June 8, 2015

Week Seventy-Seven: Gratitude

Area: Collao
Companion: Hermana Parkin
Hermana Parkin's Blog: Cambios

Dear familia,

We had a zone activity today that was great. We got special permission from Presidente to watch The Best Two years and it has me a little bit nostalgic. The Elder in the end of the movie goes home ... and he says, "You have to enjoy every moment. It goes by so fast." And it does.

It's been a good ride.

I guess that this could be the last email that I send home. I can't believe that. I can't believe that I am about to leave this country and these people that I love so much. I have spent 18 months of my life serving the Lord and it has been so hard ... but I have loved EVERY MINUTE of it.

French toast and The Best Two Years. It was a great activity!
This past cambio, Hermana Parkin and I have been working so so so hard together. We have been trying to give our best efforts to the Lord and He has been blessing us so much!

We had a great Sister Study on Saturday. Hermana Parkin and I have been planning it for weeks. When we were walking in the streets, in the time that we weren't calling people to set up appointments and calling members to come with us to said appointments, we were talking about how we could make it a super special experience for the Hermanas.

We decided to have a tea party. Hermana Parkin loves to plan things like that, so we went out and bought a TON of cute things to make it amazing. We printed out little tea pots, made brownies and finger sandwiches, and just really tried to make it different than all of the other studies that we do in the mission.
Our table for the tea party.

It was a complete success! The Hermanas could definitely tell that we put a lot of effort into the party and I think they could feel how much we love and care about them. It was a great way to start off our spiritual lesson about the principle of return and report. 

We started out reading our mission calls silently and then we talked about the blessings that are promised and the things that we have to do to gain these blessings. I started to cry as I realized that all of those blessings promised and more have been realized in my mission. It was an amazing feeling.

I think that it is that same feeling that I felt when I was leaving the MTC and I realized that I didn't have any regrets. I feel that same way. I don't feel afraid to end the mission ... I just feel really really really grateful. I am so grateful for this time that the Lord has lended me to be able to serve Him. I know that I am not perfect, but I also know that He has never expected me to be perfect. I feel like He accepts what I have done so far ...

I am bracing myself to make the transition. I never ever deny that I am leaving when the people ask me ... instead, I say, "Yeah, I am leaving in a week, thank you!" And then when they ask me how I feel, I tell them how grateful I am to be a missionary and how hard I am going to work so that the next couple of days are the best of my mission.

The thing is, I don't think that I am done being a missionary. I am never going to be done being a missionary. I am never going to stop working to be more and more consecrated. I am never going to go inactive from the church. I am never going to lose the enthusiasm and wonder that I feel for the gospel. I fasted for that this week ... and it was such a great experience.

Hermana Dominguez, the newbie I was with for the
newbie conference this cambio! She is from Mexico and is
super awesome! We had a lot of success together!
En fin, I am a happy individual right now and always. I am so grateful for the life that my Heavenly Father has given me and I think that the reason why I am so greatful is because I never expected how it would turn out. I have worked so so so hard to know what the will of the Lord is in my life ... I feel like ever since I went to EFY as a teenager that has been my constant quest. I have worked hard in my mission. I have tried the best that I have known how to do ... and I know that I have received blessings for that.

I have grown to love a people and a country that had hardly ever crossed my mind before. I have learned a new language. I have learned a lot about the gospel and about how to share it. Even though I can't really tell, and even though I feel like progress is really slow sometimes, I know that I am a different person than when I left home. I feel a little more mature and grounded. I know that as I keep trying to make righteous decisions, I will be able to keep growing to reach my full potential.

Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders who are getting
ready to leave the mission.
This next week that comes is going to be crazy. We are going to have two mini cambios, three activities in the ward, ward conference, Lieslie's baptism!!!!, and my last interview as a missionary. I am so excited for the things that are coming. I feel like part of faith is knowing that there are way better things ahead than the things that we are leaving behind. I know that it's true. The future is BRIGHT!! :)

I love you so much! I hope that you have a great one ... and I'll be seeing you and hugging you real soon. :)
Con mucho amor from this side of the globe,
Hermana Blau

They put our names on the board when we are getting ready to go.
Just after taking the picture I erased my name. haha

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