Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to Get Along with your companion

(Sister M is about to let you in on a little secret...How to Get Along with your companion)

My mission president once said to us, "You know, now I choose your companion but in the future you’ll get to choose them... so suck it up." Speaking of the challenges of companionships, Sister     Peck-a senior sister missionary- would say about her husband, Elder Peck, "It’s hard having a companion 24 hours a day; I'm having a hard time, and I love my companion!”                     (Meanwhile, Elder Peck would boast, "I'm the luckiest, I have the prettiest companion of all of you.")

Indeed one of the greatest secrets of missionary work can be the effort that goes into getting along with your companion. One of my comps and I, Sister Miller, would often marvel at how much missionary life resembled that of married couples. "yeah," we'd say, "if you came on a mission to escape thinking about marriage, boy are you in for a surprise!" From planning your daily activities, to preparing meals, to teaching, missionary work is very much a joint effort. And while you’ll have to overcome your pecadillo's once you do so, the reward of having a unified companionship will far exceed any troubles you went through. Ultimately, you won’t have any control over who your companion is but, you will certainly have control over what you make of the situation.
Things You Can Do to be  FABULOUS Companion:

1. Be Open- First and foremost, I hope you will walk into your mission with an open mind especially when it comes to your companion. Case in point is the experience that I had with my fourth companion in my fourth area, Sister Noyce. Sister Noyce and I had met in the MTC, she was a transfer older than I was and was our coordinating sister there. Needless to say, I felt then that maybe she didn’t like me because she was always so quiet when I was around, that and she seemed really spiritual. So, when I got the call that I would be going to join Sister Noyce in Greenfield Park, I was soo nervous that I hid in the bathroom while my companion spoke to her companion on the phone. In our mission, amongst some of the missionaries, it was customary to call your new partner when you were transferred to new areas. So while, I sat in the background, Sister Noyce did the same and pretended she was showering! We were both really nervous about being called together. I thought she seemed a little intense and prudish, she thought I would be a laissez-faire crazy sister. Well, all through the night, I prayed that I would make it and that she would come to like me. Now, herein the miracle. Sister Noyce and I loved each other- or atleast I’m still assuming, we still call each other to this day and I will be her best woman and she mine whenever we do get marriaged. I can honestly say, that I never quite experienced anything as great and as smooth as the transition that took place when Sister Noyce and I became companions. Everything went and felt perfectly even from the moment we both got in the car and drove away to our first appointment, it was magical. That evening we finally admitted our reservations at being called to serve together when we both asked, “ so this is going good?” I think we both worried it was all too good to be true J. So sisters remember, be optimistically open, you never know who your soul mate companion will be.

2. Learn Something From Your Companion- My brother and Dad dropped me off at the MTC. Needless to say we were the first ones there at 6a.m. and ended up waiting for 3 hours in the parking lot. It was during that time that my brother gave me some of the best advice I received before heading out. He told me that I should learn how to learn from my companions. “ You will have all sorts of companions, he told me, the best thing you can do is to let them teach you something. That’s how you learn how to respect them.” I think he was onto something. If nothing else learning from someone helps you be more humble. Like my brother, we should all approach every companionship as an opportunity to learn something new, something that we may need help with. It’s like they say, “ Often times the Lord blesses us through others.”

3. Learn to Laugh At Yoursevles- Laugh, laugh a lot. Smile, you will make mistakes, I promise you that. When things would get rough, Sister Campos, another of my companions would just laugh and remind ourselves that practice makes perfect.

4. Put Things into Perspective- I think I’ve already hinted on this. When times get rough remember to remind yourself that this mission that seems so long, and this transfer that is eternal alongside your not so favorite companion will come to an end sooner than you think. And you won’t be able to go back and set things right, so set them right now. Hold your tongue when you don’t have anything nice to say. Don’t harbor ill feelings, cause you don’t want any regrets when you go home.

5. Do Comp Inventory- This may sound cheesy and you may not feel you need to do comp inventory, but you aren’t your companion. Do it and be sure to be open and listen.

