Everyone said that about 5-6 months into your mission you start thinking at night. Thinking so much you can't even sleep. I was always like whatever; like that will never happen. I can barely finish my prayers sitting up without dreaming I am so tired at night. But this week it happened! I wake up at 5:30 AM and my brain starts racing with loose ends and people to call and doors to knock on and things to teach! Ah! Training does that to you. All of a sudden the majority of the decision making falls on my head and I don't have Sister Sant anymore to pick up the pieces. All in all it is going really well. My new companion's name is Sister Ewell and she is great! She is a super hard worker and a very contemplative teacher, which balances me out I think. We will make a great team. I suppose the hardest thing about training is that I want her to be and feel successful, to learn and to be obedient to the rules. So it is a fine balance between constructive feedback and love and everything else. But it is good. The best part is that I actually love practicing teaching and everything like that. Takes me back to my OCHSA days because we do a lot of practices... kind of like improv!
So I cut my hair! There aren't many things I have control over on a mission... but I do have control over my hair. So I chopped it off and donated it make a wig for a cancer patient. It was on my lifelong bucket list of things to do, so what better time than now! I actually really like having shorter hair for a change. I'm getting used it only taking 2 seconds to brush it. So weird. A lady in my ward says that I now look "zesty and vivacious"... I'm taking that as a compliment. And hey, I wouldn't hate any positive reinforcement about it in the form of letters (how is that for some shameless self promotion?).
Okay. Miracles happen when you are training. Sister Ewell and I went to go knock her very first door. I am praying in my head, "please at least be mildly receptive and friendly... por favor?" We knock on the door and the lady starts talking to us. She's super friendly. We bond over her dog Barkley J. Bigglesworth and she lets us in. SHE LETS US IN! On Sister Ewell's first door. That never happens! Then we are talking and she's like "what time are services on Sunday... I need to get back to church." What?! That also never happens. She didn't end up coming but we are going over this week. I'm keeping Sister Ewell around because apparently she is really good luck.
The next person that we street contacted was a man and his son playing basketball. I usually get apprehensive to street contact people, but I'm getting over that. We politely interrupted their game, taught a mini-restoration lesson and set a return appointment. That also NEVER happens. I know that Heavenly Father is really blessing us with people to teach so that Sister Ewell can practice her teaching skills and get to see the joys of missionary work. I am so grateful that He is so willing to bless us with the things that we need, even before we think to ask for them.
We started teaching a girl named Bobbie. She is 9 and her mom is coming back to church. She is going to get baptized this month! It is so fun to work with kids again. I do miss teaching sometimes... so it will be fun to combine my classroom skills and teaching the gospel when teaching Bobbie. Anyway, she's adorable and I'm really excited about it.
I am so grateful for opportunities to learn and grow. Everyone said training is hard, but I felt optimistic and excited for the challenge. I guess a lot of that confidence comes from knowing that the Lord will provide for everything that I lack and that trials help us become more than we are today. It is hard, but I am learning and growing. I am so grateful for these stretching opportunities so that I can really tap into my full potential. I'm also grateful for the trials that I had this past year, honestly training is a breeze compared to constant dizziness and herding twenty-three 7 year olds while teaching 2nd grade. Mostly I am grateful for a loving Father in Heaven that knows who we can become and loves us enough to help us get there-- he provides opportunities to stretch, grow, and expand who we are so that we are better able to love and serve others.