Monday, July 28, 2014

13 - The Sister's Last Day

P-Day Chair Soccer
So first off, I promised you action shots last week of the fun we have on P-day. This... is chair soccer.

I am not 'in' any of these pictures because I'm always the one taking them. However, Sister Christianson says that she wants to get some action shots of just me sometime because apparently I'm hilarious to watch play any kind of sport. Haha. Funny noises and battle cries can't be captured in a picture so well unfortunately, but I'm sure she will do her best haha.

Me in the Windy Reeds
Also, here's a picture of Windsday.
It was actually Saturday, but I've decided mother nature wanted to mix it up. So she made it Windsday.

The crowning event of this week was definitely Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday is when the 'transfer train,' as we call it, comes through. This mission is huge and so for transfers they have a specific pick up/drop off route that they drive every six weeks when transfers happen. There were four missionaries who were on the transfer train who were going home. Their time left in the mission: this afternoon to tag along with the missionaries assigned to the Bismark areas and do missionary work, sleep over in one of our apartments, ride the transfer train to the mission home on Wednesday and see Mount Rushmore with President and Sister Anderson, and then Thursday, fly home. This was their last day to preach the gospel as a set apart missionary.
Sister Gogan...(Last Day!

You know, you always think as a missionary, 'how will I feel the last day of my mission? What will I be thinking? About home? About the work? Will I be just... so sad? What's it going to be like?' I never thought I would get to see that in someone else, much less just see 'that' person 'that' day. It's different if you were companions with someone who was ending their mission. (We call that killing a Sister/Elder. lol) Because, then you see the transition. You see them get closer and closer to ending their mission and witness those changes in them. But with this, it was just the last day. Sister Easter has never had the opportunity to serve with someone who was going home either. It's an experience that I deem sacred. I learned so much from the example this Sister set.

We saw miracles with Sister Gogan that day. Just as soon as disappointment arose, a miracle would happen which would overshadow the disappointment hands down. She was so good at talking naturally with people. Maybe it does matter what you say when you talk to someone at the door. I just wish I could remember how exactly Sister Gogan 'started' the conversation with this women, because that is the make it or break it moment, those first sentences. What a master at talking to people and weaving the gospel in without it being awkward or jarring. The 'first' door we knocked on, and Sister Gogan was chatting with this older lady about North Dakota, and how she worked on a farm, and how (and believe me, I don't remember how she squeezed this in) we have a prophet that leads the church today. And she asked if we could come in and share a message. "Oh sure, I should have let you in earlier." ...That would not have happened if Sister Gogan was not with us. I mean, maybe it would? But idk, I doubt it. And we set up a return appointment.

And THEN! So, we ran (not literally, because that would be rude lol) out of the house because we had another appointment. But she cancelled. Darn it... we could have stayed longer.. BUT ... get ready. I'm just going to preface this by saying there is this one guy who we have been TRYING to get a hold of for months, I've never met him, and Sister Easter has only once or twice, and he was pretty solid and then he just went out of town for awhile and just, yeah. It's a long story and to make it short, we really did need a miracle to get back in contact with him. .....We were driving and Sister Easter says... " that Sam?" (The name has been changed.) We RUN out of the car! (This time, we were closer to actually running!) He was about to walk into his apartment! He was on the phone! But dang it, we didn't care! We followed him in and he finished talking and we set up a return appointment with him!!! We couldn't teach him because he was going right back out, just picking something up, but AHHHH!!!! YEEEEEEEEEEES!!! It was such a happy day!!!!

As a side note just to keep things real, neither the appointment with Sam nor with the old lady worked out this week... ...It was really hard to see those appointments fall through after setting them up so miraculously.... ....I still have faith that we will get in contact again though, the Lord be willing...
But... regardless, that Tuesday was phenomenal, and there is one thing which Sister Gogan said that day that I will remember. "Man! I'm serious, I just feel like I got transferred to Bismark, that it's my new area and that I'm in a trio again!"

In her last day, her mind wasn't at home. It was here. It was on the work, just as it had been the past 18 months. This really impacted me and I will remember that example and strive to imitate it.
And so, Sister Gogan, if you ever read this, I want you to realize that the impact you made in you last day in the field was a forceful one. I wish I had a great metaphor to describe the impact you made, to express how such a matter of hours with you is all it took, and that because it was that short that time with you was emphasized all the more as a great example to me. So thank you.

This mission is a time for me to learn and for me to help others learn. I'm so grateful for this time. As it says in the white pocket sized missionary handbook which we are instructed to read three pages a day as a companionship from, Time is on one of the most precious resources Heavenly Father has given us. There will always be more work than we can do, but if we do our part, the Lord will make up the rest, sometime or another.
Of this I testify to be true, and I say these things in Christ's name, and as one who represents our Lord and Savior.

Huge Flowers Outside the Library!  :-)
Now THAT is a Dragonfly!

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