New Beginnings

Happy New Year! Well, the world didn’t end so…that was nice. I can’t believe that its already 2013! This past year just flew by. It is strange to think that one year ago, I was barely graduated from college, trying to get my mission papers in and now, I am a missionary. Tomorrow marks the beginning of my second transfer. There will be six new sisters coming. I’m excited not to be the new kid any more (or at least not the newest kid). We had transfer conference yesterday where the entire mission gathered together in the conference center and we broke out into zones to have our zone leaders announce our new assignments, companions, etc. They decided to do Sister Ibarra and I last for dramatic effect. Most of the time you stay with your trainer for two transfers but we knew that wasn’t the case with one companionship already. I was so nervous but, we are staying together. Even better, we don’t have to change apartments. Even better than that, because our new p-day will be Saturday, we get two p-days this week. Hallelujah! Our new zone covers the Humanitarian Center, Welfare Square and sometimes the Beehive house. We don’t know where we will be yet but I am so excited to be in a new zone and learn something new. I am going to love this transfer!

I don’t want to sound like a Scrooge or anything but I am a little bit relieved that the holidays are over. We had so many nights in the past month where we would be on the square until 10 at night. It was exhausting! It will be nice to get back in the swing of things and have them be back to “normal”.

I know that I have mentioned before the miracles that are here on the square everyday. Last night, I was blessed enough to see one amazing, well needed one. While we were at a desk assignment last night, a man came up to us. He is a volunteer here and said that there was a family that is from out of the country that needed a tour. My companion politely told this man that we don’t do tours after 5. In front of the family, the man responded that we needed to just do it (he was very rude, I don’t know what his deal was). My companion said she will try to find someone. We tried everything to try and get someone to do a tour but no one responded (everyone was busy, which is why we don’t do tours after 5). We waited 15 minutes until our “shift” was over and we offered to take this family around. Although the volunteer was very rude, this family was incredibly sweet! They had three teenage girls and they were visiting from New York (originally from Poland). We talked to them about how families can be united eternally in temples, prophets, and scriptures. I had an overwhelming feeling of love for this beautiful family. I have never felt that much love for complete strangers before. As we took them through the God’s Plan for His Family presentation, I was praying fervently the entire time that they will accept local missionaries and allow us to teach them as well. At the end of the presentation, I testified to them that their family can receive all of the blessings that we talked about. I told them that local missionaries can help them to learn how to have these blessings. They gladly accepted. The Spirit was so strong, stronger than any other tour, lesson or interaction that I have had with anyone since being here. We said bye to them and once they were out of sight, we both burst into tears immediately. Now for me, that isn’t too odd. I have been known to cry at commercials or children’s books. I cry a lot. But, I have not seen Sister Ibarra cry at all in the last six weeks (which for a sister missionary, that is quite impressive). We tried to find that rude guy afterwards to thank him for his persistence because it was truly inspired. I know that we were supposed to take that family around.

I am so grateful for the love that I felt for them. It was comparable to the love that I have felt for my own family. It is the kind of love that God feels for His family. I want to feel that kind of love for everyone that I come across. It can be easy at times to restrict our love to those that are easy to love. It is easy to love those that love us back. But, in order to become like the Savior, that love that we have must be present at all times. There have been many times in my life where I have withdrawn that love because I have been offended by someone’s actions. I have thought that maybe that person isn’t deserving of my love anymore. I am positive that having that inward focus has made me more unhappy than that person that those negative feelings were directed towards. Selfishness and pride always breed feelings that lead to unhappiness…always. But, as I have tried to look beyond myself and love those around me without any conditions, I have felt greater peace and joy than I ever have in my life. I still have a long way to go but, I am grateful that my Savior loves me enough to teach me this important lesson, despite my weaknesses. I guess I can try a little harder to do that for others as well.

With love, Sister Walls


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