I prayed so hard Thursday night that you would sleep well that night and be comforted because I almost cried myself to sleep the first night because I was so happy. My companion is literally the greatest thing that ever happened on this whole adventure so far. Her name is Sister Keisha Lloyd and as soon as I realized what an amazing trainer I got, I don't think I've said a prayer since that hasn't thanked Heavenly Father for giving me the best start to my mission EVER! It hasn't even been four days and I feel like we are already friends. She's so real about how she approaches the Gospel because she knows it well and LOVES it with all of her heart. She has used the Atonement and the Book of Mormon to bless her life and the life of her investigators in ways I didn't think possible. She is the "Sister Training Leader" for our zone and the neighboring one which basically means she provides for the emotional well being of all the sisters in two zones. The girl is frickin' SOLID. Like, I feel like she takes all these burdens on her shoulders and turns them into something beautiful. She has a way with people I've never really seen before. The way she takes to them is like watching love just pour out. I think I learn something from her everytime she talks. Her testimony and love just make me want to be the best missionary I can be. Plus, she's been through hell and back in this area, so she knows it like the back of her hand.
I feel like I am RUNNING to catch up with her because everything is so foriegn to me. In the MTC they really tried to stress exact obedience and I feel like I am still trying to stand on my own two feet to be precise in anything yet. I feel like I can do both at the same time...but I have yet to wrap my head around everything and prove that. I'm trying my best with repentence and working as hard as I can...but I haven't quite figured out how to do this whole "mission" thing. :) Have I really only been here four days? From the amount I am learning, I would have guessed I had been here for months.
I think I would have literally had a heart attack if I had culture shock and a language on top of this. Looks like Heavenly Father knows me PERFECTLY. I can't decide if it's a good thing that I haven't been overwhlemed in the slightest since I was set apart. On one hand, I know that THERE WILL BE HARD TIMES so I should just try to soak it up......but on the other hand, the quote Dad told be via Elder Ben via his MTC teacher has been RINGING in my head every 5 inutes: "There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone." I don't want to get comfortable, because when I get comfortable I get prideful, and when I get prideful I get unteachable. And that is no way to be a servant of an all-knowing God.
I absolutely LOVE member dinners. I feel like I can feel a change in the way wards work with missionaries ever since "The Work of Salvation" fireside. I love seeing members who are scared to do missionary work because they remind me of who I was before the MTC changed my way of thinking. Don't get me wrong, I still get TERRIFIED to approach random people and bring up the Gospel...but I have so much more conviction to do so. I am so excited to see the 4th ward here in Iowa City grows to be a teaching-loving ward so they will bring us more investigators!!!! Well...that's our hope at least.
Oh yeah! So my area is the family ward in Iowa City. The University of Iowa is here so we have single's ward missionaries, married ward missionaries, spanish speaking missionaries, and portugese speaking missionaries in this town. It's a bit crazy, but way fun.
I am so thrilled to finally be here. It's been years of preparation and months of waiting, and I am so calm about finally BEING ABLE TO DO THE GREATEST WORK THERE IS.
~Sister Chloé Michelle Sumsion~
Iowa Des Moines Mission
8515 Douglas Ave Ste 19
Urbandale, IA 50322
KATIE BERNS: THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE. That was the cutest thing letter ever!
BARBERS and momma: Thank you for the treats. We were literally starving because on the day before Fast Sunday the cafeteria closed early and then I got your packages and we ate 3/4 of it instantly. :) The other sisters in my room LOVE you guys.
Familia: THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR LETTERS. Legit emotional happiness everytime.
Joshua Paul: iPod made it to me my last day in the MTC and my trainer doesn't have one so you ROCK!!!!!!!!! for bringing music to my life.
Alicia Jenkins: If I write you a letter right now, I would bawl my eyes out. You are my inspiration. THANK YOU for the "Light in Darkness" analogy. I thought about it for days afterwards....and stillpsychoanalyzing it. You know me SO well.
My closest RM friends: I haven't made it through a day without thinking of you and all the things I learned from your love and your stories. THANK YOU FOR BEING THE BEST MISSION PREP TEACHERS EVER. Couldn't have done this without you.
Ashley Rodriguiez: Thanks for being my TRUE trainer. Miss you already.