So, yeah I am going to just be straight up honest here, it’s been a brutal week, yet, there has been a lot of growth and pieces of tender mercies as well. Last Monday I said goodbye to Sister Tobler, then after that is was a flurry of five different companions and lessons until I picked up my new companion on Wednesday. The rug kinda got ripped out from under me with that one. I never appreciated Sister Tobler enough, she did so much! I went from riding shotgun to in a period of two days taking over everything. We kinda put off the goodbyes until the night before because we wanted to focus on our work, but then before I knew it, she was gone. Everything feels different now. I remember her quiet yet firm example everyday in everything I do. Gooness I miss that woman! Tuesday was a tender mercy from the Lord because I was feeling really bummed and overwhelmed plus we had two lessons with Polish members to teach. In those two lessons, a miracle happened. I have never spoken such beautiful, understandable Polish in my entire life. I do not even know what happened, I was able to understand almost everything, and I could just speak for the first time in a long time in Polish. It felt so good. It was such a blessing from the Lord! That helped to uplift me and boost my confidence before everything fell apart after that. I went from so confident and ready to so humbled and brought low in such a short amount of time.
Wednesday we went in for training before we picked up our trainees. Most of the stuff they were talking about for trainers was still stuff I don't know or am in the process of learning. It was pretty overwhelming. I was praying so hard that entire day. Then next thing you know, I was in the captains seat. My trainee's name is Sister Johnston and she is from Texas. I actually met her the night before when we took the new trainee's out on the Rynek their first day to go contacting, and I knew from the second I met her that she would be mine. She is super sweet, understanding, and I love her already. She is so good at just rolling with the flow; I love it. Sometimes I even forget that she has only been here for just a few day's because she is so good at just going with it. Her first name is Ellen, but everyone calls her Ellie, just like me! We have had an interesting week!
I guess mainly I am just trying to get everything figured out. The burden of responsibility is pretty crushing, but so many elders and sisters have been so good about reaching out and offering me love and support. I mainly just feel so overwhelmed and inadequate, so frustrated by primarily my inability to speak the language, and also not knowing how to deal with tons of stuff. I had that one good day of speaking the language, being able to give an entire lesson, to the next day not being able to do even a lesson in English the next. I feel like all of the work that we have been building up in this area is going to fail because of my lack of experience and knowledge and it just is so stressful and frustrating. I am my trainee's lifeline, yet half the time I am looking for my own lifeline to save me. That is when it comes down to turning to the Lord. I don't think I have ever worked harder in my entire life for such an extended amount of time from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30. The Lord pretty much has to carry me through every single day somehow. We have been working with so many fantastic people lately that I have just been so scared of failing because of my inadequacies. My fear has been trumping my faith which is never a good thing. Honestly though, it can only go up from here I hope. I may not speak Polish, but in training, we learned that a trainers job is not to teach the language, it is to teach the trainee how to be a good missionary. I may stink at everything else we are trying to do right now, but I know that I can set the example/ standard and pray for the Lords help with the rest. It's been probably the hardest thing I have ever done. There has been a lot of long sleepless nights. But I know that the Lord and President Edgren know better than I do, and they called me to do this not because I would fail, but learn how to succeed. I just have to keep that in mind. Keep me in your prayers.
Other activities of the last week. We caroled on the Rynek in the pouring sleet last night. Sister Johnston didn't find that half as halariously fun as I did haha! And then, poor Sister Johnston, we spent her second day with 8 hours of contacting and tracting. We also had a really cool lesson with our investigator Molly. Yeah so much has happened I don't even remember. I am so excited for this next week though. Wednesday we have Zone Conference on Christmas Eve, and half of the mission is coming into Warsaw for that. Christmas day we get to have breakfast and play sports, then of course skype our families that evening. The day after Christmas I get to go into the mission home and stay the night for MLC (mission leadership conference, STL stuff) and then prepare for Zone training next week. It is going to be a good week. Anyways, I am so excited to talk with you all. Bensons sure can do hard things! I am super bummed about Kaiser, he was a good friend, more like a member of the family for so many years. I really will miss him! Love you all, have a very Merry Christmas. Though this year of Christmas is so different than any other I have ever had, I don't even care. All I care about is my beautiful family back home. Other than the most important gift of Christ all of those years ago, you are my most precious gift this year. Talk to you soon.
Siostra Ellie May