Not much time to write today, as we are about to leave to go down and WORK ON THE FT. LAUDERDALE TEMPLE! :D I am so excited!
I have been blessed to always be able to "know" before transfers whether I'll be staying, transferring, training, etc. I think Heavenly Father knows I wouldn't be able to handle the stress and anxiety of not knowing so He always gives me an impression. This time around, I had the feeling that I'd be leaving but I must admit I kind of hoped I'd "felt wrong" and might be staying. Even though it's been probably the toughest area I've served in, I love it and especially the ward members with my whole heart. Last night was the first time I cried after receiving a transfer call. But I obviously know that God needs me somewhere else, and I am excited for the things that are coming.
I think what's been hardest about knowing I'm leaving is that I feel somewhat unresolved about this area. I feel like I didn't "accomplish enough." I only had one baptism here, and even though Luigi is the most solid recent convert EVER, leaving is hard because I feel like I should have been able to do more. But the thing is that often it is so hard for us to see who we have become and what we really have accomplished. As I look back at the 2 transfers I've spent here, I have changed and grown in so many ways. I really have been able to become more like my Savior and develop attributes I didn't ever think would be a part of me (charity, humility, etc.).
My whole life, I have been trying to cultivate the gift of charity. Loving people is never something I've been very good at. This last transfer, I really focused on CHARITY, especially on having love be my motive for doing things. And 6 weeks later, I am amazed to discover that I finally have learned how to just LOVE PEOPLE! I have learned how to love freely and how to love with my whole heart. And it is a BEAUTIFUL feeling!
This transfer I also learned that missionary work (and all of the Lord's work) is truly about "the one." As I talked with Heavenly Father last night in my prayer, I just poured out my heart about how hard it is for me to leave the area feeling unresolved. As I prayed, I received the strong impression that yes, Luigi was "the one"....the one that I baptized here. But then the names of many others I have met and impacted here in Wellington came into my mind. Through the impressions of the Spirit, I was able to understand that I had many "ones." As I was praying I just had strong confirmation from my Heavenly Father that I did do what He sent me here to do and that I touched many hearts and changed many lives of people I didn't even realize at the time.
I've been thinking a lot about Abinadi, and how he definitely did not see the fruits of his labors. He died not knowing if his message had changed anyone's lives. But because of the one person that he converted (Alma), thousands of lives were changed. In fact, MILLIONS were changed because without Alma, we wouldn't have had the Book of Mormon. He wrote down Abinadi's words and also played a large role in taking care of the sacred records later on.
I trust in the Lord and I trust that He will consecrate my efforts. I worked hard and put my heart into the work here and I pray that because of the things I have done, thousands of lives will be able to be blessed.
Life is good here in south Florida!