Monday, 16 December 2013

christmas conference

Some of my best friends from my mission
  This week was AWESOME. I kind of felt like I went on a missionary sanctioned vacation. We had an all mission conference on Wednesday, so Tuesday night we drove down to Independence and spent the night so that we wouldn't have to drive at the crack of dawn from Clinton. It was THE BEST. It was so wonderful to see so many of my missionary friends... not so wonderful to realize that I could be seeing many of them for the last time before I go home. I'm kind of in denial about that so that was a tough realization to make on Wednesday.
These are sisters I have trained and also sisters they have trained
Every zone conference the departing missionaries bear their testimony. There were 17 of us leaving in the next two transfers-- so we had about 2-3 minutes to sum it all up. I thought a lot about what my mission has meant to me and what I have learned and how I could possible wrap that up in 2-3 minutes. One of the greatest things that I have learned on my mission is that God keeps his promises. He does. He is perfect and just and will never deviate from that which he has promised us. I have seen the Lord's promises fulfilled again and again as a missionary. I have seen the Lord put the words in my mouth that I needed to say. I have seen him lead us to those that are prepared to hear our message. I have seen him open the hearts of many people. All of the promises of missionary work have been wonderful, but the most important promise that the Lord has made to us is the promise of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because of this promise we can repent, we can grow and change. Because of the Atonement we can progress eternally and live with our Father in Heaven one day. On a daily basis the promise of the Atonement enables us to do more than we ever could on our own. I have seen that promise in my life. I know that the Lord will fulfill his promise to us, to make up for all that we lack. ...and that was that. My mission in 2.5 minutes. I didn't even cry, which I was REALLY grateful for. 

We made mission history and took the first All Mission picture. Pretty neat. We ate yummy food and then had a Christmas concert. It was THE BEST! 
Our adorable house in Clinton, Missouri
Then we headed back to real life in Clinton. What was magical was that I wasn't even sad to be going back to Clinton. Even after finding out all that I'd been missing out on at the Visitors Centers and seeing all my VC friends... I was excited to get back here and get to work. I love this place. I'm so grateful to be here for the next chapter of my mission. We have lots of work to do! This week has been wonderful, full of miracles. We have seen a lot of people progress! It is so rewarding to come into an area with nothing and build it from the ground up. We have 5 progressing investigators this week. 5! I've never had that many my whole mission. At the beginning of this transfer we had 0. So amazing. The Lord has blessed us so much here!

Sister Penman & I in Christmas Jammies
I'll save my Christmas lessons and thoughts for next week. Sorry this letter isn't very funny. You win some, you lose some.
I love you all!  Keep the Christmas cards coming :)

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