This week was INCREDIBLE! On Thursday morning we drove to Charleston West Virginia for transfers. Sister Ostler and I were SO SAD to leave each other! We have had a fantastic transfer! We have worked hard together, and it has been an incredible experience! I am so thankful for her example as a trainer and as a missionary, I have learned so much from her! My favorite aspect of her teaching style is that she uses analogies and metaphores all the time! She thinks of incredible object lessons on the spot! I love it!
Transfers brought the largest set of new missionaries in the history of the West Virginia Charleston Mission! 31 new missionaries - 12 Sisters and 19 Elders! Amazing! The "greenies" crowded to the front of the chapel and introduced themselves and then were assigned to their trainers. My "greenie" is Sister Larkin! When we were assigned I ran to the front of the chapel (a reverent run) and grabbed her in a massive hug of squeeling excitement! She is from Layton Utah, and she is filled with energy! She is always smiling and laughing - I love it! We have the same constant, overwhelming energy and excitement for missionary work and for life; we are perfect for each other!
When the meeting ended all the missionaries gathered in the hallways and shuffled out to the parking lot to load suitcases and melt in the blazing sun and humidity as we prepared for our journeys home. President pulled me aside in the missionary-filled hall, and gently whispered, "You have a great companion. The moment she walked into my office for our first interview I knew exactly who her trainer was going to be, it is very rare that revelation comes that powerfully. You both have great energy, and because of that I know that your companioship will do great things in Pikeville, and I promise that as you two channel your energy that you will see miracles and baptisms in Pikeville."
WHOAH! That is a loaded promise! I was definitely excited to hear that from my mission President, and I am eagerly anticipating the coming transfer!
I was initially a little bit nervous to be a trainer at only 6 weeks I know that if He trusts me to train a brand new missionary, I can do it. I am learning to understand that I should never be the teacher or the senior companion or even the trainer! The Holy Ghost should always fulfill those roles. I am a mouthpiece for the Lord, therefore I must allow Him to work through me by the power of the Holy Ghost.
The Lord has promised us that as we trust in the Lord and open our mouths, not thinking beforehand what we will say, our mouths will be filled with words as the Holy Ghost works within our minds to guide and direct us. I have witnessed the fulfillment of this promise! On Friday, Sister Larkin's first full day as a missionary in the field (woot woot!) we taught one of our investigators who has been struggling with baptism. He has been on date before, but he never comes to church. Each week he commits to come to church, but he is never there. He KNOWS the church is true, and he KNOWS that he needs be baptized in this life (he has numerous health problems and he is dying) but he will not act!
On Friday we focused on the atonement as we taught him. We explained that Christ suffered the pains and afflictions and sicknesses of each person on earth "in the flesh" (Alma). Christ was a mortal man when He suffered the pain of the atonement! Yes, He is the Savior of the world, He is "God the Son" as Elder Holland has said, but he had a mortal body! He suffered for your pain in the same mortal bodily structure as you! He understands your pain! Furthermore, He suffered such great pain for you because He has faith in you! If the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, has faith that you can do something, like come to church, then you can do it.
As we were teaching, I told Heavenly Father that I wanted Him to really teach this lesson. I cleared my mind and literally felt the windows of heaven open up! I didn't know what I was going to say, or where the lesson was going to go, but the Spirit put exact words and phrases in my mind, and they seemed to spill from my mouth! It was amazing! The Spirit was prompting me to say exact things, and promise exact blessings. It was powerful! The blessings that the Lord promised him were so powerful, so specific, and I felt absolutely certain that they would be fulfilled as he lived worthy of receiving them. The gospel is true! I have never felt anything so powerfully!
Sister Larkin is so ready to teach and learn and work and do! We laugh all the time and enjoy every moment together! I love it; we are alike in almost every way, and we have come to love each other so much already! President Pitt's promised blessing is already being fulfilled. The day of transfers none of our investigators were on date for baptism. Within two days after transfers, we had 4 baptismal dates! We have been finding, teaching, inviting, and committing relentlessly and we have seen blessings, miracles, and tender mercies almost every moment! I know that President is an inspired man, and I am so excited for this transfer and the blessings and miracles that we will witness. My faith is growing as I recognize more and more blessings - I love the gospel! And I love being a missionary!