Dearest Family, Friends and everyone I LOVE
Here we are 18 months later. As my hands touch this key board I feel them trembling a little trying to find the words to express how I truly feel. Its surreal sitting here writing this email knowing it’s my last one. This past week has been amazing the Lord is truly blessing us for all our efforts. We are realizing how truly sensitive we are to the spirit, we cry daily with just a simple testimony of the Savior. Because, it’s much deeper than I ever dreamed it’s real. This mission has gone through me I haven't gone through the mission. I truly believe 18 months later I've found who I really am and where I came from. I know that you find your purpose when you find Jesus Christ. I couldn't have made this journey alone. How can I really sum up 18 months of memories? When I stepped on Temple Square just 18 months ago, I never expected the things I would learn or really who I would be at the end. I think the experience of this mission has been much like a stone in a river.
Like stones in the river, we are tossed and turned when the current moves so strong but stones in living waters over time are shaped until the edges are gone, polished and smooth, that's what we will be, if we put ourselves in god's hands each day of our lives is a gift from the giver to smooth all the edges like stones in the river
I have been shaped in every possible way. My rough edges of fear are gone, I trust him. I’m grateful for the strong currents that have pushed me to change. I always said, this mission will save my life and in many ways I believe it has. What a blessing and honor it’s been to serve the Lord for a year and a half of my life. This week we were teaching Jacob one of our most favorite investigators and we issued him a challenge to read Alma 7and Luke 2 and think about who Jesus Christ could be to him. And to finish this sentence with three words, Jesus Christ is___. I’ve been pondering on that myself in personal study and there are so many words I could use. But Jesus Christ is hope, love, happiness to me. It’s amazing to watch hearts change when they find Jesus Christ in their own lives and apply it. I want to share the miracles of this week there has been many so brace you. This is the finale!!
Common Sista Really
I might as well start with one of the most recent. Alfonso from Alabama quite the character let me tell you that. Sister Harmer and I were at the west gate just talking to the 30,000 people here for the lights when Alfonso walks up. We started talking to him and learned that he has met with missionaries before but wasn’t sure if the church was legit or not. We showed him a mormon.org video on Paris. This guy from Alabama who found the church and is now serving a mission. We actually gave him a Book of Mormon and encouraged him to keep meeting with the local missionaries. Sister Harmer and I were able to testify so briefly and powerfully why this was important. It felt so good; I think heavenly father was preparing us for after mission life missionary work.
Don’t even worry one of the happiest moments on my mission. December 10th 2011 Eymard Martin was baptized in Ireland. We are so proud of him, we called him the day before he was baptized and he was so excited to be baptized. He said thank you for everything you’ve done for me so that I can receive the restored gospel. Here are some of his quotes.
“Just Taught that id send you a quick email before I go off and get baptized. Hope you are well. And have an awesome day thank you for all that u sisters have teached me up to my baptism”
Hey, Sister Jenna & Sister Amy!
“Just back from my baptism,
You wanted to know how I felt, after it, Well first I felt a little wet, and that I needed air, like if I was ducked underwater. hahaha okay, I felt great really felt the spirit, and more so when I went to change and had some time to my self for a few mins,”
What a blessing it’s been teaching Eymard. He is amazing and after we talked to him I could hear a change in his voice. Even though we never met Eymard face to face, he has made an impact in my life. Really though Sister Harmer and I were smiling all day! I’ve attached pictures.
Michael in Ghana
We LOVE Michael this week we had to say goodbye to him because it was our last time calling Africa. He is hilarious I remember the first time we called him he was watching Oprah and then the second time cheaper by the dozen he said he was keeping a low profile ha. He is seriously amazing; I wish everyone had the chance to teach Africa. They are so prepared and are waiting to come unto Christ. His response to us leaving our missions was, “oh no no why you leave me?” With the sweetest African sigh and then said, “ Jenna and Amy I will be baptized December 23 2011 you skype me from America. (ps if you didn’t know that is my birthday and Joseph Smiths so it’s a pretty big deal!) We told Michael that we were crying and he goes, “Jenna Amy don’t cry your tears will freeze on your face then laughs at himself so loud haha. We will miss talking and teaching to him but we know that the Lord will take care of him. Before he said goodbye he said, “Oh my Jenna and Amy I’m so lucky to meet you are such beautiful ladies.” Thank you for giving me the gift.
Walking with President
For some reason every time Sister Harmer and I plan to go outside to contact people on the Square, we find President Holmes. This week was extra special probably because it will be one of the last times it happens. We found him in the North Visitors Center and we all walked out together as the Nativity came on. In complete silence we looked at each other and started to have tears in our eyes, the spirit was so strong. And all Presidents said is; “imagine if Joseph could see this now.” It was so powerful because really none of this would be here. And all the things he went through I don’t know if he could have imagined all these beautiful people. Again we talked about miracles we’ve had on the square. In that moment Sister Harmer and I truly felt our calling, and who we are right now.
Monday night President Seppi first counselor in our mission presidency came into the North Visitors Center and I shook his hand. He said, “ Sister Mettra looks like you’re going home pretty soon. Tears just filled my eyes and I said President let’s not talk about that!! And he said, “Well I don’t really know what Temple Square will do without you. It will be different.” We both just started to cry and he walked away. I’ll never forget that moment it really meant a lot to me.
