Hands down, the highlight of our week was sisters specialized training. This training consisted of:
– a light breakfast of breakfast burritos and yogurt and fruits
– a get-to-know game Sister Anderson and I invented called “Speed Companionships” where the sisters all had to speed date each other with missionary-themed questions of our invention
– a reading/talk by our resident angel/mission president’s wife
– a fashion show based on the dress code. It was actually a pretty positive/non-shamey method, I was pretty impressed. Beforehand the senior sister who was organizing the fashion show invited me to be an example of “what not to wear” in terms of distracting hair and makeup. I enjoyed that assignment, perhaps a little too much.
– a little clothing exchange. Here’s a secret about missions: at least 50% of your clothes will come from other sisters because we get so tired of wearing the same modest skirts every week and rotate them around. So don’t pack a lot, you will hardly wear anything you brought with you anyway
– a talk given by the therapist who works with our missionaries about “Caring For Your Companion.” We watched a YouTube video by Brene Brown about empathy. I felt like I was part of the internet world again :’)
– an address by our mission president. In the middle of said address several different senior missionaries approached him and quietly showed him their phone. We all started getting kind of nervous and after the closing prayer he got up and announced, “There has been an extreme tornado warning, let’s all proceed to the safety of the cultural hall until further notice.”
– cold milk and warm cookies in the cultural hall, plus a print of a piece Brian Kershisnik drew for our mission president’s family which they replicated and framed and gave to everyone as a gift. How do they know exactly what I want?
Finally, the torrential rains slowed and everyone kind of slowly started leaving. Our mission president had disappeared and was in counsel with somebody but all the missionaries seemed to know it was time to go. We arrived at our dinner appointment two hours late but they obligingly reheated our lasagna.
The next day we had another very very long and exciting meeting with the thousands of other zone leaders and sister training leaders. They fed us Cafe Rio. How do they know? During our lunch break I noticed one of the zone leaders standing (seemingly alone) in the darkened and empty Primary room, silhouetted mysteriously against a window . I poked my head in to figure out what was going on and found that one of the APs was napping behind the piano and this elder was there supporting him. Sometimes you get tired. On the drive home our zone leader made us listen to a rap he recorded. I think he has potential.
We are off! To visit the pedestrian mall, a picturesque little area full of quaint boutiques and whatnot and home of the Snow White Diner, where a tiny tiny hamburger can be purchased for $1.75. Cute!
On Sunday we had a wonderful Father’s Day service. One of our members talked about how a father is often responsible for his children’s “inner voice” and that the way kids talk to themselves is an echo of how their father spoke to them. I’m grateful to have a father who always spoke encouraging and supportive words to me, and I’m grateful to have a Heavenly Father who whispers eternal and powerful love through the spirit. I’m also grateful to have a mission president who, in a dream, gave me a pink name tag and said, “You’ve earned this.”
Love y’all! Write me! 841 Thomas Ct. #57 Winchester, VA 22601
lots of love,
photo: what people don’t know about missionaries sometimes