This past week has been wonderfully packed with bitter-sweet tender mercies. We had our last interview with President Palmer and although we talked about bananas for a majority of that time, I left feeling motivated, loved, and trusted as a missionary. He has been an amazing source of spiritual light for me and so many other people. The confidence he has in us, not only as missionaries, but as future students, teachers, spouses, parents, etc. helps us keep our chin up and charge the next mountain placed in front of us.
Another event that falls under the bitter-sweetness category is exchanges this past week with Sister Rose and Sister Bustos. Everything about these 24 hours (a little more than 24 hours 😊) was a tender mercy. Being able to have this last hoorah with them before the mission split was so very important to me. We didn't work in the Tracy ward boundaries but the drive in to Tracy to go to Chester ward boundaries made my heart so very happy. Nothing could have been better. Driving down a familiar road, reminiscing on good times with all my companions, laughing, holding in tears, all that good stuff. We even crossed paths with an Elder I served in Tracy with for a brief second (literally we were driving opposite ways) at an intersection, #blessed.
|Sister Rose, Sister Hansen, Sister Bustos, Sister Peterson|
|Sister Bustos and Sister Hansen|
|Sister Rose and Sister Hansen|
😉Sister Bustos is a kick butt missionary that everyone is drawn to. She is the definition of a southern bell and I can't wait to see where her life takes her. I really lucked out when we got to spend 2 transfers together in Tracy. She was always so good at setting goals and accomplishing them. Our goal board was golden to us. I loved her eagerness to be better, it always encouraged and motivated me to be better. She was so in tune with the Spirit and so diligent and constantly trying to improve. Now she is being that example to so many other people and missionaries, serving as a Sister Training Leader and helping them want to be better. She is hard to keep up with 😉 but I know she will bless so many MORE lives.
My exchange was with Sister Rose, and being able to serve with her this last time was so perfect. I am confident that I myself couldn't have hand-picked a better companion to spend the time I did with Sister Rose. We discussed our growth since the MTC, and even since we served together. All who know Sister Rose knows that she is a spiritual giant, but I count myself very lucky to know much more than that. She is a rock, and one of those people that you want to hold on to. She cares so much about others and has a divine desire to serve the Lord. Her life is revolved around the Saviors comfort and guidance, and she is an amazing example to me. It was still surreal to be biking around with her by my side doing real missionary work. (Refer to picture 6)
|Happy times riding down familiar streets with Sister Rose|
|Sister Rose, my MTC companion|
As we were biking, we had to use the cross walk to cross an intersection. As we were standing waiting for the light, ELDER HERMANSEN, from my MTC district that I haven't seen in FOREVER is on the same street but on the other side, diagonal from us. They are also crossing the street. Sister Rose and I are flipping out at this point. What are the odds that we were all right here at this time!? Or so we thought. Elder Hermansen and his companion get the light and walk across as we are eagerly waiting for our light to turn to greet him on the other side. They get to the other side and... BIKE AWAY. Even before our light turns. We were shocked! He didn't even say hello! It was tragic, but I here he is also a kick butt missionary who is a hecka hard worker, so what can you do. I'll just roast him real hard when I see him next week.
|He thinks he's a lap dog!|
I know God has a perfect plan for each of us and I am glad that this exchange, the Modesto Mission, all the missionaries, and President and Sister Palmer could be a part of MY plan. It's been quite the emotional roller coaster preparing myself for all the "goodbyes" and "see you soons", when the mission officially splits, but I know that wherever I go, as long as I walk with the Lord, everything will fill in accordingly.
|Yeah, that's a turtle :)|
You may be curious to hear what happened to the Filipino lady we ran into last week. Well we are sad to say that we went over to the apartment she was living in and ran into someone who also lives there. They told us that she had moved to San Francisco. We were BLOWN away, and didn't really believe him. He kinda had this "I'm lying" kinda attitude about it. So we texted our Filipino friend and she told us she DID move and that our ward had a big part in helping her get to where she needed to be. Apparently her past life and living situation was not good. She got kicked out of her apartment and our Elders Quorum President paid for a hotel room for her for two nights, a member in our ward (also Filipino) made sure she was fed and had clothes, and she was just taken care of. She figured out that a lady was hiring and that there was a big Filipino population in the bay area, so she decided to go. We were sad we didn't get to see her again, but happy to hear she is happy. She thanked us and told us how much she appreciated our ward. Such a sweet lady.
We are headed to Yosemite today! Then this week is the mission conference, yet another bitter-sweet moment to add to the book! I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!
Sister A. Hansen
Sneak Peak of a few pictures from Yosemite... more to come next week! Stay tuned!