The next two phone calls changed my mission, and I know these both needed to happen before I sent this email. The Referral Center has been one of my most favorite things on my mission. Connecting with people over the phone and really being able to talk to anyone.
I met this member named Tony while standing at the desk one Monday night and he gave me his best friend David to call. It was after a long talk he just thought of him and I knew that there was a reason why I needed to call. I prayed a lot about this phone call and finally I was able to talk to him. When he answered he was in a party but once he heard his best friend referred him he stepped outside. It was hard at first to get through to him but after a while he opened up. He has such a wonderful heart and had been through a lot of things in his life including losing his father not too long ago. I shared with him how I was able to gain comfort in the scriptures when I lost a good friend of mine. I asked him, where he thought his father went? And he said that he hoped there was something after this life. After reading Alma 40 and telling him how much the gospel meant to me. I felt prompted to read Moroni's promise. He paused for a long while and I just started to cry, I could feel it so strong. I said what are you thinking? He said, geez I’m at a lost of words I’m kinda choked up. I testified of the power of the spirit and promised him that he would see his father again. He didn’t have a testimony of prayer and didn’t think it was real. So I asked if I could kneel down and say a prayer on the phone. Imagine this college student outside of a party in Arizona praying on the phone. After the prayer it went silent the spirit was thick and I said, David I know that you have two fathers in Heaven listening to you and love you very much. I couldn’t believe the words that came out of my mouth. But I knew that it was straight from Heaven. We are now teaching David.
Forrest was a member referral from actually one of the Elders that Kira taught in the MTC. Elder Riggs he is home now though but I was lucky enough to meet him and receive this referral. This is his cousin and honestly from the moment I received it I has the strongest impression that I needed to get a hold of him before I went home. Well last week I was able to talk to him for a couple of moments but Thursday was when I really talked to him. He had finals and was really busy but finally we got in contact. What an incredible person he is. I asked him what happiness was and he said he didn’t really know. He has been searching for a long time and wants answers. If I could truly write this whole conversation it would take me hours because it was so personal and spirit led. A lot happen over the course of those 40 min (and they are never that long) but this one needed more time and I was honored to spend this time on the phone with him. He told me that he didn’t trust people and was surprised how much he trusted me. And he said it’s probably because you are a million miles away and I can’t see you. And I said yeah maybe. I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer as I boldly said, “but really Forrest I think it’s because I’m a representative of Jesus Christ you can feel of his love because he knows you. And you can trust me because I represent him, and say the things he wants you to know. “The phone went silent and we both were at a loss of words. I promised that his heart would be healed if he would move his feet. I had the same familiar prompting to read in Enos and help him understand he could start fresh from all the pain and sorrow. I could barely read the words on the page my tears were so thick. I committed him to be baptized right there when the spirit was the strongest. He responded with a tear filled, yes I will. Honestly if I tried to prepare for this phone call before I never would have been ready. This changed my life, I know who I am and why I’m here. I am a representative of Jesus Christ and will be the rest of my life without my tag. We are teaching Forrest. I love him very much, such a special young man.
Ah today we were honored to attend the baptism of Sam Case! He has been in and out of prison and recovering meth addict so it was very special to see him start fresh and really leave the past behind him. We have been waiting all month for this and was a wonderful way to spend our last Saturday morning. I was asked to sing at his baptism. We met Sam on an Elders Tour and we connected instantly he is really wonderful. Well we walk in they didn’t know I was singing so there was a lot of last minute changes to the program. Typical ahhaha. But I was fine with it. So I went up and sang after his preacher in prison said some touching words from the bible. It was really interesting the things that he said about baptism but we welcomed it all. As I sang my song Sam sat there with his arms wide open and closed his eyes he was crying. Then when I was about to finish the last verse, “ So when life gets dark and dreary, don’t forget to pray.” “CLICK” Yep Same grabbed his disposable camera and took a picture of me hahahah. Everyone was laughing kinda killed the spirit but that’s ok! Then my favorite part his baptism. Don’t even worry he went under the water and when he came up he rolled and hit his head on the wall hahahahha. Not hard where he was hurt just hilarious. Most of the baptism was spent laughing, but it was really tender too. Sam is so special to us and we love him and are very proud of him. I attached pictures too!
Music and The Spoken Words Gives a Farewell To Departing Sisters
We were able to attend music and the spoken word for our last time on Sunday. It was so special in the conference center with all of the Christmas decorations and lots of people. My personal favorite was Away in a Manger it was beautiful and I really felt the spirit so strong. At the end Loyd Newell had us stand up and be recognized for our service and everyone clapped and there were a lot of tears. This is what it comes down to. 18 months. What an honor to be recognized in that setting. And the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Singing God Be With you Till We Meet Again. Tears were streaming that’s for sure.
Some Randoms to Close
· We had our Departing Temple Trip with President and Sister Holmes
· It looks like we are in a Zoo at night what is up with these animal hats, it’s cute on little kiddies but what is with these 30 year olds with elephants on their heads? It’s Strange.
· Its freezing Cold
· Sunday I’m singing O Holy Night in Church!
Well there is so much more I could say but I must send this so you receive it before I come home on Tuesday. I love you all so much and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the Love and support you’ve given me. What greater gift can we give then the gospel of Jesus Christ? Share it with the world. I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and was born in a manger that still Christmas night. I love the Sheppard’s and how faithful they were to see the star. May we all look for that star in our life and find Christ.
Love Sister Mettra