Monday, December 22, 2014

THAT Has Totally Happened

I got a new companion this week! Her name is Sister Cox. She's 20, she's been out for 15 months and she's Gilbert, Arizona. FINALLY a companion who will lament the cold with me and rejoice in the warmth!!! All of my previous three companions LOVED the cold. I don't know what's wrong with them. :)
I think I realized awhile ago that mission companions wouldn't be what I had always envisioned... that like any other relationship they would take hard work and patience and lots and lots of prayers. :) I recognized how ridiculous it is to put two complete strangers together, tell them to not only share their lives but to spend EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY glued to each others hip, and NOT think there would be problems. :) I realized that I may, if I am lucky, once in my mission have that companion where we just click instantly and become besties at first sight.


She's so laid back, and I'm so laid back - in good ways. We have a comfortable friendship and a fun existence. We are "co-senior" companions, which means that the mission even recognizes that we are equal in absolutely everything we do. We are both so GRATEFUL to be co-senior because it's just so NICE to share the burden with someone else. (I wasn't *technically* senior companion for the last transfer, but I absolutely was...) ("acting senior" I guess. :P) (and being senior with a companion that doesn't want to work is HARD.)
Also MUSIC. I never realized how important music was to me in my life until Heavenly Father started giving me all of these companions that are so ridiculously passionate about music! Sister Cox wants to go into composition, and she definitely has the talent to do so! She was given permission to have a guitar on her mission, and we have been given permission to discreetly use it for caroling purposes this week! We came up with a version of "silent night" to sing (a few others as well - but silent night is our favorite!) and we started practicing on the Ward Mission Leaders and Bishops that she has to meet. One of them said, "You've only been together FOUR DAYS and you came up with this??" Uh yeah... We're awesome. :)
Sister Cox and I play music all the time. We love the same types - she is so floored that I love MoTab (The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.) Apparently I'm her first companion that likes MoTab! We've been listening to my Sissel MoTab cd in the car (thanks for finding that for me Sister Haddock!) And we have my Steven Sharp Nelson (cello guy from the Piano Guys) cd on in the apartment all the time. (Thanks Sister Haddock's mom!!!) Another thing Sister Cox and I have in common is that we never get tired of listening to the same thing over and over. :)
We both love herbal tea, and I have been sharing my Herbal Chai with her (thanks Kellie!) I am one of the few companions that she has had that understands her humor. And we both like dipping our french fries in mayonnaise! (It's a celestial sauce. :) All white and clean and pure!) We already have so many inside jokes and it's just so good.
I love Christmas. Last week we had our mission Christmas party (only it was 3 parties since they decided not to get everyone together...) At the party we were able to hear from an area authority named Elder Chidester (sp?) and he and his wife spoke about Christmas. :) One of my favorite parts was when they talked about the symbols of Christmas. We have all of these traditions that we keep and sometimes we don't really know why!
A Christmas Wreath - is a perfect circle and symbolizes eternity. Eternity that we will get to live because He came to us!
A Christmas tree - the trees that are used have pine needles which all point upward (never knew that!) The symbol is that the needles are pointing up to heaven. :) 
A Star - the star that appeared to announce the birth of Christ.
A Candy Cane - is shaped like the staff of a shepherd, and shepherds were some of the first witnesses of the newborn Savior.
The colors red and white - symbolize the atonement of Christ. Red for His blood, white for the cleansing purity of His love.
Candles - (and other forms of light) He is the Light of the World. He is our light and hope!
Angels - the Heavenly Host that sang praises to announce His birth.
Life is hard sometimes. For every single one of us. There is so much that is imperfect and fallen about this world. Even when you are making good choices and doing your best to do the right thing you can still face trials. Sometimes you can't sleep, or you have a hard time waking up or you feel foggy and sad, or you have a panic attack before church starts, even though everything is so good in your life. Sometimes you just miss home darnit! But I am so grateful to be here now. So many choices I have made in my life because they felt right - I can't explain it other than the feeling that I had was so good that I really had no choice but to follow it. But now that I'm here I feel as if I am getting the chance to really grow closer to my Savior. I am getting to know Jesus Christ in a way that I never was able to before. I trusted Him and I loved Him, but I didn't really know Him. I didn't really understand the depth and significance of His atoning sacrifice. I still don't. :) But I am learning and it is wonderful!
Above all else, I feel a burning within me that wants to shout from the rooftops. Jesus IS the Christ. He IS our hope. He is our peace. He is our life, and our love. He is Christmas, and HE is the Gift. I know that with my whole soul.

I love Christmas. :) I hope you all have a happy one. <3
Love always,
Sister Tipton

PS - sorry for a lack of pictures. I have temporarily misplaced my camera cord. I'm sure it will turn up eventually... Sister Cox and I are also both a tad bit messy in our living spaces... so maybe when we clear the clutter. :D

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