|Kansas City, Missouri Temple|
This is how I feel about going home...
On Saturday we watched Legacy... which is a pioneer CHURCH movie... and (this isn't a joke) I was like, "Woah, there is a lot of kissing in this movie." BAH!!! I am fully aware of the fact that I will be SO weird when I get home. I guess we will have to start with the Disney new releases to ease me in to the entertainment world.
I'm trunky. Quite literally, but not because I wanted to be. On Saturday and Sunday we got iced in and couldn't drive our car. So we had to cancel all of our solid appointments that I was really excited for. Instead, I had ample opportunity to pack and space bag my billions of clothes (I think I have a problem). So my bags are half way packed. It was really hard to stay focused on the work when there is only so much work that can be done in our tiny apartment.
Ok. Enough about that. This week has actually been full of miracles.
We stopped by the Schweitzer's this week. Brother Schweitzer had said that he wanted to be baptized a couple of weeks ago, but we hadn't been able to get back in touch with them. We went over and he is still planning on being baptized on the 14th of February! What the miracle! We have taught him a few times this week and he is so solid. He seems so much more receptive to the Spirit and is really gaining a testimony of the Gospel. Sister Penman and I are merely there to go through the formalities of making sure he knows the doctrine, but he has been taught by missionaries in the past, so he understands a lot already. He is just gaining that testimony and conversion now. Holy end of mission miracle! I'm going to miss the baptism by one week, but that's okay. Maybe they can skype me in!
Yesterday we were able to have a sacrament and testimony meeting with the Bishop and his family, the Stocks. They are the best! I had taken them through the Liberty Jail before I even knew I was serving in Clinton. When I first got to Clinton and met Sister Stock she was like "It is our Sister Call here in Clinton!!!" I have loved this family from day one. I was grateful that I was able to have some semblance of a last Sunday, even though we didn't get to go to church. It's amazing that we are able to feel the same Spirit anywhere we are able to perform the sacrament ordinance. I had never had a home-made sacrament before because we don't really get snowed out of church in California. Then we were able to go with the Bishop when he brought the Schweitzer family the sacrament. I went from 0 sacrament meetings to 2 in one day! It was a great last Sunday on my mission.
I feel like everywhere we went this week we were guided by the Spirit. People were home, they were excited to see us. We went tracting for 20 minutes and found 2 new people to teach. We finally got back in touch with a less active girl in Windsor. She was so excited to see us and she said her fiance wanted to meet with us eventually too! The whole week was like that.
I've been rather contemplative this week about my entire mission experience. That tends to happen when chapters begin to close in my life. I was able to bear my testimony yesterday during the home-made sacrament meeting at the Stocks. I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to serve a mission. It has changed me, through and through. I have gained experience and strengthened my testimony in ways I didn't even know were possible.
In my last letter home as a missionary I want to share my testimony of the things that I have come to know are true.
I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. He knows us, he loves us, he wants to answer our prayers. We are literally his children. He has answered my prayers time and again and through prayer and revelation I have learned how to have my personal questions answered.
I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know he atoned for the sins of the world. He lived a perfect life and set the perfect example for us. I know that only through the Savior are we able to live with our Father in Heaven again. I know that all wrongs are made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That atonement enables us to become more than we naturally are. It allows us to overcome weakness and reach our full potential. I have felt the power of the atonement in my life. It is real.
I know that God, the Father, and his son, Jesus Christ, appeared in a grove of trees to Joseph Smith in answer to his prayer in the spring of 1820. That event sparked the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the fullness of his gospel has been restored to the earth today. I know that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet to restore the fullness of that gospel to the earth. I know this is true because I have prayed and asked and recieved an answer of this truth. I know it is true because each day that I served in the Liberty Jail I felt the spirit confirm to me that that was a place where a prophet of God received direct revelation from our Father in Heaven.
I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that it is true. It leads me closer to Jesus Christ, and I have loved reading from it daily on my mission. I love sharing it with others. It has the power to change lives, and it is convincing evidence that Jesus is the Christ and that the gospel has been restored.
I know that God has a plan for our happiness. As part of that plan he has given us commandments. The commandments help us to be happy. In fact, I love the commandments... which is saying a lot coming from a girl that generally strongly dislikes being told what to do. I know that families are forever. We will see them after we pass on from this life, and we have the opportunity to be with family for eternity. I know that that is true.
I'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve my Father in Heaven for this short period of time. It feels like just yesterday that I was feeling overwhelmed and under qualified for the task ahead of me. I can't say I'm completely qualified now, but I have learned to follow the Spirit and trust in the Lord. He has molded me and shaped me into a missionary. It's going to be tough taking off that badge on Friday!
Ok. I'm going to wrap this up before I get too sentimental.