March 27th, 2017
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith
2 Timothy 4:7
Well this was my last full week as a missionary, and it was a really good week!
I absolutely loved the women's session of General Conference! It never ceases to amaze me whenever it feels like the talks were directed to me, and answered all my questions perfectly. I loved that it was mentioned a lot that we should center our lives on the Savior. That was a good reminder for me since it may be harder to avoid the distractions once I go home to the real world, but I truly want to live in such a way that will invite the Spirit to be with me all the time.
On Tuesday morning, Sister Palmer called us and said she was going to come teach with us! That is always really intimidating and at first we were just freakin' out, but it went so well! She was with us while we taught a less-active, Hna Castro. We taught her about faith, and about reading the scriptures and listening to the Spirit. I was amazed at our teaching abilities there; the Spirit was definitely the teacher there. Afterwards, I was really touched at how Sister Palmer praised us for how well we taught.
Later that same day, we had our departure interviews with President Palmer. I seriously just cried the entire interview. I had a mix of emotions: sad that I'm going home but so happy for everything that I've learned as a missionary. He told me that when I go home, my family may not even recognize me. I've changed so much. I was so touched by the genuine love that President Palmer has for me. He is just amazing.
We saw the less-active young women, Axxx and Exxx Gxxx. They have opened up just a little since we started visiting them. They both prayed for the first time in years in front of us! That was super exciting. They are really sweet and I hope they return to Church soon. Attached is the picture of them and their dad.
We were knocking on doors one day and at one door, a man named Axxx answered. We talked to him and he asked us where our church was. We told him and he was like, "I drive by that church every day. When I first moved to Manteca 15 years ago, I saw that church and I thought, 'I want to go there someday' but I never have. And now you're here." We were so excited! We gave him as a referral to the English missionaries and we are so excited for them to teach him.
For my last district meeting, we were told to come with a question in mind. And then we simply read the scriptures together. We read chapters 1 Nephi 8 and Enos 1. It was incredible to see how Heavenly Father was able to help each of us with our questions. Then we each bore our testimonies. It was a perfect last meeting. The Spirit was so strong.
I was reading Mosiah 28:3 yesterday, and I remember thinking, "I don't know if I have as much desire to save others than Alma and the sons of Mosiah." But then as we were teaching some people yesterday, I was thinking about the time in my life where I had gone through a really hard trial, and I kind of stopped going to church for a while. I remember feeling incredibly lonely and felt abandoned by God. That was so depressing, and I don't want anyone to feel that way. That gave me such a strong desire to never let anyone feel that way. So, like Alma and those other powerful missionaries, I do have that desire to save God's children.
I have never felt so close to my Savior. I am so thankful that He called me to serve a mission. I wouldn't trade these 18 months for anything in the world. It's been the most amazing journey. I know without a doubt that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. He restored His gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that my Savior loves me and knows me perfectly. I know that He speaks to us through His living prophet and apostles today. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that this is His true church.
Us with Hno Rxxx and his dog Skyrm!
At service with the elders. This looks like an album cover, haha! We love them and we'll miss them a ton.
More silly pics...