A week or so ago, President Anderson gave us a list of scriptures on faith and asked us to study one each day during our personal study. I've loved reading them each day! It has been so interesting to me on my mission to find out how much I thought I knew about the gospel, only to find out that each gospel principle has such a deeper level to it. Heavenly Father has definitely helped me to see this as I have been humbled again and again and am required to learn things on a deeper level. These last couple transfers I have wanted to focus on strengthening my faith, and these scriptures have been a great way of helping me learn and grow. I love being able to look at faith from so many different angles. I have learned a lot about how faith is choosing God over the world and trusting God and His promises. One of my favorite studies that I did was when I studied James 2:41-26 and Ephesians 2:8-9 together. Separately, they appear almost contradictory, but I was able to reconcile them in a way that taught me a lot about how our faith and the power of the Atonement work together to bring us salvation.
We saw a lot of miracles this last week. Former investigators re-surfaced, branch members started volunteering to come out teaching with us, and we are meeting some truly amazing people. Yesterday, we actually had 4 different members come teaching with us! I don't know if I've ever brought out 4 different members in one day, especially not in a YSA branch....and especially not in THIS particular YSA branch. Things are changing for the better! It has been a slow process, but I am grateful for the chance that I have to continue to help strengthen and change Snapper Creek. I am so thrilled about the stake and their amazing plans to hasten the work here in South Miami. This weekend, ALL of Florida had stake conference with a broadcast from Orlando featuring some of the general authorities, including Elder Nelson. They focused a lot on hastening the work, especially in our sessions on Saturday that were just amongst our stake. IT WAS AWESOME. On Saturday, we had the chance to be a part of the stake's ward mission leader training and there are truly incredible things happening here. There are some awesome things happening in South Miami. Our stake presidency is really pushing the importance for members to get more involved with the missionary work. At the session on Saturday night (which was actually an adult AND youth session), they actually had missionary ROLE PLAYS so that the members could see what we do and get involved! SUPER COOL.
And, because this stake ROCKS and the work is really beginning to hasten, I am grateful for the chance that I have to be here for my last transfer! Sister Gordon and I will be staying together. So, it looks like mi hija will be killing her "mom". Pretty crazy.
It's definitely a weird feeling. Your whole mission, you always wonder "where will I serve? Who will be my companions?" And after they announced on the transfer call last night that we were both staying, it hit me.....this is it. There won't be anymore areas. There won't be anymore companions. This is it. I am happy, because I love this area and I especially LOVE YSA. I will have been in YSA for 7 transfers of my mission....more than half! I guess it's true, I was called to the "Florida Ft. Lauderdale Young Single Adult Mission." #YSA4life.
But even though I'm happy, it's still a really weird feeling. I know this transfer is going to fly by, especially because it's only a 5-week transfer rather than a 6-week. (Can you believe that? I'm totes getting gipped. Haha. Both my 1st transfer and my last transfers in the mission are 5-weekers.)
So....here we go. I am ready to have the most fabulous 5 weeks of my life! I have plenty of time!
This Thursday, we were in an apartment complex harvesting when we saw a YSA girl walking through the parking lot. We of course went to talk to her, offered to say a prayer, and had a powerful experience with her. Nicole was crying after the prayer and talked about how much she needed it and how good she felt afterwards. We invited her to baptism and after some hesitation, she accepted. She told us that she had actually gone to "Mormon church" in high school and had really liked it. She didn't have time to meet on Friday, so we set up an appointment for Saturday. That day when we texted her to confirm that we could still come see her, she told us that she didn't want to meet up because she just didn't feel like "she was ready for this." We were super heartbroken, because she was awesome! Anyways, we were at a DIFFERENT apartment complex following up on a potential that day and all of a sudden, who do we see walking towards us but NICOLE! She was surprised to see us, but she knew it wasn't a coincidence and we testified to her that God had sent us to her again. She had to run, because she was late for work, but not even 5 minutes later we got a text from her saying how happy she felt when she saw us and that she wanted to meet up with us. We met with her yesterday and she is AWESOME! She said she's been feeling great since meeting us and that she couldn't stop thinking about the prayer we left with her. She is now preparing for baptism because she knows that this is what she's been searching for!
Okay, so I'm not going to lie.....I got "the last letter" from President on Saturday and I freaked out. At the beginning of your last transfer, he always sends out this letter that basically tells you to keep working hard and to give it your all until the end. We came home, got the mail, and as soon as I pulled it out I KNEW what it was. And I literally had a little freak-out of the "yelling-and-shouting-like-a-crazy-person" variety. I think Sister G was unsure about what to do with me. I just do NOT feel like this is real! I do not want to go home. I just can't!! I can't be a normal person again...nor do I want to! THIS is my life. I will be a Florida Ft. Lauderdale missionary forever!!!!!! They may have to put me on that plane kicking and screaming.
Anyways, that's how I'm feeling most recently. I'm glad I still get 5 more weeks to run around in Little Havanna.
la (loco) Hermana Dougal