I got to go on an exchange this week :) It was actually really great. I went to an area called Kiddlington, and there was a lot going on there at the time. Let me tell you, exchanges always happen on crazy days. No matter what, whether it's the first sit-down teach you've had in a while, or if you have five teaches lined up with a dinner appointment on top, the exchange happens that day. Because the Lord planned it so you could learn something.
And I did learn something. As we ran from teach to teach in Kiddlington, I had a revelation. It didn't really come to me until about half way through the day. The thought was something like "hey, you're the senior companion." Then I realized, wow, I was the senior companion! In fact, I've been out on my mission for about seven months. I went on exchange with an Elder who had been there about two. It was like a trip down memory lane :) A trip down memory lane with a tape measure, because I wanted to see how far I had come :)
I've come quite a ways. Gone through crazy hardship and wonderful elation. And I'm happy to say that I feel quite confident as a missionary. I am in no way perfect or even necessarily good at doing everything a missionary should do, but at least I'm confident, right? :)
I've looked back and seen how far I've come before, but on a mission, everything is just a bit more amplified. All the spiritual experiences are a bit more intense. All the moments with your companion build your relationship a bit faster than a normal friendship at home. All of the learning opportunities and trials are a bit harder, and the rewards and goals are a bit weightier. I'm so grateful to be on a mission. It is truly the ultimate building experience. It's the Lord's training ground, which also means it's the perfect training ground. I promise all prospective missionaries reading this blog that if you go on a mission, it will be the first best decision that you could ever make in your life. I say first because it is only the training ground; the academy that trains you to make good decisions for the rest of your life :)
We had a miracle on the street this week. While we were contacting we decided on a whim to abandon our original contacting route and take the road less traveled (by us, anyways). This lead us to find Jane, whom we shared a message with about eternal families. I have no idea why we shared this message, seeing as she was just a single woman walking on the path, no stroller, or husband, or anything. I have no idea why we walked on this path in the first place. But I do know that she subsequently burst into tears and spoke to us about how she had just lost a few family members in a car crash, and that speaking with us made her feel "just, good." That's a prepared person. I'll let you know how it goes :)
Lastly, I just wanted to say that I have really learned how to love someone in my time with Elder Ganta. We had a companionship inventory the other day where we talked about what has happened in the time we have known each other. We realized just how much the Lord has taught us through each other, and we knew that we had each other's back. I love that guy, and I again council you all to cherish the time you have with the people in your life.
Love, ~Elder Foster