Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak in church one last time before I report to the Missionary Training Center in 9 days (as of today!). Before I get into that though, here's a little introduction about what's been going on these past few months with my life.
April 10th: I received my mission call in the mail and, after reading it, discovered that I'd be fortunate enough to serve the people of the Brazil Maceio Mission and would report to the Brazil MTC on September 18th.
June 12th: I went through the temple and receive my endowments. It was such a sacred and neat experience that I'll be sure to always remember! (Unfortunately no pictures because they got deleted off the camera.)
July 24th: I turned 19! Now the only thing between my mission and me was 56 days.
September 8th: I gave my farewell. As much as I love speaking in church (and I'm actually not being sarcastic for once haha), that wasn't even the best part. My favorite part of yesterday was getting to see so many people I love and care about all in one place. There were people there who taught me in elementary school, family from out of town, church leaders, friends about to head off to school, my cute little Primary girls I've been so blessed to teach this summer. . . basically, people who have changed my life for the better in one way or another. Every time I looked out at the congregation, I would either start getting teary-eyed or get this huge grin on my face. Then on top of that, I was able to speak with my parents, and my sisters performed a beautiful musical number. The Spirit was so strong! It truly was such a wonderful Sacrament meeting.
After church, we had an open house that afternoon. Once again, I was reminded of how incredibly blessed I am to know the amazing people I do. My heart overflowed with gratitude and love as people came and went, bringing heartfelt cards, generous little gifts, and, most importantly, their beautiful smiles and soon-to-be-missed personalities. That night as I thought about everyone who had come and the things they had left for me, I couldn't help but cry because of how thoughtful selfless they all are. I'm so happy to be able to serve a mission in 9 days, but my friends and family sure don't make it any easier. They're all just too great of people! I truly hope that I can become more like my family and friends as I embark on this 18-month journey. If any of you are reading this, please know that I love you so much. You have blessed my life in more ways than you know and have helped me get to where I am now. Without you, I most likely wouldn't be preparing to serve the Lord and people of Brazil with all my heart. I am forever thankful for the impact you've had on my life and for how fortunate I am to know you. Words truly cannot describe my gratitude for you. My heart is full.
I am so excited to serve this mission! I know that I'm supposed to go out and change the lives of
Heavenly Father's children, but I also know that they will change my life more than anything. I can only hope and pray that I will be the faithful and diligent servant the Lord needs me to be. Hurrah for Israel!
|Photo cred: Tina Roark|
|Photo cred: Tina Roark|
My adorable Valiant 8 Primary class--one of the girls
wasn't feeling well and couldn't make it, but we missed her!