Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tender Mercies Never Cease

Hello Dear family!!!

Well this has been a very exciting week!! And oh my goodness talk about feeling conflicted!!! It is so hard right now because I feel exactly the same, but people keep telling me that I am going home soon. NOOOOO. But it's ok. I know that God has a plan and i am going to just keep working hard until the very end- and then I will keep wo
rking throughout the rest of my life. This work never ends! I will just get another transfer- to the Atlanta North Mission! My life just feels surreal right now and it is very weird. But anyways, as always I am loving being a missionary and having this time to be so focused on the Lords work.

 Ok so cool miracles from this last week. So I went on exchanges this past week with a companionship serving in a nearby YSA ward. LOVED IT!!! YSA will always have a special place in my heart. ps this next week I get to go on exchanges with the sisters serving in Gable ward so I am SUPER excited to get to go back there and work in that area for a day :) But anyways back to my story. So one of the sisters in the companionship is from temple square and she is down here on her outbound (just like sister Wong was and Sister Marand). Anyways it was really strange that she got called here because she is from northern arizona! But she told me that she felt there was a specific reason why she was called here- in fact she feels it was for a very specific person. She told me the story of this guy who would always get onto mormon.rg chat and how different sisters had tried to teach him, but he would never keep commitments and he really didnt have a desire to change. One day she had the opportunity to chat with him and they actually had a great conversation and since then he has been allowing her to teach him. She even got him to pray!! When she found out her time to go outbound was coming up she prayed that this guy would be taken care of while she was gone and that he would be able to continue to be taught. She was shocked when she got the news that she had been called to Mesa- just a short distance from where this investigator lives!!! As she was telling me this story she told me that he sometimes comes into the Mesa Temple Visitors Center... she told me a little more about him and I started to wonder if I knew this same person. Finally we put the pieces together and I realized that the guy I had met a few weeks ago at the Book of Mormon table was this same guy that she was telling me about!!! I was even more excited to find out that we had an appointment set with him that night!!! Wowww miracle!!! Heavenly Father is aware of His children and He does whatever He can to help them progress. He isn't meeting with local missionaries just yet, so Sister Hale and I were able to discuss how we could work together to help him get to that point where he would be ready for that. SMALL WORLD!!! This is what happens when the Mesa Temple VC and temple square unite!! Miracles!! It was awesome getting to see him that night!!
We had soooo many miracles that day on exchanges!!!! 

I just am LOVING exchanges this time around. It is interesting because you can feel a different type of spirit with different companionships depending on how they are choosing to live- how devoted and obedient they are. I love experiences where I can just feel the love that the sisters have for the work. It's contagious and it produces miracles :) Heavenly Father placed sooo many people in our path that day! One sweet lady named Polly was just such a sweet miracle. Those sisters won't be able to teach her because she isn't a YSA- hard part about serving in those wards, but we felt soo blessed to have been able to meet her! So this is what happened. We were having a hay day of sooo many miracles in this one apartment complex- I miss those!!- and we decided to go by this one former investigator. Polly answered the door and she was super friendly.. not always peoples immediate reaction to having LDS missionaries at their door haha! But she really opened us and when we told here that Heavenly Father had led us to her she started to cry and told us that she knows that is true. She had been praying for help since she moved here. She left all of her family back in California when she decided to move here to get a fresh start. Such a miracle. We shared a little lesson with her, gave her a Book of Mormon to read, and left her with a prayer. She was just crying the whole time. Precious. The missionaries are going back over tonight to meet with her!! Pray that everything continues to go well :) See this is why I love being a missionary. You just get to bring blessings into peoples lives. You get to see how the atonement works and you can feel the love that Heavenly Father has for all of these people.

Ok cool story number 2. So once upon a time back on Christmas Eve I met a mother and a daughter that came into the Visitors Center. The daughter had recently joined the church and she wanted her mom to get in touch with missionaries. It was such a miracle to me to have been able to get the moms information and send it off to her local missionaries. I also gave her  Book of Mormon to read and I testified to her of how this book has  changed my life and I invited her to read it. Fast forward and here I am in my new area with Sister Younce. One of the investigators in our area is named Nancy, but for weeks she hasn't been home and we were never able to get in contact with her over the phone. FINALLY a few nights ago we were in the neighborhood and decided to stop by. She was home!!!!! She let us in and immediately she told me that she remembered me from the Visitors Center. I had to really think hard to try to remember- there were soooooooooo many people that came in and that we each talked to every night I can hardly remember any of them by name or by what they look like even haha! She reminded me that she was the mother of the girl who had just recently joined the church and that they had come in the night of Christmas Eve. She was my Christmas Eve miracle and now she is in my area!!!! She told me that when the other sisters had gotten the transfer news they told her who was coming and she then called up her daughter and told her that "the one who gave me the Book is going to be teaching me!". I just felt sooo blessed!!! What a miracle!! I was wondering why I had to be transferred my last transfer when I would only have a short amount of time in the area, but I truly believe that I am here for Nancy. 

Family I am heart broken that my mission is ending!! This is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I am doing what I can, and trying to remind myself that happiness is a choice. My mission was always intended to end at some point-  I knew that when I left. Now I want to feel joy for the work that I have done and I will continue to work hard up until the end. I am so happy to be a missionary!! This has been the best choice I have ever made. I have been trying to take some time to write down the lessons I have learned on my mission, but literally it's everything! I am grateful that over the course of my mission I have been able to change and become somebody better and I want to continue to progress throughout my life.

I love you all and I am always praying for you.
Love forever,
Sister Hamstea