Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dear Companions, thank you!

I went on an exchange with Hna Tonga this weekend and it brought me full circle. I needed that exchange, we both needed that exchange. I had a revelation on this exchange of how perfect my mission has been, how things perfectly fell into place, how each companion has prepared me for the next, and how they all have prepared me for my call as STL.

Hna Canova prepared me for Hna Tonga. Hna Canova was always so nervous to talk in lessons. I remember a critical point in that companionship were the two exchanges Hna Canova and I went on with English sisters, and the other 2 exchanges I went on with Spanish speaking sisters. My trainer was secretly a Sister Training Leader, she had to go on emergency exchanges, and organized the entire Hermanas exchanges. Those exchanges were slaps in the face because they helped me to realize what I was lacking, I had to lead on those exchanges, and talk for 99.9% of the time. Those exchanges were critical and helped me to grow up REAL FAST. I watched my trainer more intently after those exchanges, and I worked on perfecting my teaching and leading. & this helped me prepare for training Hna Tonga. 

Hna Tonga love her to death, but she refused to talk. She helped me to grow up even more. My teaching had to become the teaching of a sister who's been out a year in the matter of one day. I had to learn quickly to be bold, to cast my fears aside, to get creative in finding, and learn to hold my own. I also began to learn how to teach a companion and lead by example. 

Hna Tonga prepared me for Hna Arcila. When I left Pasadena, I hate to admit it but I thought, "I won't have to be the leader. I'll have a companion that's been out for a while." I was even more excited when I was put together with Hna Arcila because I thought, "A Spanish speaker! Our companionship won't be uneven." But from day one, it was clear that it wasn't going to be as I imagined. I still remember that first day when we went to go teach investigators. I was the new Hna and we hadn't planned, we hadn't studied, so I figured I would follow Hna Arcila's lead. But, Hna Arcila hadn't really ever been "trained." She was transferred after 6 weeks with her trainer, and had been put with a new companion every transfer after that. I had to help Hna Arcila transfer. 

I learned with Hna Arcila to be less selfish. Whenever Hna Arcila was frustrated with herself, instead of getting mad about how the lesson hadn't gone as I envisioned I would just say, "Hna Arcila. What's wrong?" It would open her up, she would express her feelings and any of my frustrations left completely. Hna Arcila would ALWAYS tell me, Hna Flores! You are training me." I learned from my time with Hna Arcila how to nurture and care for a companion. [*Update on Hna Arcila she's now training!!! :) ]

Hna Arcila prepared me for Hna Post & Hna Dedrick. I knew that I was going to be needed to train again. So "re-training" Hna Arcila helped me see what I was going to change training the second time around. I realized what I as a trainer needed to teach/focus and emphasize so that my companions would become successful missionaries. I still remember transfer calls. I knew I was training two, but then to also be called as a sister training leader! In the words of my Mission President, "Yikes!"

In all honesty, it was a blessing to be training two, it divided the work and it made it so that I could teach a principle and then observe. Hna Post and Hna Dedrick were so different and had different challenges, but it worked. It wasn't a challenging companionship at all. The challenge there was seeing Hna Dedrick go. :( We grew so attached to her, and it broke our hearts to say goodbye!

Hna Post is a wonderful person who sometimes forgets about how wonderful she is. It's been challenging, but the Lord has preapred me so perfectly for this companionship, for my responsibilities as STL in just the right way. 

On my exchange with Hna Tonga this Friday-Saturday I just cried. I didn't realize how much I had missed being her companion. She has become my best friend on the mission! :) And, it helped me feel like I was making a difference. She is an AMAZING missionary. She apologized for never speaking in lessons, but if you could see her now! I felt like the world's proudest parent/hermana (PUN INTENDED). I was so happy with her on Saturday, and we both cried when we realized we had to leave each other and go back to our companions/our areas/our responsibilities. She and I kept saying all day, "I needed this." And I did too! I needed that exchange. I needed to feel like something I am doing is right. 

I realized this week that every companion I have had has prepared me for the next. Had I not been trained with Hna Canova, I wouldn't have been prepared for Hna Tonga. Had I not trained Hna Tonga, I would not have been prepared to re-train Hna Arcila. Had I not re-trained Hna Arcila, I would not have been prepared to train Hna Dedrick and Hna Post. Had I not had to counsel Hna Dedrick as best as I could with her decision going home, I would not have been prepared for dealing with so many sisters' individual struggles.

All these situations combined have helped me serve and know how to help the Sisters of the Broadway zone as well. I was worried at first that I wouldn't have the confidence of the sisters. My numbers and my physical evidence of hard work aren't that promising, but I feel as though I am gaining the trust of the sisters. One sister tells me every time she sees me that she's praying we're companions, another has told me that she's so excited to go on an exchange again (we've been on 2 so far since the beginning of our missions). My heart was touched deeply on Sunday as I saw another sister come up to me open her heart, cry, and just ask for help/go on an emergency exchange. This is hard. But I have seen this week as I have reflected on my mission evidence of, "Whom the Lord Calls, He qualifies."

I am so grateful that the Lord has planned out my mission perfectly. I had to be trained by Hna Maughn aka STL zero. I had to learn from her. In a non biased way, she was literally the best Hermana/Sister of the mission at that time. There is a reason President had such confidence in her to make her the first sister to train two at a time. :) My heart is so full. I am so excited to see who I am paired with next, because I know that the Lord will use the experiences we go through together as preparation for the rest of our lives. 

My mission is changing my eternity. :]
Te amo times a millz,
Hnita Flores

This graffiti may or may not have been drawn by one of our current APs
We had get Dairy Queen blizzards! In honor/memory of Valentines day.
MORGAN!!!! So good to see mission friends, but so strange to call them by their first names!
Never let missionaries play with your camera. 
Can't remember if I ever sent this, but the "historic" first ever TEXAS HOUSTON EAST missionary leadership council.


Post a Comment

Leave a lovely little letter.