To all my wonderful family and friends...
Dear loved ones,
The weather is getting me prepared to hit America winter: this morning it was 60 degrees! Yesterday at church the district president wore a fleece zip up turtle neck UNDER his suit jacket. Claaaasssy. :) I loved it. Everyone is in coats and scarves and beanies. It reminds my of Jamie's mission in Scotland...how everyone would wear shorts when it was in the 50s. It's the opposite here! But equally hilarious.
Well it's getting real. But that's okay. The field is still so white:) And this week is going to rock. So many new people to teach and so many beloved members I can't wait to visit and strengthen this week. We threw a Christmas party last week and had people write their testimonies in Books of Mormon, wrap them, and then plan to give them to their friends as a Christmas present.
Yesterday the Branch President did something really nice and surprising. He asked me to come and bear my testimony. So I took a break from translating and went up. Tears in eyes!:) Got a little emotional since that's the last time I'll do that. But it felt so good and I felt the Spirit so strong.
Thank you so much for your support and love and prayers and letters and packages and thoughts the last year and a half of my life. You have been wonderful and taught me so many things. Thank you for remembering me and sending your love and advice and including me in your lives. I hope the last year and a half has been as fabulous for you as it was for me:).
I am so grateful for the chance to have served a mission. Before my mission, I thought missionaries were celebrities and perfect and so wise and spiritual. Then coming on a mission I've learned that they're still the same people with the same weaknesses and personalities. But they have a wonderful opportunity to grow and overcome the natural man and strengthen their testimonies...just like anyone else. I'm so grateful that a mission was part of Heavenly Father's plan for me. I want to and will apply what I've learned for the rest of my life.
I learned this week (after an about-to-end-a mission crisis...probably the first of many...) that my purpose in life is the same as my purpose as a missionary: to invite others to come unto Christ and help them to do so. I can't wait for my life. Every day of it.
In Jordan's last email he said, "I left a boy and am coming home a man." Well I didn't leave a boy, nor am I coming back a man...but I can say thatIi feel like an improved and expanded and better person. And I'm grateful for the Atonement that has taught me and allowed me to do that.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. The Book of Mormon is true, so true! We have a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He is the Savior's representative on the earth. These things bring so much stability, meaning, and happiness into life. And Heavenly Father only wants us to be happy. I love Him. And I love the Savior.
And as always, I love all of you so very much. Never stop serving and being a missionary!!!!