I remember opening up my mission call and hardly believing my eyes when I saw that I was going to be learning the Hiligaynon language. I didn't have the foggiest idea of what that was,...
I served my mission in Argentina. At one time I had a mission companion who was very, very depressed. She was struggling with doing anything mission related. My mission president told me that my one goal was to try to help her finish her mission without being sent home early. This was her last transfer. He said to not worry about reaching our weekly goals for lessons or contacting people, but to do anything to keep her healthy mentally and emotionally.
It was a VERY difficult time as a missionary. I wanted nothing more than to be out teaching and serving, but my companion was not able to. I called my Mission President’s wife one night on a particularly draining and emotional day and shared my frustrations and concerns. She told me that I came on my mission to save souls, and right now the one soul I needed to save was that of my companion. It was a completely life-changing/ mission-changing perspective for me.
I started to serve her more, look out for her emotional needs more. One day we bought three hotdogs from a street vendor and found a random man to give one to. We sat down with the man, ate our hot dogs, and talked about life. I was able to slow down and enjoy the little things about being in Argentina, that sometimes as a busy missionary, you can’t. I remember going out and sitting under a tree by the coast and eating a picnic lunch. We brought our scriptures. I was able to spend more time in the scriptures. This is when my Spanish started to take off because I would read the Book of Mormon for 4-5 hours a day out loud. I was able to embroider, with my companion, a temple on a handkerchief for all of the sisters in our zone for the upcoming temple rededication.
My Mission President said he felt impressed to promise my companion that if she continued to work as much as she was able to that a miracle would take place. Well, she wasn’t really able to work much, but one day as we were walking somewhere she spoke to a man on the road. This was a rare thing at this point. We got his address and he said we could come visit sometime. Days after this incident, my companion did have to leave her mission early. I was then given a mini-missionary to work with until the end of the transfer. We went to visit the man whose address I had gotten with my previous companion. It turns out that his wife was already a member, and he had 3 sons that were baptism age. We taught them and their family latched onto the gospel. I was there to see all three sons baptized and the father had been taking some missionary lessons by the time I left.
I look back at this time of my mission as a very difficult time, but a time that gave me experience that was helpful for the rest of my mission and for life after the mission. I realized I loved working with missionaries that were experiencing mental/emotional issues and helping them. After the mission, I am now married with children and my husband and I are foster parents and have helped children experiencing trauma and emotional problems.
I know that the experiences I had on my mission were hand-crafted for me by a loving, all-knowing Heavenly Father who was trying to prepare me for my life and the experiences I would have. I will forever be grateful for my mission and it’s continual impact it has had on me.
Sister Hobbs served in the Argentina Resistencia Mission