So what exact day do you finish this transfer, put your stuff in the mission home and start your adventure? I WILL BE LEAVING THIS THURSDAY, I WILL BE ATTENDING THE TEMPLE WITH MY NORMAL GROUP FOR THE "LAST DAY THING" AND I WILL BE ATTENDING THE GOODBYE DINNER AND TESTIMONY MEETING THEN FRIDAY I WILL BEGIN MY NEW ASSINGMENT I GOT MY RELEASE EMAIL I WILL FORWARD IT TO YOU. SO MOST LIKELY FRIDAY I WILL BE FLYING TO NFLD.
And big question?? Do you think you will see Emily?
YES I WILL BE ON WEDNESDAY... CRAZY! AND IF SHE IS SERVING IN NFLD WHICH THEIR ARE GOING TO BE TWO NEW MISSIONARIES GOING THEN I WILL GET TO SERVE WITH HER FOR 3 DAYS!
This week has been fantastic, I am just so grateful to be here, my mission has changed my life and I am getting emotional looking back at my time here in Cole Harbour hahhah wow I am literally tearing up as I write this letter right now. I look back to when I came into the Cole Harbour ward in January and I just feel like a completely different person from who I am today. My experiences here have been very sacred to me almost so sacred it is hard to even talk about and put into words.
It really is sad for me to think of leaving this area because I love the ward so much, I have grown to love the members, the LA's, the investigators the Young Women, it has been extremely hard, one of my hardest areas but one of the most fulfilling areas in my mission and fulfilling moments of my life.
You never really realize how much the little things you do pay off till you sit back and realize it and have it all hit you in the face. Yesterday I had my goodbye book passed around in during Young women's for the Young Women to sign it and sooo many of them wrote the nicest notes in it, like things that these intimidating young women (basically young women like how I was in young womens... can appear scary but really they are just confused in the world haha) wrote how much they have changed and desire to grow in the gospel more because of my example. They wrote about how much my happiness... just soo many specific things that I did not even think they thought of in their minds. Some of them desire to serve missions now. Man this just gets me emotional writing this.. haha seriously the people sitting beside me at the library right now must think I am writing a depressing letter or something. But I am just so full of gratitude it brings me to tears, I just think of these young women and I had no idea that just smiling and going out the way to push them to knock with us, to just talk to them and feel like a nerdy molly Mormon would go so far with them, "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."
This ward and this area is so completely different from how it was 9 months ago, I have seen so much here and as Ammon says in Alma 26: 11 "I do not boast in my own strength nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God." My heart is so full and I truly feel what Ammon feels here. I know this is the work of the Lord and I know that this is true, the heavens are not closed and the Lord is gathering His sheep in these the last days.
Leadership training was great, I traveled there with Elder Jason, he is a convert of about two years he is from the Caribbean and is hilarious. It was a great training and we were able to talk about resolving concerns, listening, LISTENING so important. I was able to go street contacting with one of the sisters serving in St. Johns for about an hour after leadership training, it was great to be able to get a feel for NFLD and understand what to prepare myself for! I also was able to ask a lot of questions and understand more of some areas that are hard in NFLD in regards to the work, so I can know how best to help the sisters. But it was amazing on the flight home it was night time we arrived at about 9 PM but the person sitting next to me actually got up and moved so it was quite nice because I was able to spend the whole time on that flight just feasting on the scriptures IT WAS UNREAL!! Just reading in the Book of Mormon, the flight was about over 1.5hr so I ended up reading in Doctrine and Covenants and that was amazing!! I just gained a whole new testimony of the Doctrine and Covenants it is sooo amazing that is an amazing record of scripture! It is so missionary minded and I received so much revelation as I was reading it, that just right there was another added witness of how true this gospel is, like brother and sisters this is Christ's restored everlasting gospel in it's fullness!! There is no way that it would not be true! Seriously though. there is just no way that Joseph Smith would not be a prophet called of God! "By their fruit you shall know them" and let me tell you the fruit of this gospel is delicious and can not be found anywhere else!
This week Debbie attended the temple with us for baptisms for the ward temple night that was exciting!! The Fall weather is here and I just LOVE it, I love fall especially in the Maritimes! It is truly a great time of year! I am so grateful to be able to experience more of the fall weather here.
