It's been a great week! We had Specialised Trainings from President, the Assistants and the Zone Leaders mostly focused on how to be better at extending commitments. I came away with renewed faith and determination. Funny enough, I went right on an exchange, but Sister Wilde wouldn't wait for me. When I came back Cathy Ogden had a baptismal date! She is shooting for the 19th of March, so please pray for her!
The exchange was to Swinton (another area of Manchester) with Sister Anderson! It was really good to work with her for two days and see how much progress I've really made since I was trained. This is Sister Anderson's last transfer. She will be home in three weeks and she is exploding with all sorts of emotions. I realised that she taught me a lot about loving the scriptures and letting my personality shine through. She is leaving me some of her favorite things. One is even an heirloom! A pair of pj's that her trainer sent her for Christmas that she never wore. In mission terms that would be something from the grandmother that I've never met : ) but let's be honest, I never got into that whole fake genealogy thing. I suddenly realised how fast this experience is going. In three short transfers I will be where Sister Anderson was when she trained me. That is so hard to believe! I came back to Withington with a greater sense of urgency.
Last night we had a really special experience. We had a lesson fall through and so we ended up tracting. Behind the third door there seemed to be a lot of commotion. Three women answered quickly as if they had been expecting someone... One woman upon seeing our name tags immediately left to the hubbub of the front room. The other woman explained that they had no time; they had just experienced a death in the family. We said, "Just earlier today?" "Yes - just earlier." "Was it expected?" we asked. "No,"she said, "it was her father..." pointing to the teen. My eyes filled with tears, and when she saw my face, hers did, too. "How old are you?" I asked. "Fourteen." "My father died when I was sixteen. Oh...I am so sorry!" Suddenly my mind was flooded with vivid memories of the day that Dad died. I never like thinking about that afternoon. I so nearly pulled her into a big tearful hug, but her aunt looked pretty protective. "I know you'll see him again!" My heart sank as I realised that she will not experience the same calming peace - the power of a temple sealing - that enveloped us in the days following the accident. She needs that reassurance. I was at a loss, but with stinging eyes I rustled through my bag for a Plan of Salvation leaflet that I had been prompted to take tracting and pushed it into her hands. It felt like such a meager offering, but she took it. I hope that she finds answers in it. I pray that Our Saviour protected her and her family last night. How grateful I am for this gospel! And how grateful I am that Heavenly Father inspired us to be on that street to help someone who was in need.
This truly is His work and I am honored to be a part of it.