Get ready for the craziest story of your life.
I got IN ZONED to the Young Single Adult ward that meets directly after the Encinitas ward in the same building. That means I see Sister Grover and my entire ward still. Brutal! It also means my area is huge! I cover the entire stake instead of being confined to a very small space. I honestly don’t even know what to say. When they announced it in transfer meeting I starting laughing. It was laugh or cry so I opted to laugh. Reasons it is really hard- I see my old ward but they aren’t my ward anymore, I have to watch the new sister and remind myself that it’s not my place anymore, I see sister Grover and that is super hard because I can’t talk with her and it just makes me want to be with her again, I miss the elders and my old district and I can’t forget about them because I still see them around, I hear about everything happening in Encinitas and sometimes I get sad because its seems like I should be there. Really it is pretty tough. But like in everything there are so many things to love and be grateful for. Reasons I love what happened- I get to be by the coast and ocean in the summer!!!, I get to be close and still hear about my old investigators, I get to be in a YSA ward!!! (party), I get to cover a stake and go all over, I get to teach people I already know or have heard about (this one is huge), and I have a great companion!
Well now on to things about being in a singles ward….heavens so much drama. You wouldn’t believe it. There is an entire booklet of rules and guidelines for YSA missionaries. It starts by talking about how very few missionaries can handle the stress and unique problems that are associated with a singles ward. It says YSA missionaries should be bold, socially adept, focused, and should easily connect to people. I guess I fit that? Who knows but I will try and work it out. It also talks about how trust is a HUGE issue in YSA. This is the problem; you have a ward full of return missionaries that know EXACTLY what you should be doing. They know the rules and they know how to be a good missionary. These people can be great assets in teaching but they also can be hard to earn the trust of because if you aren’t on your game 100% of the time they become wary. The way you conduct yourself and act around the members is noted and judged. Trust can be lost in a day if a missionary decides to not act like a missionary. Anyway this particular ward is awesome, awesome people awesome leadership. However in the not so far away past, some great issues arose with the missionaries. Trust was lost due to the conduct and behavior of some. That trust in now being rebuilt and we are under tight inspection. The last set of sisters was awesome and they started building it up but now we must maintain and they continue to increase.
This means that YSA is not all fun and games. In fact it is the most stressful thing ever. I have never felt so burdened. I love it but I know I have a lot of people counting on me to be the best missionary possible. I have to find the incredibly fine line between being friends and being friendly and what they would consider to be flirting. I have to create strong bonds with the ward but the instant they think I have some other motive everything is ruined due to what happened in the past. Fun right? To top it all off there is an incredibly large set of problems with pass offs from other missionaries. The instant you met an YSA aged person they are to be sent to us. This rarely happens. So we now have to transition people who have been taught home ward that weren’t supposed to be. I have spent lots of time on my knees this week. Lots and lots of emotions to deal with, I have had at least two different missionaries in tears because of investigators they shouldn’t be teaching this week. I think God put me here because I will make it happen. I will work hard and show the ward that I am here to be a missionary and I will make sure that the zone is following procedures about pass off. I will say the hard things to other missionaries when others maybe wouldn’t. I am learning how to love but still make it clear that something is not right. I now understand so clearly my own faults and weaknesses and also my ability to just do what is right regardless of what others think. If all the missionaries in my zone hate me I guess at least God loves me. It has been insane!!! I can’t really describe the things on my mind. So many people I am worried about. I have had multiple bad nosebleeds, probably due to my high blood pressure. Mom, don’t fret. I need this to learn and grow. I am breathing and figuring it out. I am feeling fine.
We set two baptismal dates this week. And found two new investigators. So God is blessing us. My companion is a hard worker and very obedient. She is super cute and happens to be diabetic. We have our highs and lows together (meaning blood sugars of course). I am grateful for her.
I love this gospel. I know it is true. If I didn’t I would never be here. I believe in prayer. I believe in a God who can wrap us up in his arms with the spirit and tell us everything is going to be all right. I asked for a hug last night in my prayer and He gave me one. I believe without pain, heartache and stress we cannot grow. I believe that God can take us and shape us into an entirely new person. It’s a process but in the end you will be more then you ever could be alone. I have felt countless times this week confirmations that I need to be in the Torrey Pines YSA ward right now. I have been given a portion of the needed skill set and the rest God is willing to grant me as I try really hard. I love these people so much. Return missionaries are scary but man they are also fun! Even though I don’t get to go to FHE (we go out and work so people will take us seriously and not think we are hanging out) I know that this summer will be a blast!!!
Seth- Get pumped. Let me know asap. I can’t wait to hear. I want you to come here so bad!!!
I LOVE YOU ALL,