Hello from the other side of the world!
Well, I wouldn't say that parting is sweet in ANY way, I've definitely felt sorrow though......it's transfer week, and I'm being shipped up north. This is the hardest thing in the world and I have not come to grips with it yet. Usually, we find out in email on mondays but if special arrangements need to be made our district leader tells us sunday night over the phone. And that's just what happened. Elder Perry told me last night to pack my bags cause I was being transferred. I instantly started crying. My heart has been given fully and completely to the people in this area, and to Sis. Estrada. I am absolutely heartbroken right now. This last week has been the absolute BEST week that I have been here, I know that Heavenly Father gave me an added portion of love for His children, and my enthusiasm for the work and salvation of others grew immensly..... and now, I am needed somewhere else and need to accept this. It's just so hard to leave behind the people that you pray so hard for everyday and know that some of them, you are never going to see again, in this life at least. Needless to say, I cried myself to sleep last night, and I am crying right now haha, what a baby. I have just never loved something so much in my life and feel so blessed to have had this connection with the people in Sta. Lucia. Holy cow, I can't think about it anymore. I leave tomorrow morning and go stinken FAR away, like in the northern jungle, probably like a 12 hour bus ride from where I am right now. I told Heavenly Father that today I would be sad but tomorrow I would embrace the change and give my heart where it is now needed. Trust.....
We had interviews with President earlier this week, they went very very well. President told me that he has been very impressed with me and what I have done. Since I have been in Sta. Lucia, the area has never done so well in the almost 2 yrs he's been mission president. I was very taken back by that comment. I honestly don't feel like I have made that big of a contribution, I have definitely loved it here and know the people love me and I have seen it grow and strengthen but I don't think we can link it to anything I have done. I was very grateful for the words President told me though, I needed to hear them. A lot of the time I feel useless haha, I just feel like I struggle so much and fail every time. But I know and have felt that the Lord is proud of me, He knows what I can do and the efforts I put in and I am grateful for a mission president who listens to what the Lord needs me to hear.
This last week we found an older lady and started teaching her. I asked her a simple question in the beginning about who Christ is to her, or what relationship she has with Him. She couldn't really answer the question, she said He died for our sins and that's about it. That really got me thinking about how many people only believe this about our Savior. God's son who lived a long time ago and suffered for our sins. How incomplete that is! He is our older brother, our best friend, He stands by our side, lifts us up, carries us, wipes away our tears, holds up our arms so we can carry the weight that is on our shoulders, laughs with us, cries with us, smiles down upon us, He is everything and everywhere. He is so very much apart of our lives because He has LIVED our lives, FELT our feelings, HEARD our thoughts. He is our light and salvation. Life can be very dark at times, very confusing and narrow. Thinking about who we are in the eyes of our God can change everything.
Can I just tell you who YOU are to your Father?
You are EVERYTHING to Him. He has not forsaken you, has NEVER left you up for dry and to do things on your own. You are His world. His whole plan revolves around YOU and YOUR salvation, YOUR coming home into His kingdom is His ONLY desire. His heart is torn in two when we reject Him and push Him away....yet He has told us that His "arms are stretched out still" He does not distance himself from us, we do the distancing. You are His precious son/daughter, if He did not love you with eveything that He is/has you would not be here, there would be no plan. I can testify with my whole heart that there is a plan of complete and total happiness, there is a God who is your creator, and YOU have a purpose and part in this world. You are important, do not ever let yourself tell you that you aren't. God knows and loves ALL His children, Satan would have you believe that He has forgotten you, that you mean nothing. That is a lie. As you sincerely desire to know God, and seek Him, He will come to you. He loves you unconditionally for who you are, nothing more nothing less. The atonement of our Savior is the evidence of the pure love of God. It is our source for everything and will erase all stain that we have. The atonement is there, it is real, use it. This is the testimony that I stand firmly on.
I know I am a daughter of God, my being here in the Philippines shows me 2 things: One, God knows just what I need to become the best possible daughter I can be and two, He hears EVERY prayer and cry for help and He sends help, He sends messengers of truth and light into desperate and despairing lives. No matter where you are, how deep the dark hole is you are in, you are seen and noticed by the loving eyes of your Eternal Father.
Love you always,
Good quotes for all to read:
Elder Boyd. K. Packer said. " Save for the exception of the very few
who defect to perdition, there is no habit, no addiction, no
rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the
promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the atonement
Elder Holland said. " Dismiss the destructive and keep dismissing it
until the beauty of the atonement of Christ has revealed to you your
bright future. God doesn't care nearly as much about where you have
been as he does about where you are and with His help where you are
willing to go."
Elder Bruce C. Hafen said. "The infinite power of the Savior's
atonement provides each of us with healing balm not only for sin but
also for discouragement, carelessness, inadequacy, despair and
bitterness. A sense of falling short or falling down is not only
natural but essential to the mortal experience. Still after all we can
do, the atonement can fill that which is empty, straighten our bent
parts and make strong that which is weak. The Savior's victory can
compensate not only for our sins but also for an inadequacies, not
only for our deliberate mistakes but also for our sins committed in
ignorance, our errors of judgement and our unavoidable imperfections.
Our ultimate aspiration is more than being forgiven of sin-we seek to
become holy, endowed affirmatively with Christlike attributes, at one
with him, like Him. Divine grace is the only source that can finally
fulfill that aspiration after all we can do.
Frequently...feelings of self-disappointment come not from wrongdoing,
but from stress and troubles for which we may not be fully to blame.
The atonement of Jesus Christ applies to these experiences...The
savior can wipe away all of our tears."