November 3, 2015
Hello my sweet family!!!
So something really weird just happened...I tried to log on to my missionary portal to write President, but it wouldn´t let me in. So I think it´s really starting to hit me that these really are the last few days of my mission. There are tears in my eyes.
Remember when I was starting my mission, I LOVED the talk “Your Wonderful Journey Home?” Well guess what? I still love it. One part of it really touched my heart this week:
What a wonderful journey this week has been, and what a wonderful journey these eighteen months have been! As I think about my mission, the biggest journey I´ve experienced thus far, one word comes to my mind. And this word is GRACIAS.
Throughout all of my prayers this week, I've just told my Heavenly Father, "Gracias, gracias, gracias." I thank Him for all the hard parts of this journey. They´ve taught me I am truly nothing without God. I thank Him for the mistakes I´ve made on this journey. My mission has been a time of goofing and growing! I thank Him for each one of my sweet companions who have accompanied me on my journey. They have been the perfect traveling mates for me, and each one has touched my heart. And each one has been so so so patient and forgiving with me! I thank Him for my journey destinations...Fray Bentos, Juan Lacaze, Artigas, and Mercedes. What special places He has given me the opportunity to serve in. And more importantly, what SPECIAL PEOPLE He has given me the opportunity to serve among. I thank Him for His sweet Uruguayan children. THEY HAVE MADE THIS JOURNEY SO WORTH IT!!! They have been so good to me. Each one of them has taught me something. They have given me so much of their time, food, and talents even when they have had so little. I thank Him for all those rainy, scorching hot, or super humid days in my journey when I´ve had the chance to walk down the Uruguayan streets and preach the gospel. But more than anything, I thank Him for the atonement of His son, Jesus Christ!
He´s been there literally every step of this journey.
He has been with me since day one and will be with me until the very end. He has helped me continue on when I felt like I couldn´t. His infinite sacrifice has truly made it possible for me to have forgiveness for my sins. This journey has really helped me realize He is my best friend.
And what a joy it has been to let other people know the atonement exists!!! What a joy it is to let them know in this journey we are never, ever alone!
I would like to repeat a quote from above to give you a little glimpse into how this week has been!
This past week, along with sweet Hermana Marsh, we have really felt in our hearts that every Uruguayan here in Mercedes is FAMILY! Here are some miracles we saw among our Mercedes family!
- SOFIA!!! Okay so Sofia is just awesome. She´s a recent convert (she got baptized in April), and she is preparing to serve a mission (she turned nineteen on Sunday). Sofia is always willing to help in the work of the Lord! On Friday, she took us to her friend´s house so we could leave a Book of Mormon with her (and Sofia wrote her testimony down)! Also, Sofia chose to spend her birthday accompanying us! What??? Sofia also let us know she would like if it we could start working with her less-active mother, Ínes. Yesterday, we had a Family Home Afternoon with Sofia and Ínes. We loved reading the Book of Mormon together, and Ínes bought us soda and cookies, how sweet. We love our sisters, Sofia and Ínes!
- ANA LAURA!!! Hermana Marsh and I found Ana Laura one day when we were looking in the ward list. She helped us find an address and as she was shutting the door, we said she looked cute! We then told her God loved her!!! She didn´t have time for a message then, but said we could return!
Hermana Marsh and I have been returning and it is so awesome to feel God´s love for Ana Laura. On Friday, we talked about the Book of Mormon and she asked us how she can be ready for the second coming of the Lord. We then talked about how we should try to be like Jesus Christ a little bit more every day and how we can make a promise with Him through baptism. We talked about baptism for quite a bit, and she accepted a baptismal date for December 19th!
We then came back last night. She welcomed us into her home and guess what??? She had made us a cake because she knew it would be my last lesson with her. What a sweetheart. We ate chocolate cake and drank orange juice together and learned more about Ana Laura´s life. We then sang, said a prayer, and dived into learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ. She soaked it all in...she really has desires to be a better person. She still feels good about getting baptized, and then she asked if she could offer the prayer! Her prayer was so sweet, she blessed Hermana Marsh and me and she specifically blessed me that I can travel safely and find a good career and have a happy life. We love our sister Ana Laura!
- HERMANA MARSH!!! And boy oh boy do I love my sister, Hermana Marsh. She has literally been the best end of my mission I could ever ask for. She is so Christ like. She loves the people in Uruguay with all her heart. She is obedient because she loves God. She is my forever friend!
Well, I would just love to end with my testimony. I know we are all truly family. I know God loves us with a perfect love. I know He loves His children in Colorado and He loves His children in Uruguay. I know that because God loves His imperfect children with a perfect love, He sent His son Jesus Christ to atone for our sins. I know Christ LIVES, and that through him, scars do not exist. His sacrifice can literally fix everything. I know God and Christ want to guide us always. And so they prepared Joseph Smith to be a prophet to restore The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know Joseph Smith saw God and Christ...they knew his name and I know they know our names!!! I know The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, that if we are always obedient and if we do our very best to become like Jesus Christ, our families can be together forever, we can be happy amidst trials, and we can live with our Heavenly Father again after this long journey. I know that one day we can make it back to our Heavenly Home.
I love you all so much, and I am excited to see you. Thank you for supporting me every step of the way, I could honestly not ask for a better family. YOU ARE THE BEST, and keep on journeying on!