WOW. There are no words to accurately explain the thoughts and emotions one experiences at the end of a mission. My heart is SO full as I write this! I know that I cannot do it justice, because I am ¨not mighty in writing.¨ Perhaps you could read Alma 29 or Alma 17 to understand a little of what I´m feeling.
To be honest, this week was pretty difficult at the beginning. We battled negativity from all sides - investigators who hid from and lied to us, members who informed us that they no longer desire to visit church or be visited by missionaries, and our own negative thoughts creeping in. BUT I can testify of the hope that our faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement gives! Later in the week, we were smiling and feeling that perfect brightness of hope that the scriptures promise us when we put our trust in Jesus Christ. Satan is battling hard. That doesn´t matter when we´re on the Lord´s team!
I am humbled as I reflect on the past 18 months that I have had the privilege to serve as a representative of Jesus Christ. I have witnessed His hand in countless ways. I have seen people´s lives and hearts change as they accept and live His gospel. I have experienced His tender mercies and ennabling grace in my own life. I know He lives! I sometimes feel overwhelmed by my own imperfections, but I know that with Him I can be made whole.
I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to meet the people I have met and share in their lives. I am thankful for companions, leaders, members, and friends who have inspired and instructed me. I love each one of YOU family members and friends who have supported and loved me in countless ways.
I testify that THIS IS THE TRUTH. Jesus Christ is the savior and redeemer of the world, which means he is the personal savior of each of us. Jesus Christ restored His church and His priesthood authority through the prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. God has a plan for each one of us and has provided the way to return to Him by making and keeping covenants. The Holy Ghost is real and he is always available to comfort, guide, and teach us.
The mission has tested me more than I ever imagined. My joy has been exquisite, as has been my pain. These are sacred experiences I will use as a foundation for the rest of my life.
All nostalgia aside, I know that the mission is not the end. I´m not dying! I´m just moving on to another phase of service in the Lord´s vineyard. He expects us to keep progressing ALWAYS. And I´m excited about that!
I love these Nicaraguans! I love each of you. I love my Savior.
Until we meet again,
Photos: So sad to pack!
With Monica, a recent convert who is awesome at working with the sister missionaries!
With Mirella and her girls