Oh no. It's happening. I sat down at the computer to write you, and I CANNOT believe that it has been a week. Like, really.
What have I been doing?
And what can I tell you about it?
I heard this would happen at some point. I was just in denial.
Well, I guess the answer is missionary work!! We've had so many meetings this week. It's like seriously, I just want to go find and teach people. Let me go!
The sisters who just left this area left us no notes, no teaching records, and no rubbish bin! I can't tell you which is more frustrating to deal with. haha.
But the work is SO good. I've knocked more doors in the past week than I knew was possible. haha. But I love it! Seriously. I feel so privileged to be a missionary. Sorry. I've been saying that a lot. But I feel like I NEED to!
I LOVE my ward. It seriously feels like home already.... I get like ten "mom" hugs every Sunday. It is brilliant!
And I love the Welsh. The Saints here are just ROCKS in the gospel. I wish I could package up some of them so you could meet them.
But I already ranted about them last week!
So, we stopped this man who is a born-again. And he is so cool! He was telling us that he was a herion addict and his life fell apart when he finally gave in and prayed. He said he shares the gospel not because of what he can obtain by doing so, but rather because he cannot contain. So well put! It definitely makes you reconsider your motivations for living and sharing the gospel.
I love it when people teah me doctrine on the street.
Also, I had another interview with President this week. It was so cool. He said that he felt impressed to tell me that I was EXACTLY where I was needed by the Lord right now, and that the calling that I have is because I could teach the sisters around me and help them reach their potential. No pressure. haha.
BUT the reason I'm mentioning that is because he told me there was no way I could be prepared for this calling without my family. That they had prepared and supported me in exemplary ways. WHICH IS SO TRUE. And I don't think that I say it enough! My family is my pillar. I can't tell you how often I quote my family to my comps or in lessons.
Also, Amelia, I got my entire old district to begin calling a rebuking lesson a "Come to Jesus" talk.
Basically, my mission is the best thing ever because I have changed my understanding of EVERYTHING.
And I couldn't do it without knowing I have a forever family!
And how much hope comes through trusting that that is possible!
Marji, I am devastated that I missed your wedding. BUT, I know you know that I love you and was thinking of it all day. This is as close to the temple as I could get! xxx
(I apologize for looking like a witch. It was rainy and super windy! You are lucky it's not a Marilyn Monroe style pic. haha.)
Monday, August 12, 2013
Please accept this official notice that I will be remaining in the UK forever, and if you wish to come see me you must come here. Thanks.
No, seriously, FOR REALS. I have been transferred to the most BEAUTIFUL place in the world.
In case you couldn’t read the title of my email....
I’m in Wales!!!!
And I’m in LOVE.
Seriously. I think I drive my comp nuts with how often I am gasping over scenery. Haha. (No, Mom. I don’t make her pull over all the time though...we are on the Lord’s errand! Haha.)
Please remind me why our ancestors left here again? ;)
We are in Heads of the Valleys, so basically it’s a bunch of little towns down in the Valleys, and there’s just one highway that connects them all. Driving home at night, there’s all the little Welsh homes with their little lights on down in the Valleys. It has to be one of my favourite things I’ve ever seen.
So basically I think you get that it’s gorgeous. It’s right near Merthyr, which means the Dan Jones “glory days” are literally just around the corner!
And I love it. The people here are soo much kinder than Brummies, and they have the wonderful Welsh accent (Well, I guess they actually have the Welsh valleys accent. But still.)...it’s much more musical sounding. Oh I just love it. It makes life just so enjoyable.
If I were literally here to gather sheep, this would be the place. However, since sheep is metaphorical for me as a missionary, it is going to be a little bit harder. Haha. BUT there are people here.
It’s going to be great. I love the ward. It’s much more like Warren or Corry, where you just feel like one big family. The Bishop conducted the music yesterday, if that lets you know how small it is. Haha.
Basically, I’m in love and ready to start again. I just love being a missionary. Heavenly Father is just so good to me. It was so hard to leave Harborne, but I fell in love with my new area as soon as we entered the ward boundaries and saw a castle. Like, it does NOT get better than this!! And the people are just incredible.
Okay. Sorry about the ranting. But if you know me, you understand that it’s like a balm to my soul to be somewhere like this. And I have been so stoked to tell you about it all week!
So, this week was really scattered and hectic, but I want to share one thing.
Saying goodbye to OT was so hard. Seriously, watching him accept the gospel has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. He told me that no matter where he goes or what happens, he will worship with the Latter-Day Saints for the rest of his life. Best promise EVER! OT is a kingdom builder.
I was doing okay in the lesson, but then he gave the closing prayer. (And he offers the most INCREDIBLE prayers.) He said that when he had heard about the gospel from us, it had touched his heart in a way he didn’t know was possible. And he thanked Heavenly Father for it.
And that was it. I started crying and could NOT stop. Poor guy. I think it freaked him out a bit... “Don’t cry! Please please, don’t cry!” But I just remembered again how precious this opportunity is. I am so grateful and so humbled that I am a missionary, and have seen people’s hearts change as they accept the gospel. “And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!”