6. Speaking of Listening, LISTEN. Often times when things aren’t really going as we think they ought to be in our companionships it’s because we aren’t listening to what our companion is trying to tell us. Just because they aren’t talking doesn’t mean they don’t want to. You may just be chattering too much to let them get a word in. So be considerate, wait for your companion to say something before you do even if it means silence for a bit.

7. Build Memories- Sister Coffin was this person. She didn’t just carete traditions or take pictures, she built memories. She was probably one of the best trainers ever, and I don’t know this from first hand experience, or even second hand witness. I know this because of the wonderful companion that Sister Williams- her daughter if you will- was to me. Sister Williams was one of the nicest people I have ever met and sister Coffin had made sure to help bring out and encourage her wonderful qualities. Be a Sister Coffin, love your companion do things with them that let them know how special they are. Contact to Krispy Kreme, workout to EFY music, do pedicures, who cares just do something together.

8. LIVE this Moment-This goes along with the one before, allow your companionship to have things that are unique to just you. Don’t spend your time talking about what a wonderful area your last one was, or what an amazing companion your trainer was. Focus on the now, and creating this your most wonderful transfer. This is a regret that I have, a lesson that I learned late. When Sister Noyce left our area, I spent a lot of the next transfer thinking about how much I missed her. I didn’t want to see what a wonderful opportunity I had been given with some amazing sisters, Soeur Goree and Soeur Aymon. I still feel bad about it; try to learn this lesson from my example.

9. Be the B’s- Kind, Courteous, Thoughtful, Considerate, Clean speaking of...

10. Be Clean- Sisters Please, Please, Please, be tidy. Just because you don’t mind mess, doesn’t mean your companion won’t either. Wash your dish, clean your area, especially common areas. Companions can forgive your desk being cluttery but not the sink. If you see your companion cleaning something up, join her, dust another area, vacuum another room. This ain’t your house, and she’s not your mom. This is the Lord’s time and place and your companion’s too.

11. Stop Thinking You're a Mind Reader- If your companion does or says something off beat. Don’t take it personally or assume she’s trying to offend you. Don’t presume to have a 7th sense that can get into her mind and read and interpret what she’s thinking. Talk to her instead; listen. She may just be having a bad day, she may be worried, or simply it’s that time of the month.

12. Compromise-You feel your investigator needs to see your POS, you companion really likes their version. Who cares, meet in the middle, use theirs this time and yours next.

13. STAND UP for You- If heaven forbid your companion has a silly moment, be brave and stand up for what is right. This mostly applies to breaking rules, not matters of opinion; For example, if you don’t see eye to eye with something your companion said during the lesson it is usually best to wait it out and discuss it after the appointment. There is a huge difference between being a good companion and being a push over, or dictator. Now, if your companion wants to meet that one hott contact in the back alleyway of hooters at midnight when he gets out, this IS the time to knock some sense into her and explain that it’s not her brightest idea. Never compromise the sanctity of YOUR call.

14. Love Your Companion Now- So she’s totally different from all of your previous companions. She has a hard time getting up in the mornings. Not much of a planner. Guess what, the Lord wants you two together. So suck it up and love her for that reason alone, you’ll see how quickly you love her for all the things she is different for. Love your companion now, not tomorrow when she gets up on time, not when she stops singing in the shower, today, now, just as she is.

15. Share your Talents- This doesn’t mean you have free reign to declare your status as God’s gift to the world; but rather using your strengths to build your companion. So, before the mission you spent countless hours baking things, feel free to bake now. Or your second addiction- only to memorizing scripture masterys of course- is learning new make up tips on YouTube, offer to help your companion pick out a new blush if you see that she’s insecure about doing her make-up.

16. Finally, Trust in the LORD and have fun. If you don’t remember any of these tidbits, remember to turn to the Lord for help, TRUST HIM. I didn’t figure half these things out until I was out in the field and had to learn them by first hand experience. Take what you can handle, and trust that the Lord will take care of the rest.

Tomorrow is always new, free of mistakes

Submitted By Amanda J. 

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