This week has been a little slow in teaching but one of the best weeks of my mission. We have been doing a lot of fun things and saying goodbye to people for Sister G (transfers are Wednesday). We’ve also spent a lot of time with Judge Charles Herman and his family.
Charles’ wife Evelyn was told at the beginning of the week that she had about a month left, but the cancer moved faster than that. On Wednesday she could hear but not talk, on Thursday she went into a high fever and shallow breathing, and it was about the same on Friday. Sister Godlewski and I had been going over every night and we brought the Elders with us on Friday. We talked to the family for an hour in the cafeteria…he has 2 daughters, Angela and Christy, who each have 2 little kids…and then we all went into Evelyn’s room. We got there right as 6’9″ Father Joe, their Priest, got there, so we let him step in first, with Judge behind us saying to his daughters, “It’s the face-off…the Mormons versus the Priest” haha. Father Joe didn’t hear but his daughters laughed about it. Father Joe was a little uncomfortable with us at first it seemed, but I think he warmed up to us a bit after Elder Udy told him we’ve been praying for his sister at our weekly prayer circle.
Evelyn looked pretty bad that night. I know this whole story will make Mom cry no matter how much I tell so I’ll just tell all of it. I told Angela about my Grandpa Burke dying of cancer, how I remember the last time I hugged him and he kissed my cheek, and I can still feel that kiss on my cheek. 🙂 I told her how hard it was for Mom, how she’d say “No matter how old you are when a parent dies, you’re still like a little girl who just lost their mommy or daddy.” When we had to leave we asked Judge if we could pray. He shut the door, walked over to Evelyn and said “They’re going to pray for you,” kissed her, “we love you!” and held her while Sister G prayed for peace and comfort for Evelyn and Judge and their family.
We went home and got the text at 4 am that she had passed away. Judge asked us to come over to the house so we were over there by 8 am. It beats me how 2 random young girls end up in the front scene of a family’s huge trial of their mother and wife dying of cancer. He was awake and his daughters were sleeping, so we just sat there with him and looked at old and recent family photos of Evelyn. He would say “Isn’t she foxy?” haha and tell us about the pictures. Life is way too happy and way too sad.
So the funeral is on Wednesday…so is Transfer Meeting… so Judge called up President Griffin about it, haha. Earlier we were telling him that Sister Godlewski was going to be transferred, and he called President Griffin to tell him she needed to stay because his wife was dying, and we told him she was still probably leaving but that Pres. Griffin is a nice guy. Judge said “He sounds like a peach” haha. So after we got permission to miss transfer meeting for the funeral (which is kinda a big deal) Judge says “He’s half a peach.” Judge loves us a lot and we love the family.
At zone meeting this week we talked about the difference we make as missionaries. It’s kinda up to us if we want to impact people deeply and personally or to be remembered pleasantly. It’s been hard for me to love people on my mission. I had to kind of harden myself at my job at Provo Canyon School (treatment center for teens), harden my heart to the girls’ problems and feelings and past trauma, and not be as sympathetic to them as I wanted to be even though I did care about them, because that wasn’t my job. I think that’s carried over into my mission a little bit. This week I’ve had a couple breakthroughs…I am starting to love people and because of that I’m starting to love my mission.
We’ve had a lot of meal appointments this week now that Sister G and Elder Udy are leaving. Good thing we joined a gym!! It is sad they’re leaving, I’m really good friends with Sis G, and Elder Udy is super similar to Laura Austin so it’s like I’m hanging out with her all the time, party. I don’t know what I’ll do without Sister G though!! I have no sense of direction! I’ll get lost all the time!! They gave me a GPS but you know me… where is Provo Mountain when you need it??
Ok gotta go!! 🙂
– Sister Hale
p.s. look up Vincenzo Di Francesca on wikipedia in your spare time
pic 1: a generational photo…? I don’t quite get it but apparently these are my mom, grandma, cousin, uncle, and grandpa
pic 2: my trainee graduation/3-month mark party!!
pic 3: tldr;