Hello friends and family!
What an eventful week we had here at the PRS! We had so many people
come in and we all gave so many tours! We also put on a concert for
the stake, we got transfer calls, we played with the fireflies, and I
took some of the CUTEST families on tours!
Our concert was on Saturday night and it was focused towards the young
women. All of the sisters at the vc briefly talked about why they
serve missions in between songs and after the concert we had a Q&A
with the young women. There was one song in particular that we sang
that is not really anyone’s favorite. It’s actually the song we sang
for President Nelson last fall. I personally, was confused about why
we were singing it again. I thought it was just because Elder Walker
really likes the song (and that may have been why it was chosen
initially). After the concert though, one of the young women said that
she has been thinking about going on a mission, but she hasn’t had a
definite answer, but while we were singing this song-that wasn’t any
of the sisters favorite-the Spirit told her that she needs to go on a
mission. As she told us this and tears filled her eyes I couldn’t help
but remember that Heavenly Father is aware of all of us. He uses one
thing, or person, or event to answer so many people’s prayers and to
touch so many people’s hearts. Even if that was the only thing that
comes of this concert, it was worth it.
After the concert President Anderson came up to me and confirmed what
I already knew, but told me that I will be getting transferred. There
are only a few changes happening at the vc, but I will be spending the
next transfer somewhere else! 😦
Although I am so sad to be leaving here, I can’t believe how blessed I
have been to be here. I’ve spent 9 months of my mission in the
Susquehanna branch, and I have made friendships that will last a
lifetime. At church yesterday a member of the branch presidency asked
if I would share my testimony. As I looked out into the audience I saw
so many of the people I have come to love on my mission: branch
members, missionaries, and even people who were there to take a tour
after church. I can’t imagine leaving these wonderful people, but I
know that the Lord will bless them and me. After church the branch
mission leader and his family told me that they love me and they look
forward to seeing me again, a branch member who has become such a good
friend, Alyssa, said that she can’t wait until she goes to byu Idaho
because we will be so much closer to each other then, one of the older
ladies in the branch drew me the cutest picture with a little note on
the back, and a little girl in the branch ran up to me and gave me the
biggest hug, one of the women in the branch told me she couldn’t even
look at me because she is so sad to see me go. As everyone kept
expressing their love I thought about how much the Savior loves us. I
can’t imagine Him loving everyone here more than I do, but I know that
He does. I know I don’t deserve the love that the people here give me,
but I’m so grateful that I get to represent my Savior and feel just a
little of the love that He feels for these people.
All of this being said, I feel like I’m leaving home. But not just
home, a place where so many amazing things have happened. A place
where I have been able to be humbled, a place where I’ve been able to
laugh and smile. A place where I’ve learned so much, like what my role
is with the priesthood, why we need a prophet today, and why the
little facts matter. A place where I’ve experienced so much heartache
but also so much joy. The Priesthood Restoration Site has been a place
for me to sing, testify, pray, and to come closer to my Savior. It’s
hard to believe that after today, I won’t be back here as a full time
missionary. I’m so grateful though, that I have learned so much about
the Prophet, Joseph Smith. I haven’t even met him, yet I feel as
though he is a close friend. I feel as though I understand Emma Smith
and Oliver Cowdery. I know that they had so much faith in the Savior,
and that they found so much happiness and peace while they were here.
Being here has taught me that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
It was translated by His power, and there’s no other way this could
have happened. I’ve never confused so many people with talking about
things like the seer stone, but I’ve never had my testimony
strengthened so much of the translation process than I have here. I’ve
learned that standing in holy places doesn’t have to be the original
home that some significant, amazing thing happened, it doesn’t even
have to be somewhere where anything has happened yet, but we can make
the places that we are standing in holy because of the experiences we
have in those places and the Spirit we feel while there. I’ve learned
that the Lord speaks to us through things like revelation. He wants us
to succeed and He gives us all we need to do so.
Being here though, I’ve learned that the priesthood is the authority
from God. I have access to it and I receive so many blessings from it.
I have learned that I have a very significant role in with the
priesthood and we all need it to receive eternal salvation. I have
learned that holding the priesthood is such a selfless thing, it is
used to bless others. I have learned that the authority that Christ
used to create the earth is the same authority that was restored here
where I’ve been serving. The men who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood
will never receive a higher priesthood than what they already have.
I think the most important thing that I’ve learned here is that my
Redeemer lives. Jesus Christ has saved me. It’s not a matter of if or
when, but it’s already done. My sins will always be forgiven when I do
my part. I will always have the gospel of my Savior to help me. His
mercy is extended throughout all of time and land. Although the fight
may be long, because we have a Savior, Satan cannot harm us. I don’t
need to fear death because my Savior has died for me. Jesus Christ has
given me hope and helped me feel loved. The most important thing that
I could have learned serving here is that Jesus Christ is my Redeemer.
What a beautiful truth I get to continue to share with the world!
Every week I try to make sure I don’t write a novel, and every week I
write a novel and a half…I’m just so grateful to be here, to be
serving Heavenly Father and to be representing my Savior. I love being
a missionary, and I know there are so many miracles waiting to happen
I love you to the moon and back!