July 22, 2014
When it comes down to it.. this has been the weirdest and possibly one of the best weeks of my mission. I have never felt so much love from Heavenly Father. And my testimony of the truthfulness and importance of this gospel has grown so much this week. I witnessed so many miracles and have felt the spirit so strong. I just feel really blessed.
I will just start with how Heavenly Father answered my prayer and made me the happiest person in the world. Two words. FULL PROSELYTING. So basically my entire mission, but especially recently, I have been dreaming that I would get to go full proselyting. (Which in case anyone doesn't know, that means I won't be working at the visitor center). I mean don't get me wrong I absolutely love Kirtland and it is one of the most amazing places in the world,... but I really want to just be a regular missionary and get to work in a new area with a new companion full time. It has been the dream of my mission. Especially since it is summer and Kirtland is so busy (one of the miracles I saw last week was the fact that I actually survived 4 straight days of Kirtland. One day we gave 7 tours and I almost died.) But anyways I haven't ever said anything to my mission president about it because I only wanted to go full proselyting if that is what Heavenly Father needed and wanted me to do. Because my mission isn't for me or about what I want. So I never said anything it has just been my secret dream. And last Wednesday I had an interview with my president... and he asked me about my mission, and all I told him was that I felt like I really need something new to challenge me or something... and he asked me what I had in mind.. and I said "I don't know." and he asked me what my biggest mission dream is... and I told him that it would be to go full proselyting. And then he said (as he was looking at his ipad)... "Well, I am looking at a picture of you and your new companion.... in your new full proselyting area." And literally I just started crying tears of joy no joke. Sounds dramatic and I am dramatic but it was the best news I have ever heard. He told me that He had felt really inspired that I needed to go full proselyting but He didn't know why... until I told him it was my biggest dream. He said that it was really crazy that out of all the sisters he picked me. And it is crazy. But it is because Heavenly Father LOVES ME so much that I don't even deserve it. No one could ever tell me that he doesn't hear my prayers. There is no way in the world that my mission president would know that I needed to go full proselyting if Heavenly Father wasn't inspiring him. I have always known that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers... but this was honestly the most incredible answer ever. I just know that He loves me and He wants me to be happy and I CANNOT WAIT for my new area and companion! This is going to be the best thing ever. Also it came at the best time ever too!
BUT... it does bring some other crazy news with it... the area I am in right now... is being taken over by two Elders. So for the second time of my mission guys are taking over my investigators. Nightmare. Hahah. Okay no but it is so stressful breaking the news to our investigators. But it really is inspired but just tough. We still haven't told 2 of them and I am dreading it. I am going to miss them so much though. I have the best memories from this place. I think we can all agree that this was the funniest place in the world... Ashtabula pride FOREVER.
That reminds me... last week we taught Gerald the law of chastity with some members in our ward.... most classic lesson of my entire LIFE. If I had it on film I could make a million dollars. Viewers discretion is advised. I will just include one quote that basically sums up the whole lesson. The lady in our ward said "Part of the law of chastity is you have to be modest. Like if you have a nicely built chest area... and you aren't wearing a shirt.. women might look at you and think 'you is sexxxxy'" then Gerald said "I never thought of anyone thinking I am sexy" and then she said "Well, I will be honest. From an artist's point of view, and as you can see I am an artist, you have a very attractive facial structure. Except that eye. That has got to go."
I was actually speechless and didn't fully know how to recover. I mean how do you respond after that. You just can't. It was hysterical and I will be laughing for the rest of my life about it. Also.. it was so uncomfortable. Just wait until I include some pictures of Gerald and the people we teach him with . You will all love it.
But okay.. the real biggest miracle of this week is Michael. I know I say that every week but this week really is amazing. I have never in my life seen the Gospel change someone the way I have seen it change Michael. We were able to teach him the word of wisdom last Tuesday... and he told us about how he is literally so addicted to coffee that he has to have it... but he also committed to quit. He told us "If you would have asked me to stop drinking coffee 4 months ago.. I wouldn't have even considered it. But God is changing me and helping me see things with new eyes.. and now I fully understand why I need to quit." SO COOL. And then on Friday he came to Kirtland while we where there (and it was crazy it was so busy all day... until right when he came it then there was no one.. so we had time to teach him in the school of the prophets and it was just so amazing. miracle number three thousand) and he told us that he had already completely quit drinking coffee at work. Which is huge. And when we were talking to him about the Book of Mormon and how he is feeling, he said "It is impossible for me to put into words the way I feel. I just feel so uplifted and peaceful. When I read and when I talk to you I just have these feelings that are like all of inside of me. I can see myself changing and I can feel it. And it is the feelings that are telling me that what you guys are teaching and what I am reading is true." How amazing is that. He is letting the Gospel change him. I have always known that what I am teaching has power to completely change people's lives... but I haven't seen it to this extent ever. It is such a blessing to be able to witness someone's life completely changing. It breaks my heart that I won't get to see him be baptized... but I know that he will and that his life will forever be changed. And so is mine. He has been the miracle of my mission!
Also we had 3 investigators come to church on Sunday. It was the most of my entire mission. We have made such amazing progress!... right in time for me to leave! hahah it happens every time so I am used to it at this point.
But the past few days have been busy and also really good. They have been some of the most spiritual days of my mission.
The real way my testimony has been strengthened this week has been because of the peace I have felt about Grandma passing away. I really wish I could describe the sense of peace that felt when my mission president called and told me that she had passed away. I haven't been able to even feel sad, because I truly know with all my heart that she is with me. I know that the plan of salvation is real, and that we really are an eternal family. And I feel her with me right now. I think for the first time in my life I understand what an eternal family means. God promises that we can be with our family forever. And right now is part of forever. Right now is part of eternity. And because of that I truly know that she is with me right now. I have felt her with me the past few days comforting me and helping me. And it is impossible to be sad when she lived such an incredible life. She is the most Christlike, charitable person in the world. And her example has changed my mission and my entire life.
But the peace and comfort I have felt from Heavenly Father the past few days really have just confirmed to me that this is all true. What I am teaching is true and powerful. And it is the most important thing in the world. I honestly just wish that everyone could feel this same peace that I have. That is why I know I am right where I need to be. I need to share it with everyone I can and I am so grateful that I get to do that. And I am so grateful that I now have my grandma with me to help me do it.
The week has been full of tender mercies. Saturday night I got home from my long 4 days at Kirtland, and I had a letter waiting in the mail from Grandma. At the end of the letter it said "I love you so much. See you soon." and when I read it, I didn't feel like she meant she would see me when I get home in 6 months.. but that she would see me a lot sooner than that. And the next morning she passed away and I know she was instantly with me. And I also know that I will see her soon. And that we will be an eternal family. I am just so grateful for loving Heavenly Father who blessed me with this Gospel and who has given me the greatest family, and so much love this week.
I hope this hasn't been the worlds most boring letter. I just have had my testimony strengthened so much and feel more blessed than ever before. I am so thankful that God loves me so much and that He has answered so many of my prayers. I am so so so excited for my new area and I can't wait to tell you all about it next week! I will get you my new address then!
I have to get going but I love you all so much! You will be in my thoughts and prayers!