And it is! There is no feeling more joyful. I may have been called somewhere where I’ll see fewer people accept the gospel, but howprecious it is to see it in just the few! There is nothing more rewarding.
Christ LIVES. The gospel is true. The priesthood has been restored. When we know that, everything else just falls into place (or falls out of our lives). We realize what matters, and what we need to change to come closer to our Heavenly Father:
“And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.”
That’s what I want! And it’s what I want for everyone I meet.
Oh, Heavenly Father is SO good to us.
Have a good week!
I will teach ANYONE I can find here! haha. She sat and listened for a long time.
Wales is beautiful!
My family tree has grown! sister Mueller is in the white dress and this is all her "mission prodigy".
Thursday, August 8, 2013
This day has been the best. :)
My comp made me breakfast (no, not the usual breakfast in bed... I want to be an obedient missionary even on my bday!).
Then, I opened my packages and fell in LOVE with them. I love how perfectly my family knows me and knows what to send. Unfortunately, I left my camera cord at the flat so I can't send you pics this week, but I hope you can feel the gratitude. And the love. (Feel the power Kronk. Oh yeah, I can feel it. ….Sorry. Couldn't resist.)
And then I came in to some awesome emails! YES! So, it has been a good birthday so far. And then we'll be having a birthday party with my district and then exploring a cathedral in town. Sounds good, eh?
But. For the news of the week. This has been the most formative week on my mission. I feel like I have come to appreciate the magnitude of the Atonement a little better. And that I walked through fire a bit. I'm having a hard time putting it into words, so forgive me as I try.
Okay. So, Tony's family FLIPPED when he told them about his baptism. And that's the worst thing that could ever have happened for him.
But, he still wants to be baptised. He was really confused on how to tell us, so he didn't!!!!!! Boys.
We were sitting in the foyer during his baptismal interview, and we both knew that something was wrong. When we went in, Tony looked so sad! He told us that he believes that this is Christ's church, and that he feels so happy when he comes to church and when he reads in the Book of Mormon, but he doesn't feel like his testimony is strong enough yet to go against his family. He asked for one more month.
It was agonizing, and not because I wouldn't see him be baptised. I have seen Tony's potential. I feel like I understand the great worth of his soul, and Heavenly Father's love for him. I've watched him grow from his first hesitant prayer to Heavenly Father, to increasing his faith to follow commandments, and now where truly loves his Heavenly Father.
In his closing prayer, he just told Heavenly Father exactly how he felt. He expressed his desire to follow Christ and be baptised, but that he knew his family was so important. And he apologised to Him for asking for one more month, but said that he wanted to be fully sure of what he was doing before he went against his family.
Afterwards, my companion was given a blessing and she was told that the day Tony IS baptised will be a day he will not soon forget. He will give his whole heart to the Lord, and have full courage to follow Him. I won't be here to see it, but it will happen. And it will mean to him exactly what it should mean to him.
You know what I love about missionary work? We had a HARD morning, but then we picked up, moved on, and served and taught other people. We may have bought some Ben&Jerry's on the way home, but we were able to pick up and move on and care about others, even through sorrow.
And then Steven. He didn't answer his phone till Wednesday, so we were worried that he hadn't been able to quit smoking. And then he randomly called us, and told us he had quit for the past three days! We were SO thrilled. Like, I've never been so happy before in my life. Seeing people do hard things just brings me so much joy, that I get to see them overcome and progress.
And then he picked it back up again, and didn't come to church. It's heartbreaking to see him try to change, and not have enough faith in God and in himself to do so. I guess it's kinds how Heavenly Father feels about me sometimes.
And there were some other things that happened this week. Basically just imagine all the emotions you experience in a year and squash it into a week. Through it all though, I came to more understand the Atonement, and see how I can apply it to my life, and the lives of my investigators. I know more clearly than before that my Heavenly Father is there, and is aware of His children and their needs. I understand more the power of prayer, and the need for repentance.
Basically, I felt like I was standing before my Heavenly Father, and had done all I humanly could. And it wasn't enough. I stood there and felt so insufficient., and realized how I could not do it. But, my Saviour was there. He pleaded for my shortcomings, and enabled me to do more. Because He overcame the world, surely He can overcome my weaknesses in my little corner of the vineyard.
I can't fully express it. But it has changed me. It's not the “ending” I had in mind for Harborne. But I am so glad to have grown here.
It's amazing to think how different my life is in a year—a year ago today I decided to quit my job as an RA, and I was having trouble to have enough faith to move forward. I never would have imagined that in just a year so much would have changed, and that I would have spent half of it serving my Father as a representative of Jesus Christ.
And next year, I'll have spent the whole year serving Him. I can't imagine a greater privilege.
I love you! The gospel is the source of joy in times of trial. It's what picks us up, and moves us on. And we are so privileged. We have the fullness of it restored. The priesthood is on the earth again. Families can be forever. And through the Atonement, we can overcome!!