Last Friday Dan and I went to my mission reunion. My mission president and his wife, the Petersons, are the most fantastic people you can imagine. They live in Virginia. And Switzerland. And Phoenix. And wherever they feel like it.
They are brilliant, educated, respected, and fancy. I mean really fancy. I remember at one time Sister Peterson asked me to bring her the chargers from the dining hutch. I said, "Sure." Then I came back sheepishly a second later, "What's a charger?" She said, "Its the big plate that is sitting on the table before your dinner plate is brought out to you at a dinner party." Oh. Right. The kind of dinner party that I had never been to. Later Sister Peterson confided that the first purchase she and her husband made after they were married was a crystal chandelier. They didn't have a sofa. Or a table. But man, the lighting at their place was good.
Besides being fancy, though, the Petersons are sweet, kind, faithful, and uplifting. After talking to them you feel like you're a million bucks and you can conquer the world. They hug you and dote on you and smile at you and laugh with you. They love you. And you can feel it!
No wonder, then, that some of the best memories I will ever have are when I was serving as a missionary under their care in Hungary. They are as dear to me as family. And in that missionary family I met the dearest sisters one could hope for. The sister missionaries.
From my first companions in the Missionary Training Center to my last companion in Debrecen, Hungary I met, served with, and loved some of the most hilarious and wonderful people in the world. I've never laughed so hard as I did with Sister Anderson and Sister Groberg. I never thought somebody was more witty than Sister Rose. I'd never seen talent and confidence like Sister Tilliman-Dick had. I'd never wanted to put somebody in my pocket and keep them with me for the rest of my life like Sister Squire. I could go on all day. Sister Mackey's poetry! Sister Jory's hard work. Sister Mihlfeith's joy and spunk. Sister Mic-Podar's deep care for people. Sister Smith's cinnamon rolls (so. darn. good.) and fearlessness in teaching the gospel.
These missionary sisters were my sisters. And I love them so. Which is why when Sister Anderson planned a sister missionary sleepover after the mission reunion I was beyond thrilled. We stayed up all night long talking and laughing and remembering and laughing some more. We talked about our lives, we gave each other advice. We lifted each other and encouraged each other just like we had done when we met 8 years ago. When I rejoined my little family the next day after being surrounded by my best friends I felt refreshed, supported, a little tired, and happy.
I love my sisters.