Let’s back up to Monday, August 10th… today was just another pretty normal P-day for Sis. Steadman and me. Nothing too exciting happened, but we were able to get lots done and relax a bit which is always a nice thing! We did discover an awesome new video clip The Church put out called “STRIVE”. It focusses on how we need to STRIVE to do all we can NOW to become who God wants us to be. Check out this video and make some personal goals of things you want to STRIVE to be better at to help you personally grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, August 11th, was Tom’s birthday (he is an older man who lives next to the institute building). Tom spends a lot of time sitting out on his porch and since we walk by his place so much Sis. Steadman and I have been able to have several chats with Tom over the last three months. Since it was his birthday we made sure to swing by and sing him one of the greatest birthday songs you’ve ever heard! We pretty much did a remix of all of the different birthday songs we grew up learning in primary, but let me tell you Tom loved it!
The Higbees spent some time with us today and they were sweet enough to treat us out to a wonderful meal at Red Robin and let me say we loved every bit of our burgers! Thanks Higbees!
The next day was August 12th, which meant it was both Sister Steadman and mine’s HUMP DAY on our mission. We made it HALFWAY through. Today marked being out on out missions for NINE MONTHS! Yay!!! It wasn’t until later that day that I found out I would actually being flying out the next morning to go home. So my hump day actually ended up being my last day out in the mission field. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
We had our weekly district meeting and after Sister Higbee surprised all of us with one of her amazing meals for lunch. Oh my goodness she is sure a good cook! That afternoon, we went next door to our neighbors and helped Catherine with some weeding. Let me tell you, those weeds just never stop coming!
|Elder and Sister Higbee sure know how to spoil our district! Thanks for the amazing lunch! I know all of our tummies were in hog heaven!|
It wasn’t too much later in the day when I got a call from my Mission President telling me that I had a flight home the following morning. I was in total shock! Talk about having no time to prepare! I instantly went into crazy mode trying to get everything done. I had so much to do! I had to say my goodbyes and get ALL of my stuff packed. Our day instantly went from a nice casual day to complete chaos! I really didn’t have much time to say bye to anyone, but I made sure I was able to at least say bye to the Elders, Karem, and of course I made Dixon come by so I could tell him goodbye. It was pretty cool to have the elders and Dixon stop by. It gave me a chance to take a break from packing and simply sit down in the grass and talk with them. I was able to bear my testimony and thank them for their service as full time missionaries. It didn’t take long before the tears came. Reality kicked in and I realized I wasn’t going to be here with them for much longer.
|Goodbye room! I'll miss you!|
|Our place may have been ghetto, but I sure did fall in love with that place. I will cherish that place simply because of all of the many memories I made there!|
|Theo and Uffda and little Dinky. You know they're the cutest bear family you have EVER seen!|
|Man I am going to miss this little lady! I love you Karem!|
|The elders and Dixon came by to say goodbye. I was sure lucky to work with such a wonderful group of people!|
So you probably are wondering WHAT IN THE WORLD HAPPENED that caused me to come home. I have to say, this has actually been months in the making, but when the final decision came, it came FAST! Long story short, I am going to be able to get some medical things taken care of being back home that I wasn’t going to be able to take care of out there as a missionary. I do have to say, it has been really cool to see Heavenly Father’s hand in this whole process! I didn’t know WHY He wanted to me serve, but now looking back I have been able to see so many blessings that have come from serving and one of those blessings is the fact that doctors think they have some answers for me! That in itself is so exciting! God really does have a plan for us! He wants us happy and healthy. More often than not, we have to learn to walk by faith and step into the darkness before we will ever see the light.
Now going back to Wednesday night, Sister Steadman and I decided to celebrate our HUMP DAY together by ordering us some pizza. It’s crazy to think, I met Sister Steadman nine months ago out at the MTC! We truly have become so much more than companions, or even sisters! That girl has become a best friend! Sis, thanks for EVERYTHING!!! I will love you forever!
|Thanks for the HUMP DAY package Aunt Cindy!|
Our night ended late, with having the Higbees come to pick us up to drive us to our mission president’s home where we would sleep for our final night together.
The next day, Thursday, August 13th, seemed to be here in the blink of an eye! Packing up and leaving all happened so fast, but I was ready and excited for the next thing God had in store for me! Again, I find that it is time to take a step into the darkness and walk by faith, trusting in God and His plans for me.
As I sat on the plane, on my flight home, I opened up my BOM and came across a scripture that seemed to be written just for me at that moment in my life. I opened to 3 Nephi and started reading from chapter 18 and then I read verse 27. This was when Christ was speaking to the people in the Americas about how His time had come to leave them because Heavenly Father had other work for Him to do. I felt instant peace come over me as I realized I was about to embark on a new chapter in my life. I knew God wasn’t done with me—He still has work for me to do. “I must go unto my Father that I may fulfil other commandments which he hath given me.” It was now my time to return home and fulfil other things God has in store for me.
|Hello Mountains! I've missed you!!!|
|My mission president and his wife Sister Forbes drop me off at the airport.|
|Saying goodbye to my most favorite Sister Steadman! I'm already having Steadman withdrawals!|
|Home sweet home with my Papa :)|
Before I close my last mission post, I would like to bear my testimony…
I know I am a child of God. He is literally the Father of my spirit. I know He loves me and wants me to become like Him. Jesus Christ is my Savior. He atoned for my sins and has made it possible for all of us to return home to our Father in Heaven. I know Christ has felt everything I have ever felt. He knows my pains, my sadness, my loneliness, and my frustrations. He understands me perfectly. I know before we came to earth we all lived with our Heavenly Parents. We each chose to follow Jesus Christ’s plan to come to earth in hopes to one day be able to return back to the presents of God. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of this plan. I know there is more after this life. I understand we are here on earth to be tested and tried. I know life isn’t supposed to be easy, but if we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ every trial we face will be well worth it. It is my greatest desire to one day live with God again. I know God loves all of His children so He sent prophets over time to be His mouthpiece. I know we have a living Prophet today, Thomas S. Monson. I know he leads and guides Christ’s church. The same church Christ established on the earth when He was here. I know Jesus Christ re-established His church in our day through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know at the young age of fourteen Joseph Smith saw God our Father and His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ. I am thankful to live in a time when Christ’s church is on the Earth. I am grateful for the Priesthood and that we are able to carry out ordinances in that power. I am grateful for temples and for the work that is done in them. I know families truly can be sealed together forever. It brings me so much comfort to know that God has a perfect plan and that He is the perfect judge. I know we can draw closer to Him through prayer and reading the scriptures. I know The Book of Mormon is true and the Bible is true as far as it is translated correctly. I am so grateful for the lessons I can learn from the scriptures. I am eternally indebted to my Savior Jesus Christ for completing the atonement. I know it is only through Christ that I can repent and be forgiven of my sins. I can’t begin to express how grateful I truly am for my Savior and His suffering for me. I am so thankful I can repent every time I make a mistake. I know Christ is always there to lift me up no matter how far I have seemed to have fallen. I am grateful for the covenants I have made with my Father in Heaven. I am grateful for the opportunity to renew my baptismal covenants each week at church when I take the sacrament. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost. I know the Holy Ghost blesses my life. He helps me recognize when I need to repent and change, He warns me of danger, and He helps me know God’s will for me. It is through the Holy Ghost that I have come to gain my personal testimony that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know this is Christ’s Church- the same church Christ established when He was living on the earth. I am grateful to be a member of His church. I hope and pray I can make my Father in Heaven proud as I strive to stand as a witness of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places. I know the things which I have shared are true and I share them in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.