Transfers are this week and I found out that Sister Daniel is leaving me but Sister Carver is joining me!!!! She was friends with Riley Olsen at BYU Hawaii and so we talked via facebook pre mission and I knew then we would be friends forever…it’s so crazy looking back to our conversations and we thought we’d probably never get to serve as companions, but hoped we would. It seemed too good to be true when President Sorensen told me the news! We reported to the MTC the same day but were in different zones so didn’t get to know each other that well until our flight/training when we first got here but I am so excited to actually get to serve with her–I hope we become like Chad and Tyler! It will be quite the adventure because both of us are fresh out of training and I don’t know about hers, but my Russian is still pretty awful to say the least. It’s definitely going to be a time of growth because I won’t be able to rely on Sister Daniel anymore but this is exactly what I need and I’m anxious for this opportunity to step up my game. Also, to make the world smaller, supposedly her mom lived with Mandy McFadyen? so random. But she is from northern california and literally the most beautiful human I’ve ever seen.
But anyways, this week I’ve been thinking a lot about this common theme in the scriptures, and in life in general. There are always those times when we feel forsaken and we turn to God and ask where He’s hiding. “Now would be a good time to lend a hand” kinda thing…”why have you forsaken me?” But Christ was the ultimate example, as always, and said to His disciples in John 16: 32-33 pretty soon you’re all going to abandon me, “and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” and then He says, And I’m telling you all this so “that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Then in Isaiah 49/1 Nephi 21:14 it says that we’re all going to say “The Lord hath forsaken me–but He will show that He hath not.” And that’s what leads in to my favorite scripture: “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me.” We are not alone because the Father is with us. He cannot forget us, because He has overcome the world….He did so through His infinite Atonement. When He suffered for us in Gethsemane and on the cross, He took our “walls,” our tribulations, troubles, questions, afflictions, sufferings, pains, confusions and trials, and they became His. They are continually before Him because the Atonement is infinite…it lasts forever. We can turn to Him NOW, with our current/modern troubles. I love the hymn “Where Can I Turn for Peace?” because the answer is “He, only He.” I have felt the power of that this week. And I reread the talk from last conference by Neil A. Andersen, “What Christ Thinks of Me?” and I love when he says that sometimes “our pain and fear are calmed only by the conviction that He loves us and keeps His promises.”
It’s interesting how fast time has gone by and that my training is already over and fall is already winding down and Sister Daniel is already leaving Ryazan and my visa is already expiring (I have my first visa trip to Latvia on Friday–I will try to escape the airport and run through the hills to try and find my Maddie!!! so close but so far away). But hearing Sister Daniel’s farewell testimony yesterday just kinda freaked me out because I never want to leave. I think about how hard Sister Daniel worked here and how much she invested…we have seen such monumental growth here over the space of these 3 months, and I hope that by the time I leave, the change will be even greater. I’m so excited to introduce Sister Carver to these people I love so much. And I”m excited to push even harder and be a more dedicated servant than I have been. Times of change are always times of reflection and times when I realize how much better I can be.
I love you, my family! Thank you for the emails and the prayers and the support….I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have a family like you.