Monday, March 9, 2015
Where did this week go?
I can't believe how fast this week went.. My Bishop has already assigned me a talk for next Sunday because he says it'll be my last in the ward because of elections, and general conference.
I feel like everyone always says how fast this time in the mission goes, but you kinda just don't believe them until you're there.. And then this week I was thinking about Lesson 3, the Doctrine of Jesus Christ, and I realized that it's like the mission. You start out the mission clean from all sin, and then you just go by faith. You're in a new place, new food, new people, and lots of time, a new language.
But then you get used to it, and you might even think, "Yeah, I got this. No prob." But that's where repentance comes in. You humble yourself enough to be worthy of His guidance again, and then along comes Sunday. I don't think in my entire life I've seen weeks go by so fast, and every Sunday I'm thinking.. "Whoa, how is it Sunday again??"
As your mission passes, you start to have a stronger testimony in the gospel, and you start to realize just how important baptism is. I think in almost every prayer I thank my Heavenly Father that I am part of His Church, and that I have been baptized by someone holding His authority. I am so grateful for the other covenants I have made with my Heavenly Father in the temple. What an amazing Gospel we are a part of! I can hardly get my brain around it.
And then just like in Lesson 3, the next step is the gift of the Holy Ghost. How amazing is it that Jesus Christ left us with this comforter. And that's truly what He is. As I listen and learn more about this gospel, I feel comfort. Comfort in this gospel, that my family is eternal, that my Heavenly Father loves me and has a plan for me, and that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to atone for me. I can't think of a greater love than that.
And then there comes a time in your mission where you have to endure to the end. Today dad wrote me (and I hope it's okay to share), "I know where you're at right now. Not having known what it is like to have a family, I could have stayed out on my mission for the rest of my life and would have been very happy. You see the light at the end of the tunnel and just wish it would just go away. I asked for an extension, but they didn't need me to stay. My advice, I know that you are working very hard already and you are finding new people to teach. Keep that up until you walk on the plane and then find someone on the ride home to teach. Take time with those you have grown to love there. You live a long way from them. Record as much as you can for posterity and live each day to the fullest. That 'day' will come and there is nothing you can do about it. You will leave a part of your heart in Bolivia. The ward members will remember you, your investigators will love you and the Lord knows that you loved them back. Heavenly Father loves you for taking care of and helping His children to return back to Him. He will be there some day to greet you home to Him and there will be the people you touched with your spirit while you served there. He will wrap His arms around you and then He will say, 'Well done and Group hug' and everyone will join in. It will be a joyful moment! But, until that time, you will be starting a new phase in your life, that will bring you just as much and more joy and happiness than what you have felt thus far in your life." I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I do wish it would just go away. But I also trust in my Heavenly Father, and I know everything will be okay in the end. "Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His 'more excellent ministry' with a future of 'better promises.'” I love serving the Lord here in Bolivia, and I love being a missionary for this beautiful, wonderful, and perfect church.
Sounds like you all had a fun week! Our investigators are great! Emma will be getting baptized in two weeks, and Mariela came to church yesterday. We also were able to find new people to teach this week! Heavenly Father continues to bless us everyday. I love you all so much! Just because I'm sad to be finishing the mission doesn't mean I don't love you. I think I love you all more than I could have ever imagined. The mission has shown to me just how important families are, and I am so grateful to have you as my eternal family! I love you! Have a wonderful week full of miracles!
Love you to Bolivia and back,