This email is gonna be a bit different from others....TESTIMONY TIME!
Wow! This week was a mix of emotions! I have never felt so many changes in the way i feel in a single day in my entire life! THIS IS WEIRD! The reason being is that we had zone conference this week, which I LOVE zone conferences! They are like mini general conferences! Well we have them every other transfer. At the end of the super spirit packed meeting we hear FINAL TESTIMONIES from those going home either that transfer or the next one (until the next zone conference) YALL! THAT MEANT I HAD TO GIVE MY FINAL TESTIMONY! I AM NOT (NOOOOOOOT) READY TO GO HOME! (mom i love you and i cant wait to see yall...but i cant leave mississippi or my friends here yet!) So yeah lots of mixed emotions...but it was good:) I talked about how we came out here to help people feel the love of God and become converted to His gospel. Well by the end of your mission, YOU are the greatest convert from your mission! You grow in ways you never would have before! It was such a spiritual experience! I will never ever regret coming on a mission! I LOVE IT WITH ALL OF MY HEART! (if yall remember back home i was a blubber baby! I cried about everything, mom you would be proud that I have only cried 5 times on my mission, and I DIDNT cry during my final testimony! I think im finally growing up!) But really if you are even thinking about going on a mission...JUST DO IT! the most amazing thing you could do for others and yourself! You will never come to love so many different people in a year and a half to two years than you will on your mission! Greatest thing ever!
Missions though are not the easiest, as my greenie companion would tell you "it sucks!" Missions are one of the hardest things, and idk why they are even so hard! Actually i do know, its because you come to love these people so much and you want them happy but they just dont do the things you/God want them to do so then it makes you sad and yeah...anyways missions are rough. You have to get up at 6:30 EVERY DAY! NO OFF DAYS! You study for 2 hours. You then go out in 100 degree weather for 10 hours and try and just talk to people. Now if you dont have people skills or dont know how to communicate very well...then mission life is a lot harder! I wish before my mission i would have talked more to people and gotten to know random things about people. That would have been the best help! But also some people have dealt with homesickness (which luckily i havent so dont really know the cure), but try leaving people you know for a bit and go somewhere without them. Every missionary has different problems! I promise we all have one...actually MANY!
ONE of the biggest things i've learned as a missionary is...MISSIONARIES ARE SCARED TOO! I remember back home when the missionaries would come teach lessons or give talks and what not - they weren't nervous or hesitant about anything...HA THATS FUNNY! cuz we are always that way! You never know whats gonna happen, whats gonna go on that day, what you are gonna do about so and so, your most progressing investigator doesnt want to see you anymore, how you are gonna fill the rest of the day as you have tried everyone and their dog by 12:30. You just are always trying to go go go go GO! Sometimes you just think, man this would be easier if I had an IPad #OneDayMJM or I just want to go home and sleep.
BUT GUESS WHAT!?! I have never seen SOOOO many miracles in my entire life! Its those little miracles that make all those hardships, and problems, and crazy things totally worth soaking in every second of every day and LOVING IT! Heres a few that my mission has shown me
1. A child prayed as we were all in the car and were running out of gas and didnt know how much farther we could go. All of us adults didnt know what to do and the little girl said we need to pray and thats when i realized I did NOT have the faith of a child. She prayed and yall, we made it to the gas station. They put $10 in the car and the gas light was still on and said it was low!
2.Anytime ANYONE actually reads the Book of Mormon! I know its totally simple (its reading scripture) BUT it hardly ever happens! I've given out idk how many books and in return have had 19 actually read from it! Thats a miracle
3. People have come back to church after years of not being in church!
4. Members become missionary minded and see the change in others and it makes them happier.
5. The light switch cutting on when an investigator finally understands a little bit of what we are telling them.
6.Your testimony grows everyday with the people you meet!
7. Getting grits thrown at your face and it turning into one of the most powerful lessons because of the Saviors love.
8. Not planning for a lesson because we felt that we just need to listen to our investigator, and we both were so overcome with the spirit and taught exactly what he needed to hear in that time of need.
9. Tracting in the rain, normally isnt the greatest, but finding those truly prepared makes all the difference...because they are referrals from God when we find them tracting!
10. Turning every situation into a learning situation! I can not tell you enough how many times just talking to friends and random strangers has made me learn more about my savior than anything else in my entire life! Alma 1:26:)
These are just a few and I could go on for days, but i just dont have time. Yall a mission really is a miracle and it really is the best! Yes its hard and I dont want yall thinking "wow, seems like so much fun!" which yes it is fun, but it is HARD! The best piece of advice that i could give you would be to remember, LIFE IS HARD! If you are always thinking of the hardship and troubles and what nots that make it hard you will only see bad and negative things. If you STRIVE for the positive and umplifting times, and CHOOSE to remember them...you will forever and ever be grateful for always thinking of the bright side. You will see MORE blessings and miracles because YOU CHOSE TO SEE IT! It ALL comes down to how you see things!
Yall are amazing and I'm soooo grateful for each and every single one of your examples! Please never forget how amazing and extravagant you are to me! I LOVE YOU!