October 27, 2014
This past week was kind of a weird week to say the least. Two of our investigators are in the hospital for different reasons. We are unable to see one of them but we are hoping to go see the other this week.
We were really focused a lot on some of our exchanges this past week. There were some serious obedience issues going on in one area....so we had to deal with that. It's soooo sad to see what some missionaries get themselves into and it's even more uncomfortable when you have to be the one to address it but I think things are on the way up for them!
We had interviews with President Berry this past week. I just love interviews! It's so nice to be able to talk one on one with him and tell him how things are going. My whole mission I have only cried twice during interviews. This past week was one! It shocked me when I started crying but no worries, they were tears of joy ;) It just hit me really hard that my mission is almost done. That was my last interview with President before I talk with him before I leave. It just makes my heart ache to think of leaving all these people, the missionary life, and the sacredness of the calling that I have. It makes me so sad to think that I can never truly reach out to these people the same way that I can as a missionary. There is nothing like it. In the interview I was just thanking President for the inspired direction that he has received during my whole mission; to send me to the places I have been called and assigned to and given the responsibilities that I have had. I have learned so much in each area that I could not have learned anywhere else. President pretty much was trying to “kill me off” already by telling me he was going to miss me. He even joked around by saying that if he had a son my age that he would have loved having me as a daughter-in-law. Haha! It was cute and flattering but also kind’ve funny coming from my mission president! It's not for sure yet but President also hinted that I will probably be leaving Olympia to go somewhere else for my next transfer :( I will go where the Lord needs me to go but it will be a challenge to be in a new area for my last 6 weeks.
I have been contemplating over my mission this past week...I've been sooooo blessed! I truly feel like the first half of my mission I was able to see a lot of the fruits of my labor and the second half has been much different in the fact that although I have tried my very hardest to find those that are ready...I think that God has been doing His own missionary work on me while I have been serving others. At least that's how I feel at times. I have worked my hardest and done my very best and I know that God is proud of that. I just have to sprint to the finish line and give my Heavenly Father my all to the very, very end. I owe so much to Him and I know that I'll never be able to pay it back in full...but I can try :) and that's what I'll continue doing :)
It's been amazing to see how many miracles have taken place here in Olympia. I have come to know more of WHO Heavenly Father is because of the challenges and triumphs that I have experienced over these past 6 months. I know that He has put dear people in my path that were ready to come closer to Christ. It's been amazing to have sooo many people to teach, that come to church every Sunday, and that are progressing! It's so exciting. These past 3 months especially have been heavenly bliss because of all the blessings that have poured out on us!!
I feel like I'm kind’ve blabbing but I hope I'm making sense. Although we have seen so many miracles I have wondered why we haven't been able to see more baptisms. Plus, this past weekend we were stressing out big time because Michelle is planning on getting baptized this week (yay!!!!) and we couldn't get ahold of her all weekend. As those thoughts were weighing on my mind I was studying D&C 117 and a verse hit me SO hard.
D&C 117:13!! The Lord said, "...His sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase."
I read that and I just felt the spirit so strong. I know that God knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts. He knows what worries that we each have and when we turn to Him and look for help He can give us answers to our prayers through just a simple phrase that brings comfort to our minds and hearts. I just felt that God was telling me that He has seen all the sacrifices (big and small) that I have made for these people of Olympia and that is way more sacred and important to Him that the fruits that I may see come from my labors. Wow! I am so grateful to know that my Heavenly Father loves me soooo much, that He sees the hard work that I have done, and He not only cares for the people around me but that He also cares for my spiritual growth and well being. I have learned so much as I have tried my best to sacrifice and give my whole self to Him. I definitely still have so much more to give but it's comforting to know that He has accepted what I have given :)
So, after I had read this verse and had accepted the fact that I may not see the fruits of things here in Olympia the way I wanted to, Michelle called us back!!! Hahaha! Long story short...she is still gung-ho about everything. She is just so excited for her life that is ahead :) She will be having her baptism this Thursday!!!! woohoo!!!!
I don’t have much more time but I also have to tell you of such a special experience that I had on Saturday morning!! Sister Anita Warner from the New Smyrna Beach ward contacted me on Facebook and invited me to go to her the sealing of her and her deceased husband. I don't know if you remember but when I got to New Smyrna last summer, I was over doing a lot of service for her and her less active kids. I also sang at her husband’s funeral. I was able to get permission from President to go to the sealing!!! I really believe that he only gave me special permission to do that because I lived in the area that the temple is in. I'm so blessed! It was such a special, sacred experience. I was able to see many different members of the New Smyrna ward including Brother Westcott. There was not one dry eye in that sealing room. Ah, I am sooo grateful for the temple!!! What a BEAUTIFUL blessing, full of so much HOPE, to be able to be with our family forever. I had gone to Jen's amazing sealing before I left for the mission but it was definitely an eye-opening experience to see it in such a sacred light for Sister Warner and her husband. It also opened my eyes and really humbled me to see that the little acts of service that I did for her and her family made such an impact on her. I was one out of 10 people that went. You just never fully know how much you are doing for someone.
I know this gospel is sooo true. I just know it. There is NOTHING else in the world that brings such great hope, love and happiness. I'm so excited and grateful that I have this last transfer to share this with everyone around me. I hope that you guys are continually doing the same :)
I love you!!!!