Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Bright Side of a Mission

As I've entered this transfer, the thought that Sister P. will be
my final mission companion has crossed my mind. This has caused me to
reflect on all the companions I've had on my mission.
But let me start with my thesis. If anybody out there has read "Bright
Side" by a woman whose name escapes me, I love you. It's a book that
perhaps didn't change my life but made it a whole lot easier. It's
essentially an essay opposing optimism but essentially is all about
being honest. If I had to sum up her book in one sentence, which I
have to because I only have ninety minutes here, I would write: "It's
okay to not be okay." Yes optimism is essential for happy living but
you don't have to lie just to maintain your happy camper status.
I realize I haven't written the most positive emails home. I haven't
been okay many a time throughout my mission, and I believe that was
okay. But I hope the idea that my mission is the most positive
experience I've ever had comes across in my emails.
Yes there are hard bits, yes there are rough patches, horrendous
things can happen on missions but God in all His mercy and grace turns
every single one of those moments and turns them on their head. Good
comes out of every second of a mission.
A good example that I am not the center of is my family. My dad is
number five of six boys. Every single one of them served missions in
all sorts of places. Now, years later, they're all on different paths.
While they might not be the same person when they were
representatives of Jesus Christ, even though they might not now agree
with the doctrine they taught others, never once have I heard them say
the words: "I regret serving a mission." I don't think they ever will.
This being said, I want to add that the positive effects of negative
things is never immediate. A lot of my emails have been sad because
they were in the moment. But I can look back on every minute of my
mission and rattle off a list of positive impacts it's had on me.
Cue the companions.
Sister P: She reminded me that there still are die hard,
grappling onto the American Dream for dear life positive thinkers in
the world. I'm obviously more of an Arthur Miller than I am Sister
P, but she helps me see the good in a lot. She never gives up,
never lets loose. If I'm tired and I'm laying on the floor trying to
find the desire to even floss my teeth let alone go out the door,
she's transferring my load from the washer to the dryer or making a
meal for me or doing whatever she can to help me. Then and only then I
find the motivation to get up, and hope in a better day.
Sister K: She helped me not take myself so seriously. Yes
laughing in the face of adversity is still not my strong point but
Sister K. helped me loosen up a little by laughing and joking for
Sister S: We only had a week together but she taught me more
than just Portuguese. She reminded me how vitally important it is to
be obedient, graceful, and polite. I wish I had more time to apply
what she taught me in that week.
Sister J: She has taught me more than she'll ever know. She
taught me a lot about humility. She's been surrounded by missionaries
that were younger than her but she's always been the junior companion.
It wasn't until we were companions that she had the experience of
being a co senior companion. And even then she was willing to hear
everything I had to say, and gladly accepted my help when it came to
learning the language. She never treated anyone like a
nineteen-year-old, everyone is her friend and equal.
Sister M: She trained me a second time. She threw my listening
skills into a crucible and molted my diligence. I think the theme that
I learned was: "The opposite of love is lazy, so quit being lazy
Sister Goldsberry." Now, not even four months later, I have a blazing
hot perseverance that could cook rice.
Sister M: She showed me what real missionary work was. It isn't
doing THE best, talking to the most people, or riding your bike the
farthest, but doing YOUR best. And your best still pays off. As proved
by our friend that was found and baptized in the last two and a half
weeks of our time together.
Sister G: This sister goes around telling the mission I taught
her how to be bold but I'll tell you that her goals every week were
the boldest of the bold. She memorized scriptures in Spanish for
crying out loud. She made goals to improve our already tight
companionship. She taught me to make goals to improve already good
things so that they could become great things.
Sister D: She was the humblest missionary. She was so humble it
rubbed off on you. Whenever I made a mistake or forgot something she
would just say: "It's okay. It's a miracle in the making!" I've never
been more honest with a companion than with Sister D because she
was so humble I knew she would never judge me but rather, be honest
with me too. She taught me how to be virtuous.
Sister O: Man it's so weird to be the same transfer my trainer was
when she trained me. She is more diligent than I realized back then! I
could not do all she did. She put in her all every day, never thought
about herself for a second, and is my role model to this day.
These are my companions. These are my sisters. I am no longer the only
girl in my family. I have ten sisters! (I forgot my MTC companion
Sister B but I'll save that for another day.) I love them all.
Make room at our house for ten more daughters, Mama!
I am grateful to Jesus Christ every day for accomplishing the
Atonement, restoring His church through Joseph Smith, and crossing all
of our paths as we represent Him in Japan.
Sister Goldsberry

They were both SBO's at the same time for their respective high schools (Murray and Hillcres) and even recognized each other from an SBO conference they attended, and now they're companions in Tokyo Japan. 

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