Monday, August 24, 2015

Three's a Crowd

This week. 

I just do not know where to begin. 
Let me think... 

AH, I found a good place. 
This week was insane. On Wednesday we got a phone call from President Johnson, indicating that WE ARE IN FACT GOING TO THE WALK AREA. So that was much rejoicing had in the land. 
Beside the rejoicing, there was also much cleaning and packing and moving had in the land. Which I hate moving so that was really stressful. Our new apartment is on the third floor of this old building so that was fun carrying loads and loads of furniture and things up those stairs. Doesn't get much funner than that, my friends!! 
BUT! The apartment is suuuper nice and recently refurbished and I feel like I'm living in some sort of bachelors pad or something. Like it's a dang nice apartment so we were pretty spoiled. 
However, something was slightly different in this apartment than in any other missionary apartment I have previously lived in... 
This apartment had...
3 tables
and 3 beds. 


I have had like 12,007 mini panic attacks. 

I do not know how to do missionary work in a trio...

SO I need your help! All of you returned missionaries that served in trios or know people who have served in trios that were good and that worked out really well, I NEED TIPS! 
So if you guys could help me out with that this week, I would sincerely appreciate it. 

PS - you guys were the best this week. I got so many wonderful and kind emails all throughout the week that made me feel like the most incredibly loved person on the entire planet earth. So thank you for that. I love you all. 

But anyway! So at first the idea of a trio was a little bit alarming. But when we thought it through, we realized that it had to be Hermana Landa coming! (Since there are only 7 Hermanas in the mission - Me and Hermana Davis, Hermana Sears and Hermana Busath are in the middle of training, Hermana Blackwell is an STL, and Landa and Hermana Smith just got done training so Hermana Smith was going to train a new missionary) And we got really excited. Because I have been wanting to serve with Hermana Landa since the moment I left Lebanon 7 months ago. So we got really excited and we smooshed our three last names together and called ourselves #blandis and that was suuuper trending (in our minds) for like a whole two days until Saturday night came and President Johnson called Hermana Landa and told her that she was going to be a Sister Training Leader and we were really sad because that means that #blandis is officially dead. Along with all of my dreams. 
So then we were really unamused so I grabbed the phone and texted President Johnson "that was not funny." because he knew that we had thought Hermana Landa was coming to Lancaster all along and he just let us believe it. Cause even before we moved into the new apartment we had a feeling that we were going to be in a trio because of something the assistants said to us on the phone... So anyway President texted us back saying that we are going to love our new companion and she is going to make a big contribution to the area and all this stuff and I answered back with, "We love you, President Johnson. But that was still not funny." So then he called us and talked to us on the phone for like 20 minutes but half of the time he couldn't even talk because he was laughing so hard saying that he knew that we thought Hermana Landa was coming and how funny he thought he was... We were just so done with his attitude. 
Well anyway we eventually hung up the phone with him and the next day in the middle of our lunch hour he texts us, "Is is funny yet?" 
That wily old man.
He thinks he's so clever...
So we replied with, "Yes, President. We haven't stopped laughing. You're hilarious." 

Then I called him this morning to ask him about whether or not I could get permission to start applying for college and all dat fun stuff and he answered the phone, literally, didn't even say hello, just answered by saying, "Is it funny, NOW?" hahahaha
That guy. 
He told me, "Are we on speaking terms? No. You're just like my children. They only talk to me when they want something." hahaha
But anyway. Aside from all the bullying coming from our mission president, we actually were really really sad that Hermana Landa is not going to be here with us. 
Another super sad thing that I found out (and who knows if this will mean anything to anyone but it was really really hard for me) is that Lebanon is being closed for sisters. I cried for like 20 minutes. Not only because Lebanon is really near and dear to my heart as the place where I was born into this mission life, but also because there are only 2 Spanish areas for sisters in the entire mission, and now there is only one, and it's this branch. 
It's just so hard. I remember the struggle while I was in Hanover and I only taught 2 Spanish lessons my whole 4 months there and I always wondered, "Why in the world was I called Spanish speaking to Pennsylvania. Who ever uses their Spanish in PA?" But serving in Lebanon and in Lancaster have been amazing. I have truly been able to magnify my calling. That means everything to me. I mean, I know that we do missionary work all the time in English as well, and it's just as important. But you just wonder why you got YOUR call, you know what I mean? And now there are 7 Hermanas and only 1 area that they could possibly serve in and so I just know that not all of them are going to have the opportunity and it breaks my heart. 
But also because... gah. It's Lebanon! That's my home!! 😩

Well anyway. There's nothing we can really do about it. 

So I was seeking comfort from the Lord last night and this morning through my prayers and the scriptures and something just stuck out to me... I read several chapters in Mosiah this morning and I couldn't help but notice the difference between the people of Limhi and the people of Alma. Both were in bondage, both ended up looking to the Lord and being free from bondage and got their happy ending and were strengthened and ended up better people because of their trials. But something was different. 
Limhi and his people were subject to the Lamanites because of their personal wickedness in turning away from the Lord and not keeping His commandments.
But Alma and His people were taken into bondage for a different reason. As it says in the book of Mosiah, 23rd chapter, 21st verse, sometimes, "the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith." 

I just really needed that this morning. It reminded me that there are three different kinds of trials that we go through in this life
1- trials because of our own poor choices
2- trials because of the poor choices of others
3- trials from the Lord because he knows we are prepared to grow

I love that we have a God who works that way. Who trusts us to go through trials and troubles and afflictions and things that scare us because he wants us to rely on him and he wants us to grow. 
I know that my Heavenly Father adores each and every one of us, and that His plan is for us to become like Him some day. If we just have faith in the things that He asks us to do, everything will work together for our good. I know it. Just like in D&C 121 when the Lord is comforting Joseph Smith - these things will only be a small moment, and if we can endure them well, we will be exalted. We will receive more blessing than we could ever imagine. That will be an incredible day. 
I know it's something small that I'm going through right now. But if it's important to me, it's important to Him. And that applies to each one of you. It doesn't matter what trial or tribulation you're going through, it matters to Him. But it's important to identify what kind of trial we're going through. 
If our trials are because of our own poor choices, we can repent.
If our trials are because of the poor choices of others, we can forgive.
and if our trials are because the Lord is ready to help us grown, we can be faithful and trust that He will take care of us.

He loves us incredibly. I know it. I hope that you all know it. 
I love you, too :) 

Love, Hermana Bills