Transfers! And you'll never guess where I am going this time : ) I've been called to serve as a member missionary in Rexburg, Idaho. I cannot wait to magnify my calling and work alongside my family once more...which explains why I cry myself to sleep every night....? No, I'm just teasing. Coming home with be great. President Preston has told me that going home is just as much a calling as coming out, but I will miss this place, people and mantle desperately!
This week was very productive and also very difficult. One of our favourite ward members, Eileen Clarke, passed away from cancer on Friday morning. The funeral is the day after I leave, so I had the opportunity of playing Be Still My Soul on the violin at sacrament meeting yesterday. She was such a good friend and will be very missed by the missionaries and the ward. The work continues to move forward and I have really seen Sister Doherty step up to the plate this week as she prepares to be the leader of the area very soon. I have full faith in her! It only just occurred to me yesterday, though, that I won't be able to ring her up or see her at zone conferences or anything!! How unfair. I always said that Heavenly Father saves the biggest and best challenge of a mission for last: going home.
As I've experience the powerful and mixed emotions of these last few days, I've found such solace in the scriptures. I see myself in the stories of these people more than ever before. I feel deeply for Alma as he laments,
"O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me. (Alma 29:1-3)"
I should be grateful to have had five extra weeks : ) but, no, greedy me wants to stay on a mission indefinitely.
I understand now why the three Nephites wanted to remain on the earth doing this glorious work! I know what it feels, as Mormon describes, to "fast and pray oft, and...wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God."
I am so touched by Mormons words as he describes the tender feelings of the followers of Alma:
"And now it came to pass that all this was done in Mormon, yea, by the waters of Mormon, in the forest that was near the waters of Mormon; yea, the place of Mormon, the waters of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, [the streets of England, the buses of England, the trains of England] how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever."
I thought I knew Jesus Christ before my mission. I thought I knew my Redeemer. It is on these streets that I fought the good fight, and in shepherding along side Him I have truly come to a knowledge of Him. These 19 months His sacrifice has taken on new, and deep dimensions and I have come to know his approbation. I am so relieved that this work is not subject to location - I can continue to serve Him and feed his sheep wherever I go.
And I will.
I know this work is True. The words are the same as in days gone by, but how much more magnificent they feel on my lips as they spring from an equally more consecrated and converted heart.
See you soon!!
All the love in Britain,