Well... I'm officially on my eigth transfer as of today! Yikes. This rather grown-up sounding number has caused me some serious reflection, like, "what? I'm only third transfer still!", "I'm so old!", and, "EIGHT???" and, "Wait, didn't we just have transfers?" This time, we are having some kind of rather Hunger Games-esque meeting to find out who are new companions are! Yaaaay! (Just kidding, ha, ha.) I do know that I will be staying in Nagamachi, but Sister O is leaving, so we shall see. Stay tuned! I'll keep y'all posted. (Just don't get on the edge of your seat, a week's a long time to do that.;)
After much thought and reflection... *drumroll*
Eight Things I have Learned About Myself since I Pinned a Badge on it
1) Not only do I laugh in my sleep, I also talk in both English and Japanese... including committing people to read the Book of Mormon and also singing hymns, also in Japanese. Evidently I am an active sleeper (no wonder I'm so tired all the time)!
2) I talk with my hands. A lot.
3) There is nothing like a good laugh to calm down and relax.
4) Much like my music, my cooking is frequently completely made up on the spot. (My companion: How much flour? Me: Like... a little... Companion: How much water? Me: Just... until it looks right... Companion: Do you measure anything? Me: Just chocolate chip cookies.)
5) I lock the door on autopilot every time we walk into the house. Every time we leave, I wonder if my companion is the one who remembered to lock it, but she recently confirmed that I am the culprit.
6) When I get really stressed, and then I bear my testimony, I cry, and then continue crying for approximately forever.
7) When I get REALLY stressed, I get nauseous and it's not very fun.
Note to self: don't get that stressed.
8) Although I stumble, and fall, and am not who I expected to be at this point in time, I have still grown and changed in ways I never could have with my beloved Ishinomaki or my wonderful Nagamachi. The biggest thing I have learned as I begin my big-kid eighth transfer is that, despite my weakness, and despite my lack in so many different ways, my God has truly provided me with a way to leave behind my mistakes and turn over a leaf each day, even every hour, because somedays I need that.
I'm not who I want to be yet, but I do feel as if I have been given the tools to get there. The true miracle is that fact that God so loved the world, no, your world, my world, that he gave his beloved Son, that all of us might be saved, in part, from ourselves.
We as people have a lot to learn, but we as people also have a lot of potential. The trick is to try to find the potential in ourselves and in others, that spark of divinity within each human heart, and draw it out. Nourish it until the fire cannot be denied, because that glow is the glow we feel when we feel true love for others and compassion and all the things that make this life worth living.
Although I don't know who my next companion will be, althought I can't see much past the next few steps, I have peace in my heart. I hope each of you will find that same peace. If you are seeking light or a rest for your weary soul, because there's a storm inside that you can't seem to find shelter from, my invitation to you is come unto Christ. Open your heart to Him, and you will find peace and light and safety.
And that is exactly what each of us needs, at least on occasion.
Thank you for all your love and support. God be with you!
Pictures: The reason I didn't write last week... District Preparation Day! Went out for sushi with the brothers, did some more crazy things like... take pictures... eat ice cream... ping-pong... Good fun:)
(There's a rule where you have to sit by your companion when eating district lunch, so it's always a little amusing to watch the four elders cram into a three-person spot, hahaha. Just kidding, I feel kinda bad, but it's not my rule, so...:)
We cut tomatoes for about forty-five minutes to prep tacos, the sure staple for--you guessed it--the Thanksgiving party. (Yeah I'm not sure either.)
The classic helmet selfie, and
My new friend Tom.