Sunday, February 2, 2014

Nothing has changed but everything has changed!

   Okay so this week went NOTHING like how I thought it would and so to explain I actually have to go back to last Monday! So like I emailed before, last Monday we were really nervous to hear about transfer news. Sister Doole and I were to the point of freaking out and so I told her that we could find out either sometime Monday or sometime Tuesday. I also said that if something crazy was happening then we would get a call from President that Monday. Because we were so anxious we decided to change the ringtone for President Rudd's number to a really loud obnoxious one so that when he called we would know right away. So that all happened Monday morning before emails. Then I wrote you all that email about being so nervous for transfers and what not because well I was nervous. Well this is where it gets interesting. So we finished emailing and the elders in my district decided to go hang out at the church building again like they do every P-Day and Sister Doole and I decided we wanted to go to our own thing in town so we ditched them and went to withdraw some money so we could go shopping and go to the museum. While we were standing at the ATM and the phone started ringing and as I went to grab it I realized that it was that awful ringtone we had just changed. I looked at Sister Doole who was busy fighting with the ATM and I said "Wait do you hear that?" It was President calling and we both stood frozen for a moment because we were so nervous. I finally grabbed the phone out of my bag and sure enough it was President calling. I took a deep breath and then answered it and expecting my life to change. It's crazy how everything can change with just one phone call. So I answered the phone and President Rudd started talking about transfers and he said "Well Sister Simkins I was prepared to move you but then you wrote me that letter saying that you would like to stay (After Sister Pongi got e-transferred I wrote president and told him that I knew he had planned to move me and keep the other two in the area but if he didn't feel like he had to move me now I would be okay because I was really happy in the area) so I am keeping you in Fairy Springs. You also have told me how much you love your companion so I guess I will let you stay with Sister Doole too." At this point I was so incredibly happy that I couldn't even believe it and then I started to ask myself if I am not moving, not training, or not going back to the VC then why did President even call me? Now here's the kicker. President said "But Sister Simkins we would like to call you as the new Sister Training Leader for the southern half of the mission." So you probably don't know what a sister training leader is even though I have mentioned going on exchanges with my STL before. So the easiest way that I have found to explain it is a sister training leader is the female version of a zone leader but instead of being over a zone I am over a group of sisters from four zones. There are four sister training leaders in our mission. One is over the sisters just in Hamilton and the surrounding areas, one in South Auckland, one in the VC, and then there's me here in Rotorua over the sisters in the south part of the mission.  All of this is so new and overwhelming that I don't even know where to begin. Let me also say that the role of sister training leader was just created/announced by the general authorities in April to help meet the needs of so many sisters that were choosing to serve missions. Having said that my job isn't clearly defined and the STL's before me have been kinda figuring it out as they go. Sister Harman, my STL, finished her mission last week and so I have been called to take her place. I just can't believe that President has called me out of the 75 other sisters in the mission. Now I am sure that mom and dad are thinking that I would love this type of thing because of my "great leadership abilities. otherwise known as bossiness" but I promise you I am terrified. I was just barely feeling like I had a handle on things. I just barely have started to feel  like I knew what I was doing as a missionary and that is hard enough. But now I am in charge of helping other sisters throughout the mission and I am not really sure that I can do it. One of the things that I am responsible for doing is going on exchanges with the other sisters. The only thing is that all of the companionships that I am over are in another zone apart from one. This means that Sister Doole and I will be taking a road trip every week around the middle of New Zealand to go on exchanges with the other sisters. I am a bit excited for this part because it should be a lot of fun. I just don't know how I feel about my responsibilities to help the other sisters build up their areas and be better missionaries when there are so many different things that I still have to work on. I am looking forward to learning from all of these sisters too because you can learn so much from other missionaries and how they do things. I just hope that I can be a good sister training leader and help the mission in some way. I also get to go to the mission leadership council meetings and that is where President meets with the assistants, zone leaders, and sister training leaders to discuss what's going on in the mission and what needs to be done to help the work here. I have heard that these meetings are amazing. They are supposedly so much fun but incredibly spiritual at the same time. They have them on the first Wednesday of every month so we have one this week! I am pretty excited but really nervous at the same time. Sister Doole is loving all of this because she gets to go to Hamilton and spend the day there while I am in this meeting and she also gets to go on all the road trips but she doesn't have any of the responsibility. It's funny though because she has been telling me for weeks that I was going to be the next sister training leader and I have just laughed because that idea seemed so crazy to me. Last Sunday night we were talking and Sister Doole said "Honestly what would you say if President called you and asked you to be sister training leader?" and I said I would laugh and say "President you must be crazy!" and Sister Doole said "No really what would you do?" I thought about it for a minute and then I said "The only way that I would accept the calling of Sister Training Leader is if I got to stay in this area and have you as my companion. But even then I would be terrified." It's funny because when he actually called and asked me to be sister training leader all I could say was "Oh President I don't think I can do that." I think do its remarkable however that I am staying in my area, that Sister Doole is still my companion, and that I have been called as sister training leader. 

