Dear Mom and Dad,
This week was hard, but is ok because the Lord helped me get through it all and so did my friends. I am grateful for the two other sisters who remained in our house and were able to help me out.
My companion had leg cramps this week. One day it was so bad that she couldn't walk. She went to the hospital with one of the sisters living in our house who also had health problems. My companion's cramps were made worse by the fibromyalgia; the other sister has some crazy gall stones and will probably go home early to get surgery.
I had one, among several, special experiences this week...
Sunday morning my companion was ignoring me and after church was really frustrated and angry. We came home to do 12 week program [a special in-field training program for new missionaries]. I tried to initiate study several times, but she did not want to study, so I did it by myself. She finally realized that I was serious about studying, gave me the crazy look, and joined me, but because of the pain meds she started taking this week, only lasted about 10 minutes before sleep took over.
I said a prayer asking Heavenly Father to help me understand why I was having so many companionship problems. I felt that I was doing all that I could, even until the end, but I was being ignored and criticized by my companion, what was I doing wrong, if anything?
I then had a very tender conversation with my companion. She was not angry with me, she was frustrated with our ward. She has been praying for revelation to find ways to help them and has been receiving great ideas, but no one is listening. Rather than explaining that she chose to attack me personally. We had a wonderful conversation about what it means to be a successful missionary. We went through each of the points of success in Preach My Gospel and I asked if she was doing them and she said yes. We talked about how even though she is successful others are using their agency to not listen or follow. I talked about how the same thing happened to the Savior. He taught perfectly, yet no one listened. He was the perfect example of a successful missionary, yet in the end the people in his area crucified him. It was a truly tender moment with my new missionary.
We had transfers. We were all on edge: two trainers and their now-trained trainees waiting to hear what would happen. All of the sisters in my house except my companion were transferred. One is now a Sister Training Leader in my first area. I am in Ribeirao Preto in an area called Campos Elizes, and the other sister is in another part of Ribeirao. I am in the same district now as my trainer. I'm excited. My companion is Sister Marchant, from Ohio. She is the youngest of 4, two boys and two girls. She was studying nursing at BYU before her mission. She is my first American companion in Brasil. She has 6 months on her mission, I have about 10. She plays the piano Really Well. I am excited to work with her.
Sister Leite is going to stay in Franca and will be the senior companion of another sister who also just finished being trained.
I am really excited for this transfer. It´s going to be a big temptation to not speak English...Sister Leite will be a great missionary. Training her was hard, but I truly learned a lot.
Alena...good luck with your last semester of college, you´re great. Gook luck darlin! The picture of Audrey was way cute.
I love you Mom and Dad...and the rest of my hooligan gang!