Sunday, May 4, 2014
Last week I witnessed so many miracles. So many of our investigators and those we had been teaching were making such effort-filled steps to learn more about Christ’s gospel, about His true church. Tuesday night we taught a wonderful, kind mother and her 10 year old daughter the Restoration. We invited her daughter to be baptized and she said yes! We extended a date and she told us she would work towards it. It’s so beautiful…witnessing the faith of those I have the honor of teaching. I love these people. Wednesday was also a miracle. Miko prayed for the first time in front of us in Mandarin. It was such a loving, tender prayer. Although I couldn’t understand the words she spoke, the spirit that was felt was beyond this world. I love the calling to be a missionary. Thursday was a day of change, a day of faith, a day of growth. While throughout my mission, my health has not been the best. I’ve been constantly sick, but somehow, someway, Christ has been able to sustain me throughout all of the health problems. Even when I was extremely ill, He helped me continue to work and teach. Wednesday I had been allowed to talk with my parents. They called me and we discussed the medical issues I had been facing and I told them I wanted to continue to serve and that I believed I would get better and my health would improve. 3 months isn’t a long time, and I thought because I had been called for 18 months that I hadn’t fulfilled my calling as a servant of the Lord yet. I called the President’s wife and we agreed that I would continue to rely on the Lord and have faith that I could still serve. However, Heavenly Father had a different plan for me. The next day our phone rang and the President’s wife told my companion that she and the doctor had talked and felt that it was in my best interest to go home. Oh, how I cried. I fell to the floor and just sobbed. I love being able to wear Christ’s name above my heart. I love being able to go out and talk to my brothers and sisters about the thing that means the most to me. I love my mission. I love my Savior. That was one of the hardest moments of my life – hearing that although my heart and spirit were willing to stay, that my body was not able to. I was told I would be leaving the next morning to come back to California. Sister Jacobson and I had an appointment with Dustin and so we went to his home and talked with him. He is just so wonderful. It was his birthday and so we made a fun poem for him and told him how happy we were to have worked with him and to have witnessed his baptism and confirmation. Transfers are next Wednesday and Sister Jacobson is being transferred, so neither of us will be in the Central Stake after this next week. We also saw Bryson at Dustin’s home. Bryson is still so excited for baptism! He’s such a gem. I have loved being able to teach all of these people about Christ and seeing their testimonies and knowledge of their Savior grow. It’s so rewarding. Once we arrived back at the apartment, I took some time to pray and to ask my Heavenly Father if all of this was right and I felt the confirmation from the Holy Ghost that this is what was supposed to happen. I received a blessing from one of our zone leaders and the Spirit that was felt during that blessing; the peace and assurance and love that I felt along with the words that were spoken testified that Heavenly Father needs me elsewhere and that I have fulfilled the mission in which He has sent me. Oh, it’s hard. It was so hard to say goodbye to Sister Jacobson and to say goodbye to our zone leaders and the President and his wife and to Sister Worrall (my MTC companion…so cool to see her again!) and other kind, beautiful sisters that drove me to the mission president’s house, but I know it’s what Heavenly Father needs of me. I know it’s what He wants me to do, and so I’ll follow Him faithfully. Sister Brinkerhoff, the President’s wife showed me that in Doctrine and Covenants chapter 124 verse 49 it says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons (or daughters) of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons (or daughters) of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their adiligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.” My enemies are my health, but I know Heavenly Father knows me and knows the desires of my heart. On the plane ride home I was able to sit next to a young man named Emmett. We started discussing religion. I introduced myself as Sister Mork and he said, “Oh so you’re a nun or something?” I laughed and explained I was a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He didn’t know what a Mormon was! Coming from serving in Idaho for 3 months, meeting someone who doesn’t know what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is, is a miracle. It’s unheard of. So we talked about his beliefs of religion, I taught him the Restoration, gave him a Book of Mormon, invited him to read and to pray about it, and he said he would. I then invited him to be baptized and he said he would think about it! We had more time on the plane and I taught him the Plan of Salvation as well. What a tender mercy. I felt so blessed to be able to teach one more lesson as a set apart representative of my Savior. I love being a missionary. I always will. I never want to stop sharing His word. Seeing my family at the airport was so surreal. I love them and I missed them, but the reality of my calling coming to an end broke my heart. Later Friday we drove to the stake President’s home and he released me. He said, “You are a return missionary. You have fulfilled your calling and served a full and honorable mission. You have been diligent in doing what He has asked of you and Heavenly Father has accepted your offering.” I’m not going to lie and say this has been easy. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do – coming home early. But I know that it’s the Lord’s will. I know that He is mindful of me. I know that I have followed His will my entire mission and I will continue to strive to do His will all of my life. I miss my mission so much already… I miss the people and the Spirit I always felt and the moments when such a loving feeling of charity would fill my heart for people I had just met. I will forever be grateful for the time I was able to spend in the Idaho Pocatello Mission and I will forever be thankful to my Lord for allowing me to serve. I love my Savior. I love this Gospel. I know it’s true. I know that trials allow us to manifest and demonstrate our faith in our Lord. I’m grateful for His eternal Atoning sacrifice. I don't know what's next, but I know that with the Savior by my side, I need not fear. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
at 1:57 PM