Subject: Soon to Return with Honor!
Wow, thanks for all of your wonderful letters! I got your letter early this morning Mom, and it was awesome! Thanks so much! It meant a lot. It was some wisdom that I needed to hear.
It's been quite the week of course, never a dull moment. Esmeralda is going through a hard time, and is really sick. Actually needs a surgery. She finally told us why, and it's awful. It's results of being tortured as a child. It's worse from the norm. It's awful, I can't even write about it. She's scared for the surgery, because they gave her odds. They're good. 79% that everything will go great. The other 21% not so great, she could end up in a coma. So.... but she's pressing forward with a lot of faith. She received a priesthood blessing, and hopefully she'll be able to get the surgery soon.
What else? Oh, I will have a funny story for you about a poor guy who called yesterday and asked me to be his girlfriend. Woah, a little soon don't ya think? No, for once though it was actually a really good guy. Thank goodness for companions to help you say the right thing. :) He's the son of Mari, our investigator, I don't know if you remember her, I haven't talked about her in a while. I never picked up on it this whole time, but apparently he's been waiting till I was done being a missionary to ask me. He's the shyest person ever, so we had to have tact. There's one thing I didn't think I'd be dealing with when I woke up yesterday.
We had lots of good lessons. Now I'm to the good-bye phase of it all, and there are some people I just do not want to say good-bye too! We'll see Marquetta and fam, The Haro's, Martin and Felipe, and Greysi and Claudia tonight. Oh boy. Pray for me. I'm doing my best to just make them all happy "see ya later's" mainly because it's not about me, but their progression (well that mainly applies to Claudia). It's difficult, that's just all there is to it. But thank goodness for Facebook! Keeping in touch with people is the one reason to use fb again - haha.
And then tomorrow morning is transfer meeting. Usually I have to there 2 hours early for leadership training, or trainers meeting beforehand, but I'm free tomorrow! Sis Burns and I are playing a really pretty arrangement of "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" for actual transfer mtg. Then everyone else gets a new companion, but not me! I'll give my go home testimony. I'll have my interview with president in there sometime. We all do a session at the temple tomorrow night, then dinner and testimony mtg at the mission home. It's cool cause since I helped out Sis Wall and made that go home dinner once, so I kinda know what goes down :) She makes it all very fancy :) Anyway, then weighing suitcases, up super late... and on the plane early Thursday morning! Well not early, but we leave early, anyway! So that's what I'll be up to for the next two days!
I guess I have a spiritual gift to stay focused and so I haven't thought much about home, so all of a sudden today I need to pack, and it's like it's just suddenly.... here. It's time. So I now have to start making myself thinking about home to be excited. Getting all y'all's emails really helped and I'm so excited to see you! Today is p-day, but we'll just be seeing people! Oh, and packing. We went and played this morning in the Care center, and that was fun. :) I can not believe it was 4 degrees there. Until Friday, it was an average of 75 here, day or night last week. So humid, water was just packed in under so much cloud cover. Unless you've been in it, I don't know how to describe it. We were out talking to people at like 8:30 at night, and it was stuffy and warm!! But today it's cold :) Like COLD! Like 40! So I'm really in for it. My skin gets like instantly dry, so I'm probably gonna need some Aquifor - haha.
We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant to hear the Mariachi and invited a bunch of people. A way to do one last thing, and we called it an early b-day celebration for me, which means at one point the mariachi put this huge sombrero on my head and sang this awesome song. It was super fun, and Sis Burns played with them. We have a ton of good pics that Martin took... but I'll just send you one or two and show you there rest in two days :)
I've changed in so many ways these last 18 months, and I feel so grateful to be the recipient of the promise of the Lord. He truly has made my heart new as I've given everything to Him. I'll never stop. Even though I have a little fear of the unknown, I have faith that this will just be a jumping off point for the rest of forever. I'm so grateful for you all, because I know you'll be patient with me as I adjust back. I promise to do my best! And the Lord will help me. Wanna hear a funny story? The other night I was praying about what's going on in life right now, and a scripture popped into my head in Proverbs. I thought my mind was just wandering. Plus I didn't know the reference, and revelation usually doesn't work like that. Anyway, yesterday morning I woke up with it still in my head! So I look it up, and what does the first part of the verse say? "She is not afraid of the snow." Hahahaha. I'm totally serious. I testify that God has a sense of humor, and that He answer's prayers, usually in very unique ways, and we have to be watching for it. I will not be afraid of the snow, or of what life is bringing me. I know it is what God wants me to do, and so I will. I read Alma 26 this morning, I consider it Ammon's homecoming address. There are so many commonly quoted verses there, but I found some this morning that I hadn't noticed before. In talking to his companions about the people they worked with during a 14 year mission (I thought being in Baton Rouge for a year was long :), Ammon wrote:
"Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickled, and did reap with your might, yeah, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted." (verse 5)
In the next verse he talks about how they will remain strong. That is my hope for the people I've worked with! But I won't be here anymore as an instrument in the Lord's hands to labor among them. However verse 7 speaks to that, and is what really touched my heart this morning:
"But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his, and he will raise them up at the last day."
I know that all of us are in the hands of the Lord. He cares for each of us personally. The person coming who will take my place has been well prepared with unique experiences that will serve her well to help my dear branch family with the experiences and challenges that are coming up in their lives. Heavenly Father knows all. He knows because He knows us perfectly. He knows how we acted in the pre-earth life, from the moment we were created, He knows how we've acted here, and what each has been through, and thus He uses us to help each other. He knows how it will work out, and how we will each grow from each thing, if we accept it. When we are His hands here on earth, we place ourselves, and those we love and serve, in His hands.
I know the Savior lives, and that He in fact is not far away, but that we can truly get to know Him if we choose too. I've begun too and I'm so excited for the rest of my life to continue. Only through that relationship will I be able to live up to the title of being a daughter of the most High King. I look forward to returning to Him one day, with honor. I testify this is the Lord's work. I know because I've been privileged to work with Him.
With lots and lots and LOTS of Love! Signing out for the last time as your dear and faithful,
P.S. Can't wait to see you all in TWO days! Invite whoever you want! our theme for the transfer has been, "go big or go home" and now I figure I'm going home, so I might as well go big! I mainly say this because I got an email from Emily Hull... and I'm not sure I think she might want to come. Plus I just want to see Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!
P.P.S. I'm totally about to go give a Book of Mormon to this librarian that I've seen here a million times. Cool right? The nerves never go away... oh man. why is that? But! It could change his life.... :) It did mine, so why not?