The reason that my e-mail is late this week is because I was able to go on my departing temple trip today! Usually we go as a big group with President Brown and all the departing missionaries, but there was a mix up on our end and my companion is hitting her year mark soon and wanted to go to the temple, so we ended up just going with the E family in the ward. They are so great! I am so grateful for them and their selflessness. They truly take care of us and love us like we are adopted daughters. It was so great being able to take a family name to the temple today. I felt the spirit strongly and I also just felt a readiness enter my heart. A readiness to take on the next stage of life. I know that I just need to trust in the Lord. As I sat in the temple, I opened to the perfect chapter.(That never happens to me. haha.) It was Alma 38.
There were so many verses that just spoke to me and I know Heavenly Father is aware of me and my service and is preparing me for the next stage of life.
I am still going strong! This past week was pretty good:) We started off the week having a dinner with the M Family(Terry Lake Ward) and the M family(Wellington Ward). Both Part member/Recent Convert families that I have worked with. I just feel so blessed to have been a part of their lives and I am so excited to continue to see their families grow in the gospel together and be sealed in the temple someday. This work really does bring such joy! At the end of my mission call letter and in the last line of the First Presidency Message in Preach My Gospel, it says, "The Lord will reward and richly bless you as you humbly and prayerfully serve Him. More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children."
At times on my mission I have wondered, is this promise really true? There have been some very challenging times being a full-time servant of the Lord and I have not always felt happiness. But now, as I reflect on my experience as a whole and the many wonderful moments I've experienced and the closeness of the spirit, seeing people change before my very eyes, witnessing miracles, learning every day, seeing individuals make or renew covenants, seeing families grow together in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and so so so many other experiences. That is what TRUE happiness and joy really is! We don't need the fluff of the worldly things to make us happy. The way to be truly happy is to focus on those things that matter most. I have experienced this promise first hand. I have felt so much joy and happiness as I have labored among our Heavenly Father's children, even in the midst of the trials. That is proof to me that even in the midst of hard times, we can still find joy. How great is my calling!
We've been struggling to help investigator's progress here in Wellington. It's been a bit difficult to even meet with them as of late. We are still working to find as well. We did a lot of service this week, which was great! We struggle to find service in this area. We have been feeling strongly lately that we need to develop a better relationship with the bishop. We barely meet with him and never eat dinner with him and his wife, and we just don't really know him, and missionaries in the past haven't really known him either. So, he and his wife live out in the country and own a bunch of goats. We asked if we could come out this past week and help out for a bit. They gladly said yes! We spent some time clearing out all of the goat pens, raking, shoveling, gathering hay, all kinds of fun things:)Then we taught them a lesson and they took us out to lunch. They are such great people! It was great to finally get to know them and build some trust with them.
Well, I don't really know what else to say for now! I am finishing strong! Making the most of every moment that I have and preparing for the next step. My learning will continue. It doesn't stop after I am released. One things that I have been praying for a lot is to be able to keep what I have learned and to continue to make it a part of who I am and what I do and then to continue to grow. Thanks for all of your love and support. It truly is so wonderful that I have such amazing family members and friends that help me to keep pressing forward and stay steadfast. I don't know if I could have done this without you all. I love you all so much!
Temple with Sister Helsing
Dinner with the M and M families