   One good thing that comes from all of this is that we get a CAR! Because I have so much traveling to do it was inevitable that we would get a car. We realized this last week after we talked to President and so we were so excited for transfers on Thursday because we figured that that was when we would get our car. Sadly however Tuesday night we got a call saying that they were just going to give us the car that the elders in our ward had. Now the sad part is that this is the same car that I told you the elders wrecked a few weeks ago so now we are waiting on it to get out of the shop. Stupid elders! If they hadn't wrecked the car then we would have it now. This has made walking so much harder because all though we will be getting a car soon, we can't help but think about the fact that we should have a car now. 

   Well that is the majority of the news. Not much else happened this week. The craziness of my new life starts this week with a trip to Hamilton on Wednesday and living up to my new responsibility. Oh my goodness I almost forgot! So guess who I get to meet next Saturday! ELDER RUSSELL M. NELSON!!!!!! He is coming to New Zealand so we are having another mission conference and the whole mission is getting together and we get to go to a special devotional with just him and our mission. I am so excited I can't even stand it. I said when I was about to go into the MTC that I really hoped I would get to hear an apostle speak while I there and then I got there and found out that Elder Nelson had spoken there the night before so I definitely wouldn't get to hear an apostle. But now as a tender mercy of the Lord he is coming here to my mission and I get to hear him speak and meet him!!!! I can't even tell you how excited I am! But they are going to be super strict about how we look and if we aren't presentable enough then they won't let us go in. The elders have to have their suits dry cleaned and stuff like that and they said that the sisters hair has to be done nicely and we can't wear too much make-up. We have to look "pristine" or we won't be allowed in. Sister Doole is freaking out because she doesn't have a blazer which is what we are encouraged to wear so we are going shopping today to try and find something. It is going to be intense but well worth it. Can you believe that an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ is coming to visit my mission and that we get to have a special meeting with him?! I just can't get over how blessed I am. 

   Well that is about it for this week I suppose. I still can't believe that I am in Rotorua and that I'll be here for another six weeks (making a total of 5 and a half months. That's almost a third of my mission), I can't believe that Sister Doole is still my companion, I can't believe that Elder Nelson is coming here, and I really can't believe that I am the new Sister Training Leader! Nothing has changed but everything has changed! I love and miss you all! Have a great week!

Sister Simkins


Jessica said...

I am sure your parents are proud of you. You're going to do great! I love to recite a scripture when I know I have to something to do way beyond my own experience. The Savior is always there to help. D&C 6 : 36 " Look unto me (Christ)in every thought; doubt not, fear not"

Vickie Hunt said...

I'm so glad you are serving in this wonderful mission. Here is a FB group your family may want to join. Lots of Hamilton missionaries' photos are showing up there.
Vickie Hunt