Well, I’m not quite sure how to even start this last email.
It’s been a long journey and a lot has happened over these past eighteen months. It still is unimaginable to me that the Lord ever even allowed me to come out here and serve this mission. This time has gone by much too fast and for the amount of things that I’ve experienced, both sad and exciting, I can’t believe that it is now coming to an end.
This past week was again full of so many blessings, and the Lord truly lifted us and helped us as we worked hard and gave it our very best. My last Sunday I had the most investigators at church that I’ve had my entire mission; we gave out more baptismal dates, were able to teach lots of new investigators, and got to visit with lots of members from the ward. And an investigator that the Elders in the ward taught whom I have grown to love also got baptized on Sunday! Even though I only have a few days left of this next week, I expect to keep working hard just the same.
Okay, enough emotional stuff. The funny moment of the week was when we were sharing a lesson with a member and Sister Branch said that we needed to help the “white members” instead of saying the “less-active members.” I smiled to myself a little and then afterward I told her, and we both had a good laugh for a couple of minutes 🙂
It is so sad to leave when things are moving along so well! It’s really hard to say goodbye to this place and especially these people, but one thing that I’ve realized is that the work will never end! There have been a lot of people and investigators who have asked for my contact information, and even though very soon I will be thousands of miles away from these people, I am determined that the second half of my mission continues when I get off of that airplane and I will keep in contact with these people and continue to help and support them! So it’s really not the end, right?
Words cannot express all that I want to say right now. These past eighteen months have meant everything to me because of the lessons I have learned and the person I have become. I have been given the precious opportunity to be immersed in so many other people’s lives, and not only that but also their salvation. I have come to love my Savior more that I even thought possible. I have learned how to forget about myself and get lost in the service of others. I have learned how to have faith, how to really have faith, and receive answers to my prayers.
28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.
30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.
31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.
I came out on this mission in an effort to serve God and help His children. After having felt of His love and received abundantly of His blessings, I thought that the least that I could do was try to pay Him back for all that he has already done by helping others to partake of His goodness. And after all of this, what do I get? Just a year and a half older and deeper in His debt.
I have come to realize that this is a debt I will never be able to pay back–but I will keep working the rest of my life in an effort to try.
Though this chapter of my life comes to an end, I know that the next one will be just as good and that the work of salvation never really ends.
Thank you all for your love and support!! I’ll see you all on the other side of the ocean!
1) Picked up a summer missionary, Sister Mak, from Hong Kong who will be serving with us for a couple of weeks. That means that I get to die in a trio!
2) We took a tram thing that went about Hong Kong. It had a glass floor and it was pretty cool.
3) I love this place so much!!!
4) Karmen baptized!!
5) My mystery fruit of the week turned out to be a fig–a pretty underrated fruit.
6 and 7) A comparison of me and my MTC companion between our first and last weeks of the mission–we’ve changed quite a bit!
And more photos from Hong Kong!