Monday, March 17, 2014

This is it, this is my farewell testimony. I just can't believe it!

Dear family,

WHAT AN AMAZING WEEK OF MIRACLES THIS HAS BEEN. You know dreams really do come true. Did you know that? If you don't believe me, well then you are missing out on the happiness that life has to offer. I read this verse this morning in 2 Nephi 27 verse 23, "For behold, I am God; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith." Faith. That is the key. Do we have faith that God is the same God- the same one that parted the Red Sea and
preformed sooo many miracles that have been recorded in the scriptures. It's not God who has changed, it is us. We lack faith. Anyways, this week was STUFFED FULL of amazing and wonderful experiences. It really has been an answer to prayer because I really haven't had time to be sad about going home cus I'm too busy runnin around doing missionary work! I love it!

With my sweet friend Moala. She is getting baptized on March 29th.
Hermana Zapeda.  She crocheted me some socks!
Bro. Teagin.  He comes in about 5 days a week and brings Z bars.

So Monday we had 3 great lessons! One was with our sweet Nancy. I'll just go ahead and give you an update on her. She is amazing. We taught her the Word of Wisdom this past week and she is so excited to live it! She has bought her last pack of cigarettes and says she is done with them :) We also taught her the Plan of Salvation and she just soaked it up! She just loves how she keeps learning new and exciting things :)

The next lesson was quite a contrast in comparison with the peaceful lesson we had had with Nancy haha! We went to teach 3 kids and BOY it was CRAZYYY!! I am grateful for the time I had to be a nanny and work at a day care! KIDS. they kill me! But we taught the restoration VERY simply and quickly as their attention span couldn't handle more than about 10 minutes or so. Reminded me of the times when I would go into sunbeams with you mom! So funny! But we committed Mulan to be baptized and she agreed to be baptized on the 22nd!!! We got a follow up from her and her grandma  this Sunday (she had to get permission from her mom) and we are all go! Yayyyyy we have a baptism this Saturday!! What a miracle! We taught her the 10 commandments and some other little ones in our lesson after church. It is so fun! 

Oh my goodness the last lesson of the night on Monday was INTENSE. Sister Younce and I became marriage counselors. It made me sad, but also grateful for my understanding of the atonement. People can change, problems can be fixed, and wounds can be healed. When the couple had asked for us to come over they requested us to share a thought about enduring trials, but focusing on more than just reading scriptures, praying, church, etc. Well those topics really are the source for healing and strength, but like I said we felt impressed to talk about the atonement and I am glad we did! Mommy and Papa you have shown me an example of true love - pure love. That love is Charity.

"Charity suffereth long and is kind; charity envieth not, charity
vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself
unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no
evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the trut; beareth
all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all
things. Charity never faileth." 

Words to live by. I want to have that deeply engraved on my heart.

Ok what else happened this week...Got to say goodbye to sweet Sister Coppel! It has been so fun to see familiar faces out here. Makes me feel closer to home! Oh my goodness so I was stressing this week cus I had been asked to lead this big 20 minute discussion at zone conference on Thursday. UGGGHHHHH. The discussion was on a talk that we as a mission were asked to study called "What is the Blueprint of Christ's Church" by Elder Callister. EVERYONE SHOULD STUDY THIS TALK. It made me realize that I know nothing haha! It's that good :) But I was stressing about it because we had just been sooo busy and I really had not had time to  thoroughly study it. But thankfully I got the time in and I felt some what prepared. My zone (well the missionaries that wanted to participate) sang a musical number at the beginning of the conference - Joseph Smiths First Prayer sung to the tune of Come thou fount. It actually turned out pretty good! Thank you spirit! Anyways, so finally after all the waiting my time came to lead out the discussion. At first I was just standing in the front but I guess I am too short so President asked me to go up on the stand. He then whispered to me not to worry about giving a long testimony at the end because he was going to have me give a farewell testimony later. OKKKKKKKK. So I begin the discussion and THANKFULLY almost everyone actually came prepared and I didn't really even have time to do the things that I had

planned. Yes!! I then went to sit down, and then I had to get right back up again to give my testimony as well as with Sister Brownell- other English VC sister who is going home. As I was sitting on the stand while Sister Brownell was talking I just kept thinking "this is it. This is my farewell testimony." (Well at least one of the last) I just can't believe it! I honestly cannot comprehend the fact that my mission is coming to an end. I still feel like a missionary, I am still doing missionary things, I am still seeing miracles... It's soo hard!!! Anyways as I was sitting up there that's when it kinda hit me that I am leaving soon and of course I started to cry. Thankfully I got it back together as Sister Brownell was finishing up. She hadn't said anything about what she had learned, just a testimony, but I felt strongly the need to share my gratitude for this amazing life changing experience and share with the other missionaries what good can come from their mission if they give themselves completely to it. I hope all of you know how much my time here serving The Lord has meant to me. My heart has been changed and because of that I am forever grateful. Anyways the rest of zone conference was wonderful :) I love being able to go to all of these spiritual and uplifting meetings! I will miss them! I have learned so much!

My Zone with Pres. and Sister Jenkins

Gosh there is just so much that has happened in just one week. I wish I could tell you everything!! Soon enough I will be back with you all and then you  will be sooo sick of hearing me say "Back on my mission" or "there was this one guy on my mission" haha i am TOTALLY going to be one of those RM's :D Aren't you lucky!? I am soooo excited for Christopher!!! I was just so shocked to find out that he is on his way to Brazil!!!! I wonder if he realizes how big of a miracle that is??!! There are missionaries in my mission who have been waiting for their
Visas to Brazil for 6 months!!! And now they will most likely end up staying in our mission. I guess they really needed him down there now! I am soooo excited for him!! I am also really glad cus I sent him his bday letter last week just incase I didn't have his address. Man he gets to celebrate his birthday in Brazil! Lucky guy!

Well family, I love you all so much. Just because I don't want to come home, it doesn't mean that I love you any less than the people that are here :) Thank you for all of the love and support that you have given me throughout my mission. It has been the most amazing adventure of my life- so far. I know that there is more to come! But I couldn't have done it without you all. You all mean the world to me. If I could say one thing as I begin the last week of my mission, it would be this- The Lord never let's us down. Believe that. Believe in His promises. Increase your faith and you will see miracles. Do everything in your power and rely on HIm. That is the key to happiness in this life and in the next.

Love forever,
Sister Hamstead