Beyond stunned at how fast this week went. Well, beyond stunned at how fast these past six months went. Where did the time go? Really. This Thursday, Sister Jensen and I are celebrating our six month anniversary, being missionaries AND being together. It is so crazy how long we have been together. We decided that Heavenly Father NEEDED us to be friends, so that's why we have been put together for so long. I'm expecting a friendship like Dad and Mike Casey out of this one.
Where should I even begin this week? There are so many things that I wish I could try to convey to you guys, but there's no hope. I could never explain how truly wonderful these experiences are and how thankful I am for them. Let me just tell you though. Being a missionary is the greatest thing I could ever ask for. I learn so many things every single day, and I'm beyond grateful that I get to serve my Heavenly Father for another year.
One of the biggest things I learned this week was the love of God. I read the talk "The Atonement And The Value Of One Soul" by Elder Ballard, which really got me thinking about that love that Heavenly Father has for each of us. Can you imagine how much Heavenly Father loves each one of us? His love is greater than we can ever imagine, especially for giving us the gift of the Atonement. Can you imagine Him watching His Son suffer every pain and every heartache and allowing it? Hearing His Son cry out to Him, "saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done" (Luke 22:42) and not being able to remove that pain? Watching Him being tortured and crucified and allowing it to happen because He knows that's what WE need? I think of my own father and how much he loves his children. He would be devastated if anything close to that happened to one of us, wanting to help us in any way that he could. As I realized this, I came to begin to understand how much He loves us. My heart broke thinking about our dear Father in Heaven, watching His Son suffer so, but always knowing that it was what we needed. It's an amazing thought. The Atonement is perfectly constructed, with so much love, and I am beyond grateful that I am able to have that gift in my life.
I finished the Book of Mormon again this week. I'm in awe at how perfect that book is. As I've dug into the stories and learned from those prophets this time around, I've realized that all those stories relate to my life and the lives of our investigators. I can learn a lesson from each of them. That book is truly of God, and I am so grateful that I can read it every single day.
And the Relief Society broadcast? Crying. The ENTIRE time. How perfect was it? I loved every word of it. I think it was exactly what I needed to hear. I'm not going to lie, I had a pretty tough week. I was extremely hard on myself all week. I kept wanting to do more, more, more. And something felt like it was missing. It was. The Spirit. The biggest thing that I need in my life. All week, I was concerned about working as hard as I could, rather than focusing on the spiritual growth of the people we are teaching. My priorities were all sorts of mixed up. I found myself not being able to sleep at night because I wasn't working in the way that the Lord needed me to be working. From that broadcast, I learned that I just need to relax and listen to the promptings of the Spirit. Heavenly Father is the only way that this work works. I can't do this on my own. And that's a hard concept for me. I'm used to doing all I can by myself, but now, I have to humble myself and let Him help me. That's the only way that I will be a successful missionary. I have to do my part, but let Him do His. What a great lesson to learn this week, eh?
I'm thrilled for General Conference this weekend. Christmas for missionaries. I am so excited to be able to hear from our prophet and his apostles. How lucky we are to have them to lead and guide us! I'm so grateful for a prophet on the earth today.
I love Prattville. I get teary-eyed thinking about the fact that I could be leaving soon. Transfers are coming up next weekend, and I can't believe it. I know that whatever happens, I will be where the Lord needs me to be. I love the people here. I know that I will be friends with them forever. They have become like my family here. These people are so special to me. I pray for them each and every day. (And those of you reading this, I hope you know how much I love each one of you). I never imagined feeling this much love for a group of people, but I do. And it's the greatest feeling in the world. I am so grateful for this time that I have spent in Alabama. I would not change it for anything. Rebecca bore her testimony in church yesterday and hearing her sweet words about how she has come into the fold of God truly made everything perfect. I know I was sent here for a reason. I love Alabama more than I can ever explain.
The church is true. It's the best thing I have. I love it. I am so thankful that I get to serve as a missionary and to be able to teach all these people about it. It's the best thing ever. As I've taken some time just to slow down and really think about why I am here, I've come to know how much joy this gospel brings me. Yes, I need to do that even more, but I love this work. I love my Savior. I love my Heavenly Father. I am so priviliged that I get to be a part of this missionary movement. Watching all those Sister Missionaries sing at that broadcast... Absolutely amazing. There is no greater calling than that of a missionary. I love everything about it.
Thank you so much for all the love and the support that each of you show me. I have such a great support group at home, and I can't thank you enough for it. The letters and the packages (THANK YOU DANA) and everything I get keep me going. On an extremely hard day this week, when I wasn't feeling too great about what I was doing, I received letters from my sweet Brookelle and Lisa Petersen telling me how proud they were of me and how much they loved me. The Lord blesses me in so many ways, especially through other people. So thank you, thank you.
I love you all so much. I am so grateful for each one of you. The work is hastening. It's amazing. I feel like most of this email has consisted of how much I love this church and this work and these people, but I really do. I hope you all know that. I am filled with gratitude this week. Thank you for everything. I hope you have a great week this week. Y'all deserve it.
Lunch with Chandra, Tara, and Lauren today!
I could not love them any more than I do!
This sweet lady, Sissy, made us these coasters.
She is the cutest thing in the world! I love her so much!