I think she’s one of the most kindest, most wonderful and heart touching people I have ever met in my life. I couldn’t be more grateful for the friendship I share with her. Today, I thought I would do a birthday dedication to her.
I met Stephanie (then ‘Sister Cobb’) on Wednesday, July 24, 2002 in Provo, Utah at the Missionary Training Center (MTC). It was our very first day as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
After saying goodbye to my parents and receiving papers on end about the MTC, I headed up to the room I would be sharing with 3 other sister missionaries. Things they left out of the introductory meeting--4 floors and no elevators at all. NICE-REAL NICE!! I opened the door to walk in the room, and there was a sister missionary sitting on a chair in the middle of the room, facing the door wearing a lavender blouse with perfect hair and looking like she grew up on the affluent side of the tracks. In the first millisecond of stepping into the room, I judged her, pretty harshly. I thought to myself “Oh great, this chick and I are gonna be throwin’ down. I can just see it already. SNOB!” Wow, startin’ off life GREAT as a missionary, right? WRONG!!
The next thing I knew she perks up, with big bright blue eyes and a grin from ear to ear and says to me, “HI! I’m Sister Cobb! Nice to meet you!! Where’s your stuff? Let’s go get your luggage!”. Behind her she had already unpacked her suitcases and set up her desk. Not even able to catch my breath from the 4 flights of stairs, we head back down. To myself I kept thinking, “Is this chick for reals?” Non stop talking, perky as can be. We get my 3 large suitcases and scripture bag. UP the stairs we go. I finally had to stop--it was summer, hot and in the desert…oh and did I mention 4 FLIGHTS OF STAIRS?!?! I get up to the room a minute after her and sit down. Next thing I know my own companion comes walking thru the door…and what do I hear? “HI!! I’m Sister Cobb, this is Sister Lomu! Nice to meet you!! Do you need help? We’ll help you with your stuff! Let’s go get it!” WHAT?? I don’t remember volunteering!?? Are you kidding me?? Down we go….
About a half hour later we’re all unpacking and me-still trying to catch my breath…when the door opens and Sister Cobb, not missing a beat says “HI! I’m Sister Cobb! This is Sister Hansen and Sister Lomu! Where’s your stuff?? I’m really tired, but we’ll all go down and help you with your stuff!!” ARE YOU KIDDIN ME?!?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! But we went anyways. That has always been one of my favorite mission memories, of how I met Sister Cobb. Here I had judged her, when in fact she was quite the extreme opposite of what I would have expected.
Most fortunately I had the wonderful opportunity to serve 4 months of my mission with her in New Jersey. Those were the greatest 4 months of my mission and life. While with her, I experienced a car accident, roach infestation in our apartment (thanks to our neighbors!) and a 2am fire…and in the end she was always the calm and sensible one. She’s so willing to give everything she has and then some. She smiles and gives hope when the rest of the world wants you to give up. She’s listened to me bare the deepest parts of my soul and never judged. She truly has a heart of gold. Jokingly, we made a pact that when we had kids that if I had girls I would send them to her for her to raise because she’s so feminine, gentle and heart sensitive -unlike myself…and I would raise her boys because I like to rough house and do all the crazy boy stuff. If & when I have daughters, I wouldn’t mind at all if they grew up wanting to be like her…I know I do. She’s positive in the bleakest of times, generous in immeasurable amount and pleasant to those that are ill-mannered towards her. I’ve learned so much from her. I can only hope that someday in this lifetime I can possess half of her qualities. She truly has a heart of gold and I am blessed beyond measure to call her my friend.
Happy Happy Birthday Stephanie!!