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Cliffnotes of my mission

   I had a horrible MTC experience because I had a companion who grew up with a silver spoon in her mouth, she didn’t have a work ethic. My first month out my grandma passed away. Two months later my first convert passed away. A month later a friend passed away from drowning. Then the following month I found out two of my friends got cancer. The month after that I found out my mom got inflammatory breast cancer. The month after that my sister-in-law (who is my best friend) went to visit the family who introduced her to the church. The husband was her Army recruiter. Well she woke up in the middle of the night with him on top of her. That killed me! We were all good friends. While this news of my friend’s death, friend’s cancer, and my mom’s cancer, and my sister’s attack I was training two greenies at the same time. One which was from South Korea and the other greenie was suffering from bulimia; she ended up going home to get help after four months.

   After training they decided to put me on special assignment with my MTC companion. We served at our halfway mark together. I had hit the wall, and she was “sick” all the time. They ended up bouncing me from troubled sister to troubled sister. Sometimes I wondered if my mission was more to help the missionaries than to find people to teach. I was put in a threesome of a Samoan companion, and my South Korean greenie. I was told Sister Park (South Korea) was having a hard time, and no one understood Sister Vili. We called ourselves the international companionship. Between the three of us we knew, Samoan, Korean, Spanish, English, and American Sign Language. That was my favorite companionship.
   I was next put with a Senior Sister from mainland China. That was the hardest companionship because she was older. She had never been married. She lived on her own, and she was a professor so she was used to being over people my age. She treated me like a child. Then my last transfer the Lord blessed me with an amazing missionary. The Lord knew I would need the strength.

   In my last transfer I got into a car accident. I got spinal cord damage, fractured vertebrae, bulging disc, and a reverse curve in my neck. This accident caused me to go home a month early. They weren’t even sure if I was fit to travel. I was ready to fight. I wanted to stay. President came to my place and said “We’ve all prayed about it. Sister Stoddard, and I, Sister Berry (mission nurse), Dr. Bringhurst (who was also the Bishop of the ward I was serving in), the area doctor, and the General Authority. (How could you argue with that? He threw out the prayer card. You can’t argue with that). You’ve served a full mission, you should be proud. We are sending you home for three reasons. One so you can heal faster. You can’t heal out here. Two so your mom can heal faster, and three, I promised your mother I wouldn’t tell you till I saw you, but they are giving your dad three weeks to live. (He had pancreatic cancer and three days after my accident I got a call from President who told me the news and at that time they were giving him six months).  



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April 2009
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