The Life of Bon: Because sometimes you can't make it alone

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Because sometimes you can't make it alone

Last week I got a text from my old mission buddy, Hermana Recinos.  (June 2007-December 2008 I spent tromping around the jungles of Argentina trying to get people to convert their lives to Christ.  I like to call it my "mission" although it sounds super spy like, and that's just the way I like it!) In the real world I am supposed to call her Ashley, but since I knew her for a year a half as Hermana Recinos, I just can't seem to convert to the new name. 
"Hermana Blackburn!  I'm coming to Utah next week.  Let's do lunch!" She demanded via text.
And I said, "You bet your sweet bippy!"
We called Hermana Cowles, our other mission bestie, and said, "Lunch date Saturday!  Miss it and die!"  And thus it was set for the best reunion of all time.
Because Recinos lives in Phoenix, it had been a year and a half since I had seen her.  Cowles lives in Salt Lake so we got together more frequently, but I was absolutely elated at the idea of having the three of us together for lunch.
Turns out it was the four of us because Recinos' boy toy, Bully came along.  With a name like Bully I was naturally afraid that we has going to try to beat me up, but turns out he was real nice and he sat there and listened to all our mission reminiscing without looking too terribly bored.  Any boy who can listen to chicks' sob stories about their months spent in Argentina can stick around as far as I am concerned. 

 Circa 2008. 
I wanted to write that caption because I feel super legit any time I use the word "circa".

I have a special bond with these two girls.  Not just because we are buddies and have the same sense of humor and like to make stupid faces and giggle.  Our bond is deeper than that.  Deeper because we suffered together.  We went through pain and difficulties together. 

I absolutely loved my mission and the lessons I learned.  But it was hard.  The hardest thing I had ever done.  It tested me and tried me and stretched me in ways I didn't think possible.  I was miserable.  I cried.  I missed home.  I knocked on doors through hours of insufferable heat.  I faced rejection, I watched people I cared about make bad decisions, I begged people to come to Christ- most times without success.

In days that were dark and difficult for me, these two girls were the light.  These girls were Heavenly Father saying to me, "Hey Bon.  I'm going to throw some crazy stuff at you.  It's going to be so hard.  You're going to be lonely and homesick and you're going to wonder what the heck you're doing out here.  But I'm going to give you a couple of people to help you.  People who know what you're going through and that will be great friends to you, not only while you are here in Argentina, but for the rest of your life."

I clearly remember a conversation I had with my mom before I left on my mission.  She asked me what I was most nervous abou,t and I said I was nervous to lose all my friends.  I had such a great group of roommates- girls I absolutely adored.  We studied together, we lived together, we partied together.  They were my life.  I was sure they would all get married and have babies while I was gone and that I would come home a friendless, hopeless awkward returned sister missionary.

"Oh, I wouldn't worry about that!" My mom was quick to answer, "You will make new friends while you're there!  You will build relationships that are just as strong as the relationships you have at home."

I was doubtful.

Turns out she was right.  I have kept in touch with these two girls in the four years that we have been home.  We have visited, slept over, and enjoyed countless lunches out together.  We've been through good times and hard times together.  Both were at my dad's funeral.  I will never forget how Hermana Cowles got off work in a heartbeat and how Hermana Recinos drove eight hours in winter weather to be there for me.  You can't buy these kinds of friendships.

I will forever be grateful for my mission and the the things it taught me.  To love.  To trust.  To sacrifice.  To pray.   I will forever be grateful for the person I became during that time.  But maybe most of all... I'll forever be grateful for these two girls who helped me through it.

Pictures from a post mission trip to visit Hermana Recinos in Phoenix. 
I think it might just be time for another visit? 
What do you do to keep in touch with important friends?


  1. Love this post.. it can be SO hard to keep close friendships strong. Two of my best friends live abroad, one in Dubai and one in England, Skype kind of saves us...I try to talk to them on there at least twice a month. With my friends that are in country but not in county, I just try to text, call or facebook them as much as possible. It's hard road, but I'm glad to know you guys have made it work for four years! There's nothing better than good friends that stay that way :)

  2. love this, love this, love this. i cannot get enough.
    this is so great.
    what wonderful girls you are lucky enough to know and have such a great friendship with.
    my best friend since kindergarten goes to duke. no matter what when we go home we make time to see each other, often times shes the only one i see, but whenever we get together its hard to pull us apart. we always text eachother, gchat, skype and call each other and we know the other will answer on a whim.
    i love it and she is the best. nothing beats a good friend.


  3. I love that you all was able to meet up again & reconnect in person. I am sure it was tons of fun :)

  4. Absolutely beautiful. What an amazing thing to return home from your mission with all those awesome experiences AND two BFFs. You're right, we can't do this alone. I'm grateful everyday for the people Heavenly Father has put in my path so I don't have to.

  5. good friends are such a huge blessing!! and even more a testiment to what good friends they are since you have kept in touch. (and I have to say that it makes me want to use the word circa now).

  6. My close friends and try and make time to see each other. My very best friend visits frequently. Her schedule is a bit more flexible then mine. :) We are so blessed to have such awesome friends.


  7. That is so awesome that you keep in touch!

  8. Nice post! Good friends are so scarce!

  9. What a crazy small world! Hermana Cowles, who I know as Dallin, is the secretary of my stake's relief society presidency. I am in the presidency of my ward, so I frequently get emails from her and she visits my ward every few months. She is super nice!
    Also, thanks for this post. I leave on my mission in 43 short days, and I'm nervous as heck about getting along with my companions and making new friends. I needed to hear this. You're the best BonBon!

  10. Hijita! Muchisimas gracias por tus palabras tan dulces! Te siento igual y siempre agradezco a Padre Celestial que somos companeras todavia! Te quiero mucho che! Por la eternidad!