First off, the wedding sounds beautiful! And I’ve been able to see a few random pics from it, and it looks beautiful too! I was thinking of them that day, and even wore black and red, just for good measure. It sure was strange to not be there, but I am predominantly just so happy for them. I am super excited to meet Mariam when I get home. She sounds amazing, and like she’s really made William happy, which is all I could ask for. Dad, that video was amazing! I cried. But I always cry... the engagement pictures were so pretty. They look great and happy together. It’s cool that so many people were able to make it. I’m sure Sherry missed it, and I know all the grandparents definitely did. But what an exciting time in our family’s, life!
They will have fun in Oregon, I’m so jealous! Lol. I’m just joking, but I do miss the coast. It’ll be nice to be able to go back over there soon. It’s nice of Mariam’s grandma to set that up for them. And Mom, it sounds like you have your work cut out for you with the Sandpoint reception! I would help if I could! I guess I’ll just pray it all goes smoothly
I am so grateful for our eternal family. And I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be in the work of helping make them right now. Because even though I missed the chance to be there on Friday, I’m getting to try to help some of our other brothers and sisters figure out their own way to the temple. What a joy!
Dad, thanks for your insights and comments about submitting our will to God’s. I love your line, “We give up nothing when we give up our will. We gain everything, in fact.” I have definitely seen that in my life. Though, I’m still learning so much. I think a lot about what it really means to be humble and to submit ourselves to Him. Especially when we feel like we are, but things are still hard. How he blesses us at times by allowing us to hurt.
Everything has been going so well this transfer. This week we had a few more cool miracles, and felt a lot of joy in that regard. Jake’s family finally got home, and they’re so cute. I’m excited to get to know them more.
We did get transfer calls this morning, and I’m officially staying here with Sis Walker until I go home. I’m happy about that. There’s a really sweet lady here who is going to make us matching Tongan dresses for next Sunday, so I’ll try to remember to get a picture:)
I hope you have a great week! I love you so much.
All my love,
Sister Erika Marks
I just wanted to send this real quick. It’s another poem I wrote this week. Mom, you’ll be proud of me, I’ve actually titled it
Because I Love My Lord
For many years, I prayed, I studied
To know the truth for me
And with this knowledge, came this duty,
My sacred responsibility.
So I prepared, I grew in favor
The truth became my sword.
For when He called, I would be ready
To labor for my Lord.
With quiet apprehension,
The time finally arrived,
I sent in my application
To wait for His reply.
A trust, a letter
A formal call to serve.
His voice rings in the eleventh hour-
I’m called to His vineyard.
The day finally arrives,
My future waiting at the curb.
I hug my parents one last time,
And gather up my nerve.
They place the tag upon me
My future now to start.
It’s on my shirt awhile,
But forever on my heart.
I wish I could describe the honour
To wear Christ’s name each day
For when I don that little tag,
I pledge to serve His way.
His was isn’t easy.
There’s thorns along the path.
But these thorns are much smaller
Than the plaited crown He hath.
The deeper valleys bring higher peaks
And joy like none before.
I see light pierce the darkest lives,
And feel, with them, to soar.
“How long is left” a dear friend asks
“One month” is my reply.
Yet, wasn’t it only yesterday
I hugged my parents ‘bye’?
For while I lived to serve each day
The clock was ticking on.
The highs, the lows, I felt them all,
But now my time is gone.
I step off the plane with honour
And hold my parents tight.
The tears express my feelings,
As my words are trapped inside.
After years of labor side by side
With The Holy One
It seems a flash of lightening,
He smiles and says, “you’re done”
So I take off the beloved name tag
But find things are quite the same.
For while I was busy helping others,
I’m the one that changed.
In years from now, I’ll reminisce
And smile at how I’ve grown.
With joy I’ll teach my little kids,
To love Christ in their own
~Sister Erika Marks