You would not believe the week I`ve had....it`s been AWESOME! I got a call Monday night before the big conference on Tuesday from the Assistants to the President. Naturally, I was super nervous to see their name across my phone`s screen. But I answered. They told me that Elder Michael T. Ringwood of the First Quorum of the Seventy wanted to have an interview with me after the conference the next morning. I was already pretty nervous about singing at the conference and this just added to it!
|Stevenson shimai and I walked to the station in Marugame at 4:30 a.m. It was a 3 hr train ride to Okayama to attend the Ringwood conference|
But what a wonderful opportunity it was to meet with him and discuss how to better fulfill my calling, and help our brothers and sisters here in Japan. Together with Sister Bean and Sister Bowman, we sang a beautiful arrangement of "Be Still My Soul." The first time we ever practiced together was 30 minutes before the conference! Still, people said they felt the spirit, and that`s all I can ask for. Afterwards I had my meeting with Elder Ringwood which was surprisingly fun, funny and uplifting.
During the conference Elder Ringwood quoted Elder Bednar, `A mission is good for every young man and young woman. But not every young man and young woman are good for the mission.` As he allowed all of us missionaries to ponder on that, he continued with `Do you allow the mission to change you?` He pointed out that we can all benefit FROM the mission, but can we all do good FOR our missions? As missionaries, we are not only here to find people and baptize. We are here to build and strengthen our wards and branches. There are missions within our missions.
I think we can also apply that to our callings. Are we good for our callings? Do we allow our callings to change us and make us better? Or do we just go through the motions because it`s volunteer work and we don`t get paid?
After my interview with Elder Ringwood, the Assistants pulled me and Stevenson shimai aside and said President Welch wanted to meet with us. We gathered in a room with 6 other shimai and APs and President and Sister Welch. We learned that Stevenson shimai was getting transferred to a different area on Shikoku and I was being called to be Sister Training Leader (STL) over all of Shikoku. I was SHOCKED! STLs are like the equivalent of Zone Leaders (ZL) here, but STLs watch over the sister missionaries. I feel like I`m still trying to learn how to fulfill my duties as a regular missionary, but Elder Ringwood`s training helped me get into the right mindset for such an opportunity and responsibility. We also learned that we needed to go straight home, pack up our things, and Stevenson shimai was transferring that Friday. We left the conference and the week`s been crazy ever since!
|Good bye dinner party with missionaries and Ryouta kyoudai for Stevenson shimai|
|Last night in Niihama for Stevenson shimai...I miss her!|
My new companion is Sister Crofts from Idaho Falls, ID. She`s a gem!
|New Comp: the lovely Sister Crofts|
She`s been in a different area as an STL in Yonago, so we both have no clue where we`re going and I have no clue what I`m doing. But as we`ve tried to just get out and work, we`ve been blessed with many miracles and many things falling into place. I don`t have time to explain all the miracles today because we`re off to Kobe (which is a 6-hour bus ride) for the night for a meeting.
I promise we can all DO GOOD FOR our callings, no matter what they are! Whether it's caring for the cute babies in nursery, teaching Gospel Doctrine, ushering during sacrament meeting or even just being participative and attentive in class...we can all be good for our callings. By fulfilling our callings, we can be changed -- truly changed -- for the better. I'm doing my absolute best to do good...not only for me, but for my whole mission. I challenge you all to try just a little harder to fulfill whatever calling you have. I promise you will see the change it will make in you.