January 09, 2012
Last night we had comp inventory. It goes something like this…
Talk about your individual goals and how you can help each other achieve them.
Set companionship goals so you can serve each other better and progress together.
Say what you love about each other.
Say how you can improve.
We sat on our 3 beds– which are squished up side-by-side next to each other so that they’ll all fit in the bedroom. (I love that because it reminds me of my college apartments.) I’m hugging my pillow with the smiley face pillow case that Sister Mix’s Mom made for me for Christmas. And we’re all in our pajamas talking about how great it is to be together. And how hard it is. And all our hopes for each other in the next few weeks. It was beautiful. I got to express some fears and thoughts that I haven’t spoken or even written about yet. It felt so good. And I even cried, which actually also felt good.
Watching Sister Stewart reaches me. I get teary-eyed every day with her here, literally. Not out of sadness… usually out of love. I overflow with love. Love for her or for what she’s expressing. Love for the Book of Mormon or for prayer, for Heavenly Father’s plan, for our investigator or for families or the healing power of Christ. I’ve missed being this way. I feel very awake and alive and inspired. I feel things deep down in my heart instead of just on the surface. Before my mission I always felt things deep down. But so often on my mission I seem to subconsciously retract from that. Probably because it’s hard to be so passionate 24/7– at least outwardly. But it’s me! So I’m glad I’m back to my enthusiastic, emotional, high-energy huge-love self lately. Sister Stewart wakes me up.
She tries harder than any other new missionary I’ve known. Even though she’s the only new missionary I’ve known who is not a native English speaker. And her influence is amazing. I’ve never seen investigators listen to a missionary the way they listen to her. I’ve never seen members soften the way they do when they speak with her. Every where she goes she inspires people. And she inspires me. I know she trusts Heavenly Father to help her. I know she will learn this language and I know her intentions for being here are pure. She makes me better.
Sister Stewart studied architecture in Japan. Before she came here she worked in an office designing houses. I know she is smart. I know there is so much depth and intelligence behind her beaming face. There are so many thoughts and ideas and feelings she can’t show to me. I love them and revere them, even without communicating about them.
A few times this week she had an especially hard time with English. Once we were in comp study and she busted out in a frustrated flurry of Japanese and explained the whole apostasy. Then she went back and made each sentence into English one step at a time. It was fascinating. Another time in language study she was laying on her stomach, miming with her hands and trying to summarize a verse in English but she couldn’t get much of anything out. Eventually she put her face in her scriptures and cried really soft for a few minutes. Then she sat up. “It’s okay. I think I can do it now.” I wish you could see it.
We look out for reasons to have celebration parties when she’s bummed. One night we got ice cream and bananas and strawberries on the way home and then we made chocolate sauce and got out the peanut butter and granola and made THE best sundaes this world has ever seen. Another time we ran around the apartment yelling “You did it! You’re great! Yeahhhhh!” after she taught us about the apostacy, the restoration, and theBbook of Mormon all by herself. Sometimes she throws her hands in the air and says “YESS!” I love that.
Her words come slow and disheveled but they are strung together by the spirit in such a way that they cannot be denied or confounded. She is a pure vessel. I believe in her like I’ve never believed in any other missionary. I hope I always know her.
Here are a few golden moments from comp inventory:
“You make fun. And speak soft. I like.” –Sister Stewart on Sister Mix.
Sister Mix is really good at making things fun. My bike has a flat tire right now so I ride Sister Mix’s bike and she rides one we borrowed. The one we borrowed has a honky horn and a ringing bell. I always want Sister Stewart to ride in the middle so we can make sure she’s okay. For the first few days I always rode in the back so I could know they were both safe. But Sister Mix hates being in front, so she asked if I would lead. Except I’m still so bad with directions I don’t know where to go! And she can’t yell it to me because she’s all the way behind Sister Stewart! So she made a system where the ringing bell means go right… and the honky horn means left. We look and sound ridiculous in this sketch town full of vagabonds. Three girls on bikes, in skirts, honking their horns. But it works and we laugh every time! And Sister Mix doesn’t have to worry about mixing up her right and left anymore!
And Sister Mix does speak softly. She is good at being gentle in general and that is really good for Sister Stewart. I knew what she meant when she said that. I hope Sister Mix did too.
This is what she said about me.
“You speak bold. When you speak, there are no lies. No doubts. So I know I can trust when you speak. So when you speak good of me I feel: ‘Wow. I am special.’ You are great trainer.”
I love little Stewy. Can you tell yet? I could just burst.
I have so many more stories for you but it’s time to go.