This week was by far the most interesting week of my mission. Transfers were this past Wednesday, and I was introduced to my new companion, Elder Frost. I had heard from another missionary that he had some anxiety problems, but I wasn't too worried. Many missionaries struggles with anxiety or depression to a degree on their mission, but it's never too much to handle.....except for when it is.
Elder Frost has one of those cases where it is. From the moment I first met him I could tell he was struggling to keep it in check, but it just got worse and worse. We took him to see the counselor that missionaries visit if they have problems like this, and to be honest, I thought that it was just going to be a forty-five minute deal where they spoke and then Elder Frost would be good to go for a week or so. Turns out, my idea of a magical therapy session wasn't quite grounded in reality. After the appointment, Elder Frost got on the phone with our mission president, and they decided that it would be best for him to go home. I was heartbroken to hear that, especially since Elder Frost has only been out for three months! I understood why he is going home, but that didn't stop me from asking myself why repeatedly for the next few days, when I had LOTS of time to do that. Normally when a missionary (or really, not just missionaries, but humans in general) would learn something big like this, it might occupy their thoughts for a few days, but they would be thinking about it as they go about their normal schedule, but we didn't get that luxury. Our mission president instructed us to stay in our apartment and NOT proselyte until he goes home (which is tomorrow), meaning we had PLENTY of spare time to think about it. Our Mission President did that so that Elder Frost can avoid being in a stressful situation that could give him another panic attack, but it wasn't exactly easy to just sit inside for days on end. We were able to go to church, and we were able to go to our P-Day activity today, but that's about it. I enjoyed the extra time to read and study; normally I would be able to do that for days on end with no problem. The reason it was difficult for me now is because I was called to preach the fullness of the everlasting gospel for two years, not to study it.
Looking back on the last few days, I have to say, while they were very hard, I would never give them up for anything. I've learned how to handle stress better, I've learned how to help other missionaries having a hard time, I've learned how to love more, I've learned how to be more patient, and I've learned to turn to Christ in times of need. I don't know if I'm going to be in the same area tomorrow, I don't know if I'll be in a trio with neighboring missionaries, I don't know if I'll be emergency transferred somewhere else, but I do know that whatever happens, it is God directing it.
Also, today is my sixteen month mark. Thought I should mention that.
Hope y'all have a great week!