October 14, 2013
Buenos dias family and friends! Let me tell you the good news first!
We've going through the ward list working on visiting the Less Actives. We've also been using Family History as a way to find people and do missionary work. Really cool thing I found out this week: I have Mexican cousins! How, might you ask? When Edward Bunker came out west, he moved down to Mexico with part of his family. I assume over time they inter-married with the Mexicans, so I have Latino family! That was pretty exciting.
But the reason this week has been hard. Elder Andrew Page, one of my closest friends from the MTC in Mexico, was hit by a car while biking on Thursday in Arcadia, California. He didn't survive through the night.
For all those of you who didn't get the opportunity to know Elder Page personally, let me tell you about how great of a missionary and friend he was. He deserves a little more recognition than he was given in the paper.
Elder Page was one of the most loving people I know. He went through a lot during his short life. His Dad died 4 years ago while he was a freshman. He was the only man left in his family. He was the youngest of 4, having 3 sisters older than him. Because of this, he had such a love for others, especially girls. He treated us hermanas with such respect. I admired his love for others. It made me think about the way I love other people and how I can better improve.
Elder Page was one of the funniest people I know. I had the great opportunity of sitting right next to him for 3 weeks of my time in the MTC. During the struggles of MTC life, Elder Page would always make me laugh. Thankfully, I wrote down a lot of the things he would say, because I thought they were priceless. I was always in a good mood with Elder Page.
Elder Page was my friend. Hermana Stott and I were really close to Elder Page and his companion, Elder Nielsen. We would play sports together a lot (usually soccer or ultimate frisbee). We would always sit next to these two during devotionals. He played the alto sax too, so we had fun talking about that, our future plans at BYU, and how excited we were to get to California and start working. Elder Page, Elder Nielsen, and I were all going to attend BYU after the mission, and we were excited to get together after the mission and speak Spanish to each other. There were a lot of nights after our classes where our companionships would walk toward are houses together and talk.
Elder Page had such a strong testimony. He was an 18 year old elder from Charlotte, NC. He struggled a lot at the beginning of the MTC with confidence in his abilities, particularly about learning Spanish. But after a few weeks, something changed in him, and he grew more than I believe some people do on their entire mission. He was extremely dedicated to the gospel and had an immense love for Christ. I know he had a relationship with our Savior because it showed with the way he would bless the sacrament and give priesthood blessings. He respected his priesthood and used it worthily.
I found out about his death during district meeting on Friday. We were able to do service after that, so I was able to do some physical work and try to process that one of my best friends, from such a recent, hard, yet rewarding part of my life was gone. Even though it's been hard, I know he's in a better place.
I'm so grateful for the Plan of Salvation. I'm so grateful that God loved us enough that He has given us the opportunity to live with Him again and with our loved ones. I know that Elder Page is teaching those who have died that haven't had the chance to hear about Christ. I know that he is working with his Dad and is continuing his mission. D&C 138:57 fits him perfectly. I'm so excited to meet him again when my mission in this life is over.
I know that God lives. I know that he sent His son, Jesus Christ on this earth to perform the Atonement. This Atonement not only gives us the ability to be forgiven of our sins and relieved of guilt and shame, but there is a healing aspect of it also. Christ knows how each of us feel during the hard times we face. I'm so grateful for this, and even though I'm struggling in the loss of such a good friend, I'm learning a lot about my relationship with God and about myself.
I know that people who are on the other side are not far from us at all. I know they come in times when we need us and protect us until our time on this earth is up.
I'm so incredibly grateful for the wonderful opportunity I had to know Elder Page for such a short amount of time. He is a great missionary, friend, and man. I feel so blessed to be apart of the training he received before he left this world. I love Elder Page as much as I love all my close friends. But I know that there is life after this mortal duration on earth, and I will be able to see him again.
I love this gospel. I love my Savior and my God. And never forget, I love you SO much. I can't wait to be with you all again!
Love,Hermana Sami Lau
Picture: This was my district at the MTC. Elder Page is the one on the bottom row at the left. He has glasses. And that tie he is wearing, it's his Perry the Platypus tie.
I would send the pictures I had of just me and him and our companionships, but I don't have my cord, so I'll send more pictures in the future.