So I had a couple of amazing experiences this week that I would like to share;
So we have been meeting with this LA couple for the past little bit, Brother and Sister Thompson I actually have a picture of me on facebook after I cut her hair, she is confined to a wheel chair she has MS, she was baptized two years ago, she broke her hip a year ago, and her MS is just getting worse and worse. Her and her husband have been through so much together and their love for one another is so strong it is amazing. Sister Thompson just has such an amazing spirit, they barely get any sleep because she is up all throughout the night having muscle spasms, she can barely talk so brother Thompson has to translate for us a lot because her speech is very hard to understand. It truly has been humbling teaching them, I love them so much; 3 weeks ago we were talking about missionary work with them and we invited them to pray for missionary experience on their end. After hearing about Sister Thompson you think it would be easy for her to not pray because for one she is in a wheel chair, never gets out, and can't speak, and as well only communicates to members so that would be quite an easy excuse for her to not pray and not have the faith to think that would be even possible. But low and behold we were at their house on Friday afternoon and their was a new caregiver there for her that day. Sister Thompson kept telling Bill her husband to go invite the caregiver (Valerie) to come sit with us, so after her persistently telling Bill he finally got up and went and invited Valerie to come sit with us, and she did. It is turns out Valerie lives about 40 minutes away and she got called in from her employers to come to the Thompson's that day; when she first showed up at their house she said to Sis Thompson "well I know I am here for a reason today" and then we came and BOOM we ended up teaching her the restoration. She is from Jamaica, moved here 7 years ago, and she is FULL of faith. She had been praying to God to show her more because she felt something had been missing, she had been given the Book of Mormon in the past but she never read it because she thought we worshipped prophets not God, so after clarifying that she felt the spirit and we are now teaching her! She lives in Halifax so we will be passing her over to those sisters this week! But we have been texting her since Friday and she has been reading and we are seeing her tonight! ALSO that was the first day Valerie had been back to work for 2 years and she was just filling in for the day at the Thompsons.... crazy!!? I KNOW! If this is not the work of the Lord then I don't know what is! So later that night we were talking to the Thompsons over the phone and Sis Thompson told us that ever since we asked her to pray for missionary opportunities she had been!... WOW we have so much to learn from a faith-filled lady like her, seriously, if a lady who can't speak, in a wheel chair, does not have power to eat, use the washroom on her own, can have faith and power to pray for missionary opportunity and have one, then how much should we be! seriously though!
As well Pio and Merry Capablanca came to church yesterday! And Pio has been reading the Book of Mormon and he is just loving it!! He loves the gospel, yesterday in gospel principles he shared his conversion story in front of the whole class is was unbelievable!! After church he thanked Sister Howell and I for being so persistent with them both, because they truly love church now. We ended up moving his baptism date back to Oct 11th and it is most likely I will be able to attend as I will be coming back from Cornerbrook NFLD that day!! What a blessing!
This week I was feeling a bit of stress about the future really and the unknown, and just as well the responsibility of training sisters in NFLD and being able to help them, so I received an amazing blessing from one of the senior couples who are from Utah and serve in the temple; Elder Poelman. The Poelmans are an amazing couple they actually have decided to set aside 10% of their life to be missionaries, he has been a mission president before in the USA, the are hitting about 7 or 8 yrs of service as full time missionaries, they are in their 70s and have many grandchildren. It was very amazing, this blessing gave me feelings of clarity is the best way I can describe it; just feelings of peace, and comfort. In knowing that this is not the end. I have been feeling that I am going to come home and then boom I don't feel the spirit and I enter into a deep depression haha that is a bit of an exaggeration from how I’ve been feeling. I now know with high hopes that I will be facing new experiences after my mission, I will be put through new challenges that will cause me to drop to my knees and cry to the Lord with all my heart, that He will continue to direct me just like he has throughout my mission, just like when I stepped in to the unknown of the mission field it will be that same way. I must just stick to the essential daily things and continue in obedience and selfless Christ-like service. I know that I will grow in many different ways, and I have faith that as I never loose sight of my vision of how I see myself 20 yrs from now that I will be able to not get fixed up in the small stuff.
Sister Howell and I have grown quite close we have learned sooo much from one another I love her very much and we will be dear friends. We have come to understand that we must envision ourselves of who we want to become and we will be come it!
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ! Serving a mission there is no sacrificing! Everything that we are sacrificed we are blessed we are given joy and it is how we truly find our selves, I bear testimony of this!
I came across one of my favorite talks this week that I wanted to share with you all;
I think this is actually my favorite talk EVER!! It is amazing! It was given in 2009 at BYU I believe but I read it and WOW this is an example of a modern day prophet of God, because it is so inspired and very applicable for our day NOW in 2014! It is amazing and gave me an overwhelming appreciation for my body, my soul, and my mortal life here.
I really hope you all take the time to read it.
I love you all and have a great week