Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 25, 2015- The Last Week


Wow, so I really never quite believed that this day would come, when I'd be writing my last letter home. So crazy how quickly time goes by. But, this was a perfect last week in the mission. I probably won't say a lot now, just so I have things to tell when I'm home, but it was perfect.
One highlight of the week was Irvin's baptism! He was so happy and I'll never forget that moment. Even though he isn't technically "our" convert, he'll always stay in my heart. His family is super excited to keep going strong in the Gospel, and I can't wait to hear about Nancy's baptism some day soon.
Another highlight: Hermana Perez is "pregnant"!!! She's going to train a new missionary! She was super nervous (still is I think) but she's super excited. We spent the morning making a "welcome" sign for her new companion and making sure everything is perfect for her. It'll be exciting to see who she istomorrow!
Other highlight was a mission conference we had with Elder Craig C. Christensen (Presidency of the Seventy) and Elder Paul B. Pieper (First Quorum of the Seventy). It was so incredible! It wasn't very long, only a couple of hours, but it was exactly what everyone needed. They help a question & answer session, and with the help of President Stellmon, they answered a lot of quesions. All of it was super inspiring!
And...I also had my final interview with President Stellmon on Thursday! It was absolutely perfect. He gave me a lot of advice and counsel and... I am so grateful to have been here under his direction. He has helped me so much over the last almost year, and I know that I probably won't have experienced many thing in my mission if it wasn't for him.
Just a few thoughts...well, it's really hard to figure out all that I want to say in this letter, but I think I just want to share one experience I had this morning. I was reading through my journal entries...and I came across one that I wrote in February, while I was in Ometoxtla. I want to put it in here:

"At one point last night, Guillermina made us cry a bit. She said, "I'm grateful for your feet. You walk all day, with your feet in the heat and dust, and the people reject you. But you guys keep on walking, and then you get to my house and help me to change." It brought me to tears because this area has been pretty hard. Almost everyone we talk to refuses to listen. But it helps me to know that there is one person who loves us and wants to learn more. And in that moment, Jesus Christ came to my mind. He also walked all day, in the heat and the dust, and the people rejected Him. They even crucified Him. But I'm grateful that He never gave up and that He finished His mission. I'm grateful for His feet, that also spilled blood from every pore and were nailed to the cross. And I'm grateful for His now resurrected feet, because that means that I also have the chance to live again and be wtih Him and my Heavenly Father again. We will all walk hard, endless and sometimes lonely roads, but He walks with us. I feel honored to be His missionary, and walk these roads in order to bring about our Father's plan."
Then I looked over by the door and I saw my poor shoes.

They won't be coming home with me, but I'm grateful, with all my heart, for the places they took me, the people they lead me to, the roads they walked down. I don't have words adaquate enough to explain the gratitude I have towards my Heavenly Father for this incredible opportunity to serve Him for 18 months. It has been the hardest, but defintiely most rewarding experience of my life, one that I'll never forget. I know that I have been just 1 missionary out of 85,147...and I know that I didn't change the world by any means... but the last 18 months have changed everything in my life. And I hope that in some way, I was able to help touch the lives of others with God's love and light.
I want to end with my testimony. It's nothing spectacular...but just the things that I know, without a doubt, to be true. I know that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, and that He loves me, as He each one of His children. I know that He sent our older brother, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins. I know that Christ suffered for everything we experience in this life, and that He also loves us. I know that we can all receive forgiveness and peace if we're willing to accept His Atonement into our lives. I know that He gave us the perfect example to follow, and that if we strive to follow it, we'll find happiness and joy. I know that President Monson is a prophet of God, and that the Lord guides His church through him. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that it can change lives. I know that one day, I can live again with my Heavenly Father and my Savior. And I know that families can be together forever. I know that living the Gospel is the only way we can live if we want Heavenly Father's blessings. I know that everything is possible through faith in Them that love us and want the best for us.

"Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.
 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
 Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen."
Doctrine and Covenants 6:33-37
I'll see you all very very soon. :)
Love always,
Hermana Smith

-Banana tree in the middle of the city!
-My favorite ladies!
-My pretty companion and I!
-With Hermana Aguilar (my companion for 5 days in Atlxico!)
-With Rosi (AKA: Our mission mom)
-With Yola!!!
-With Pipis!
-With Hermana Rojas!

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