My heart has surely grown these past 18 months. I can hardly believe its all over. These are my people and Arizona has become my home.
Stepping off the plane a year and a half ago I had no idea. No idea what to expect, how the Lord could strengthen me, who I would meet, how I could love nor how I would change. My life felt like a blank canvas.
I hated the desert at first. I would say prayer after prayer that my perspective would change and that the earth would come to life. Now, I can't stop talking about how green it is!like God threw some splashes of saguaro green and Arizona sunset onto that canvas. The desert is beautiful!! Just as my perspective of the desert has changed, so has that of the gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is beautiful. It is the most precious thing to me. By living the gospel every day is how we find not only happiness but everlasting JOY. I that the last 18 months have been heavens investment in me. I have been stretched and molded into someone I never imagined I could be. There is no more fulfilling struggle than understanding and aligning my will with His great plan. But not easy. A mission is not easy. However, it is beautiful when you step back and see the big picture. I can see now how God used me as an instrument, merely a , to create something magnificent on that canvas that now represents my mission. That too is beautiful.
I pray that I can remember this picture for the restmy life. Remember the people, the happy, the sad, the miracles, the sweat, the , the work, and the bad that makes the good better. This has not been about religion or numbers. It has been about helping my brothers and sister return home to the God who created us. I know God is ever aware of each of his children. I want to always remember this.
I know that when I step off the planeI will be a very different person than the one who stood in that same airport 18 months ago. I am a far from perfect missionary, but I know I am more like my Savior than I was when I first put my name tag on
My gratitude for God can't be put into words, I owe every day of my to Him. I owe Him. And every day of my next journey.
I am willing to die for this, but I know God is asking me to live for it. And that is my plan. To live every day of the rest of my life for this gospel. To live it, to share it, to fight for it.
My life is changed forever and ever and ever. My testimony of this gospel is unshakable.
This has all be so very worth it.
Ithank each of you enough for every ounce of support you have given me. I love you all more than you will ever know!
See you soon,
He lives, my kind, wise heav’nly Friend.
He lives and loves me to the end.
He lives, and while he lives, I’ll sing.
He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King!
Pictures:I was able to attend the baptism of little Kayla Hargreaves! Her family was baptized in my first area and she just turned 8. I am so lucky I was near this area and able to attend! Lots of goodbyes, our greatest investigator Josh, exchanges, and good memories.
For all my missionary friends my new email is firstname.lastname@example.org :)