It's time for that email that I haven't really wanted to write, honestly. So I will be returning home this week. It has been an amazing 18 months. They probably have been the hardest 18 months of my life but I have learned so much about the Savior. I have seen him come alive in the lives of so many people. I'm so grateful to witness the miracle again and again. I'm grateful for the amazing people that I've been able to meet and be a part of their lives. Thankful for their examples of coming closer to Christ seeing how I can apply that in my own life. I am so grateful. At times I wonder how I got so lucky to be here and have such spiritually intimate experiences with amazing people. Then I remember, "if ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work". I have. And He did. In many different ways but all for the purpose of bringing others to Christ, including myself. He saved me. My trainer and I joked a few times of me being like Peter. And I thought I was fine but just as Peter. My faith faltered. I doubted at times. And the Savior again and again reached out, reminded me of plain and simple truths and invited me to act. As I did, my testimony grew and my love for My Savior grew. Has grown and will continue to grow. He pulled me out and has helped me. Strengthened me. I love Him. I know He is my Redeemer, and I trust Him so very much. I know this isn't the end. I know that as surely as the Lord liveth, I will be prepared for what comes next. I know this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that through it, precious saving ordinances can be performed so we can be united eternally as families and with our Father in Heaven.
Okay, so this past week has been full of so many interesting parts! Seriously! I can't even describe the happiness and joy I have felt and the sheer peace that came at the end of the week.
So on Monday last week we had lots of fun! We went to the Gem Show which is one of Tucson's original attractions...I think. Anyways it was super cool. We got to go there with some Sisters that I SUPER love! I sent that picture last week. That night we were able to see the Brauns who we are teaching so their 7 year old daughter can feel more ready for baptism this year! They are probably one of the best families ever! :) And I super love their kids. We told them a bedtime story about the Plan of Salvation to help them get to sleep and that was super amazing. It was all about a Big White House, which I can thank Sister Jones for telling me one night last transfer.
Tuesday was a little weird, but we loved it. We were still working on finishing our weekly planning from the previous week and had the opportunity to have an extremely inspired role play for the potential investigator we were meeting that afternoon. We then went to meet Pedro, and he was interested, said he would read the Book of Mormon. We will hopefully see him again tomorrow. The rest of the day was just super funny. We had some weird experiences, where at the end of the day we were wondering, what alternate universe we had landed in.
Wednesday we had the opportunity to see KELLY! I LOVE HER. I can't even describe. And to have district meeting then have lunch with Billy. I love that man so much. He has been around for about the last year of my mission, and I am just so grateful for him. That night we were able to see Nicole and Ashton, two returning members. They are both amazing and have such a good desire to come unto Christ. Ashton actually gave me some amazing counsel on what to do when I get home to be strong.
Thursday we had some more adventures. So we had a wonderful morning of missionary work then we had to take our car in...we were going to walk home bc we thought it was really close to our house. But it was in another zone. So we got permission from President to sleep at another Sisters' apartment that night since I had to get up the next morning for MLC. It was pretty great. We were able to be with Sister Stebar and Sister Smith. I can't tell you how happy my heart has been these last 6 months, but more so since I have been close to Sister Stebar again. She is glorious. The black and white picture is us talking about all the things.
Friday was MLC. That pretty much sums up the day. :) 8 hours of trainings and learning how to improve as a missionary. I felt such a strong desire to improve and make every day count! Seriously, I am so grateful for the time left. The group picture is of all of us who were there. There is one of me and Sister Jones, She was my companion last transfer. I LOVE HER. I learned so much while I was with her about being a more effective missionary. The happiness picture...was on the side of a church, that we saw on our drive home. I can truly attest to the TRUTH of that. That is where so much of my joy has come from these past 6 months. And it just keeps getting better.
Saturday we were able to do amazing things with having a church tour. And attending a baptism for an amazing woman that evening. It was probably one of the most powerful baptisms I have ever attended. The woman there, you could just see the gratitude, love and pure spirit she possessed. She was a living example to me a faith and repentance. She has worked so hard to be there. And I truly saw that. There were also many wonderful people there whom I have met over the course of the past 18 months, and I felt like I was among family. It was close to heaven.
Sunday was a glorious day with our lesson teaching John! We were so grateful for Brother Butler coming with us. And then we were just chillin' waiting to go talk with the Bishop about some administrative needs. :) Love Sister Condie. :) She is so great! We found the Joseph Smith quote (pictured) yesterday, and it really just touched me.
Today! We went to the Zoo with Billy. And it was glorious. Again, I can't say enough how much I love that man. But there you go. Caught up on the wonderful moments of the past week. :)