This is NOT my last email as a missionary. Ha!
To my friends who leave me next week... May you rest in peace.
Honestly, my heart hurts a bit considering I can no longer sit next to
Sister Cortello on the plain ride back to SLC...
The sting of death...
..."IS SWALLOWED UP IN CHRIST"!! :D
I hope Thanksgiving is FANTASTIC for one and for all!
I am SO grateful to once again be serving as a missionary at this time
of year! There is always so much to be grateful for!
Let's count our many blessings:
1. Speaking of Sister Cortello!!! I was privileged to hear her vast
knowledge and intellect on ones brain! Sister Guest and I traveled
Wednesday morning back up to Clairemont where I learned A TON!!! I
totally took a psychology class before the mission. It benefited me
nothing... BUT THIS CLASS! I was so intrigued. In fact I felt slightly
gypped that I was unaware of some basic ideas about a persons mental
health before this moment in time. I thought after having attended
that even some of the leadership in the mission should learn about
these tools and ideas to better assist missionaries who might struggle
emotionally. IT WAS FANTASTIC! My favorite insight: Labels. Don't
identify with something that is NOT your identification. You can ONLY
be one thing: A child of God. I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THIS KNOWLEDGE!
Also, just really thankful for Sister Cortello and her testimony :)
Good lady, good lady...
2. THURSDAY M WAS BAPTIZED!!!! Yes. I know that you don't know who
he is. BUT!! I DO AND OH MY GOODNESS HE'S A CHAMP! Sister Guest
can't say his name and I pronounce it as if it were Japanese. Therefor. We both struggle.
He is SUCH a cool guy. The man literally was walking down the street 4 weeks
ago, saw our church building, thought to himself "hmm.. I feel like I
could learn something there", WALKED IN and stayed :)
he's a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Milagros for days. He's overcome MUCH and since having received the
gift of the Holy Ghost, SHINES LIKE A BEACON! He's already invited his
cousin to meet with us and be baptized. We'll be meeting Carlos this
week! I AM SO THANKFUL FOR MAURO AND HIS EXAMPLE TO ALL OF US!
3. N WAS BAPTIZED! Yes. I also know that you don't know
who he is. Nathan met with missionaries previously in his life, sort
of fell away from their message BUT! Saw some Elders on the street
here in San Diego and flagged them down. They referred him to the
sisters in Chula Vista and has pretty much become best friends with
our Bishop. Bishop Buswell gave him a call 4 days ago, asked Nathan if
he was ready to take this step of faith in his life and to be
baptized. N said YES! Bishop Buswell baptized him and it
was good to see Sisters Miole and Pitcher there! Sister Guest bore a
powerful testimony on the Book of Mormon and broke into tears. She
testified how much a person can change just through reading it's
pages. As James J Hamula has said: "You read that book and gain a
testimony of it. Heaven will guide you carefully and hell will have no
power to take you off that course. Believe me, hell is seeking to take
you off that course." I AM SO THANKFUL FOR FANTASTIC LEADERSHIP AND
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH! I AM ALSO SO GRATEFUL FOR THE BOOK OF MORMON
AND MY WONDERFUL COMPANION!
Highlight? PRESIDENT SCHMITT ACTUALLY SANG TO ME IN FRONT OF EVERYONE.
My face has never been more red. That man. I must say though... He did
a good job. I stood just to explain to everyone what they can expect
during the Christmas season as a missionary. CAROLING! It's quite
honestly the last thing you would expect to then sit down and be
serenaded by your Mission Dad.
I'll finish up with some other thoughts I had during our "Missionary
Training Exchange or Experience". (You would think I would know what
it stands for by now...)
The first day was fantastic! Sister Guest and I had the opportunity to
train the top 3 northern zones on revelation through prayer! It went
well for having only had a limited amount of time to prepare ha! Elder
Nelson let me pick on him and Sisters Sorenson & Cortello had my back.
Prime people. Great conversation was had on how we can truly help
those we teach connect with heaven. It was such a tender moment for
me, training with my companion, then baring my testimony presumably
for the last time to those men and women representing the Savior. I
love missionaries. I love being a missionary.
The second day. I can't even describe to you the spirit that was felt..
President shared 3 short clips of 3 different runners giving
everything they had to finish their designated race. After the first
clip of a woman literally crawling to the finish line, everything
coming out of my Mission President's mouth was something I needed to
"Run first with your heart, then with your head, and then with your legs.
Kick dig and scratch to the finish. Don't give up, don't give in!
EVERYONE can crawl. Your stronger than you know, so don't give up!
Don't you ever ever give up until you cross that finish line."
The second clip had these two brothers, one helping the other cross
the finish line. Sister Pitcher shot her hand up and shared an
experience she had the day prior. My beloved daughter described that
she had been in this dire physical situation and was needing the
assistance of those around her. I FELT LIKE A MOTHER THAT COULDN'T FOR
HER DAUGHTER. Tears. I broke down WEEPING. But the spirit let me know
that I was again where I needed to be. I knew at that moment that one
of the reasons I was ET'd to Chula Vista with Sister Guest was so that
we two could finish this race of a mission together.
Last but not least, President shared a clip of a runner who tore his
muscle at the olympics.. The love of a father. He tried his best in
his own. He was dedicated. Hopping to the finish. But when his dad
embraced his son to help him finish, the runner broke down.
"Son you don't have to do this."
"Yes I do."
"Then let's do it together."
His dad was there the entire time. Watching. Waiting to help.
Family and friends,
There are angels round about you to bare you up.
Your father and savior are perfectly diligent with you. So don't you give up.
Keep loving, keep laughing. You are doing more than you think you are.
I am forever Thankful for your examples to me.
Missionary life is the greatest!