a bag of chips, then we met back up with my companion with
the sisters we would be exchanging with that day at our apartment,
Sister Smith and Sister Day(names have been changed). I went with
Sister Smith for the day and Sister Stromberg went with Sister Day.
These two sisters had been struggling a little bit last transfer, but
we all assumed that they worked it out. We all assumed wrong. Sister
Smith immediately opened up to me about EVERYTHING. Sister Smith and I
have a super close relationship, so she was able to finally just let
it all out. Sister Smith has struggled with anxiety and depression for
most of her life, and her companion was not helping it at all. It had
gotten so bad that Sister Smith was only getting about two hours of
sleep at night and she had lost quite a bit of weight in the last
couple of weeks. So as the exchange goes on, Sister Smith realizes
that she can't find her purse, which has her iPad and her wallet in
it. We spend a good two hours looking for it, retracing our steps,
trying to find her belongings. Turns out, it had been stolen. So after
dinner we get in the car and Sister Smiths anxiety kicks in. So while
I'm trying to calm her down, we drive to the church and have the zone
leaders help us locate her iPad. What ends up happening that night is
we can't find her iPad, but President and Sister Wright came to the
church and talked with Sister Smith and I for a long time. Sister
Smith opened up about everything to the Wrights. Sister Smith is
mentally and physically not stable at this point. Her medication she
has been taking isn't working very well anymore, so she has had a hard
past 8 weeks with her companion. The way her companion had been acting
around her was a trigger for her anxiety and Sister Smith is just he
nicest person in the world so she didn't have the heart to talk to her
companion about anything. So President and Sister Wright council with
me on what I think would be best in this situation. We came to the
conclusion that Sister Smith needs to regain her physical health
before she can talk to her companion about things. So we came up with
a few possibilities, but president wright wanted to pray about things
first. So I took Sister Smith back to our apartment and let her sleep.

The next day, Wednesday, was zone conference(that's where President
and Sister Wright and the assistants come and train us!) and us STLs
and zone leaders were asked to prepare a segment to teach. So we
exchanged back in the morning, and then drove to Vacaville to meet up
with the zone leaders to prepare for our segment that we were going to
teach. The whole time during zone conference, Sister Smith was shaking
and would look over at me like she was about to cry. The poor girl was
physically scared to be around her companion and it was taking the
biggest toll on her body. Anyways, zone conference was super good! The
zone leaders and us taught about gossip and slang words on the mission
and how we can stop it. We did super cool activities with it and now
all the missionaries are starting to clean up their language! It's
awesome! We are all holding each other accountable, so it's great!
After zone conference though, President Wright talked to Sister Smith,
Sister Day, and Sister Stromberg and me. He decided that he was going
to have Sister Smith and Sister Day move in with us for a little
while. So we helped them pack up a few things and moved them into our
apartment. Sister Stromberg and I had our stake correlation meeting
that night, so we went to that and discussed the missionaries and
members in our stake. Lots of meetings. When we got home, Sister Smith
told us that President had called and asked her to drive to Santa Rosa
the next day to meet with the mission counselor. President asked me to
drive Sister Smith there because Sister Smith has become attached to
me, like she feels at peace around me and her anxiety isn't as bad
with me around.

So Thursday morning, I drive Sister Smith to Santa Rosa for the
morning while my companion stayed in Fairfield with Sister Day. But
Sister Stromberg woke up super sick. So I was worried about her the
whole day. Anyways, Sister Smith had a two hour meeting with the
mission counselor. Turns out, things are a lot worse than we thought
with Sister Smith. When President found out the results for her two
hour meeting, he decided to have Sister Smith come and live with the
Wrights in the mission home for a few days. So we drove back to
Fairfield, packed up Sister Smiths things, and President and Sister
Wright came and picked her up. Meanwhile, my sweet companion had been
trying to push through her sickness, but needed to rest. So President
Wright put Sister Day with some other sisters while her companion
would be in Santa Rosa getting the help she needed. Later in the
evening, we had our YSA correlation meeting. More meetings. And then
we came home and discussed everything as a companionship. Then we

Friday, was a rough day for me. We had PPIs with the zone leaders in
the morning where we discussed our transfer goals, but we mostly
discussed everything that has been going on. We were the last
companionship to have PPIs, so the zone leaders told us some of the
other companionships in our zone that were struggling at the moment
and needed our help. We talked with the zone leaders for a while, then
we had a lesson with Lora. This is where my heart couldn't take it
anymore. Lora told us that she received news that she wasn't going to
be able to marry the man she is currently living with, so that means
her baptism isn't going to happen in August like she wanted. Lora was
in tears as she explained the whole situation to us. Lora asked for a
priesthood blessing, so the elders came over and gave her one. My
heart was hurting so bad at this point. Not only were the missionaries
struggling that we are over, but our own investigator was struggling.
We went chalking with our district afterwards, and then we came back
to our apartment to start weekly planning. Before we could even start,
a couple more people called us with problems and struggles, asking us
to do this and that, and I just lost it. I literally had a mental
breakdown. I'm usually pretty good at handling stress, but my heart
couldn't take anymore and I just sat down and cried. I haven't cried
like that in a really really long time. But of course, right as all of
this is happening, President Wright calls. His timing is always
impeccable. I tried pulling myself together to talk to him on the
phone, but it didn't work. So now President knows I had an emotional
breakdown on Friday. Haha president joked around with me on the phone
saying "oh great, you know everything is really bad when one of your
top missionaries on the mission loses it." Haha I told him that that
statement wasn't true and that I'd be ok. Right after this happened,
the zone leaders called us and they needed us at the church for
something. And of course my eyes were red from crying, so right when I
walk in one of the elders says, "sister Thompson, what's wrong with
your face?" Classic elder move. Haha

Saturday, we had a zone blitz in the morning, lunch, and then Sister
Stromberg, who is still sick as a dog at this point, needed to rest so
we pretty much rested the whole day. Which was good for me, I needed
it also. Sunday, Sister Stromberg was still sick, so we stayed home
from church that day. Which ended up being a good thing because
President Wright called us in the morning and told us that Sister
Smith would be returning later that evening. He asked that the sister
still live with us and that we help them as much as we can. Sister
Smith is still emotionally attached to Sister Stromberg and I so we
are with them for emotional support and comical relief. President and
Sister Wright dropped off Sister Smith around 6 and they meet with all
four of us to discuss what needs to be done. Sister Smith is on a
strict diet and needs to sleep a lot, so we are her home nurses right
now. As for Sister Smith and Sister Day, while we were gone at another
meeting last night, Sister Smith opened up to Sister Day about
everything and just laid it down. So hopefully things will be
different in their companionship for the sake of Sister Smiths health.

So yeah. That was my week in a nutshell. So right now, Sister Smith
and Sister Day are living with us for the rest of the transfer and we
are to monitor them. But we still have other STL responsibilities that
we are trying to take care of right now. We have another companionship
that is struggling that we are going on exchanges with tomorrow, so we
will see how that goes!

Honestly, there were a couple times this week were I just wanted to
run away. I have never prayed so hard in my entire life. But Heavenly
Father has been with me every step of the way. From this past week I
have learned to truly rely on my Savior for strength. There's times on
your mission where you'll breakdown, you'll want to give up, where you
go into the bathroom and just cry, but I've learned how to "gird up my
loins" and rely on my Savior and get back to work. I am so grateful
for my mission and for all the things I have experienced, especially
in this past week. I love you all and I'd really appreciate extra
prayers this week! Things are still pretty crazy here, so the more
prayers, the better!

Love always, Sister ThompsonšŸ

Me with my daughter and granddaughter!

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