May 15, 2017

week 81: 18 MONTHS

Monday, May 15th 2017

Words cannot explain how I feel right now. My last email. I have so much to say. So I am sorry if it's long - meh actually I'm not cause you don't have to actually read it! We are driving down to the valley soon so I'll be there for a couple of days which will be fun! So let me tell you about my last week in the mission field.

Monday we saw Kristen, a potential. We taught her the restoration simply on her doorstep. She has no religious background. She has never prayed before. It was really cool actually to tell her that there is a God that loves her. You could just see the light in her eyes! That night, the other sisters got frozen steak from members so at 9:15 at night we made steak! Haha

Tuesday I had my last taco Tuesday!! We then went to Leah Gencks and figured out boundaries for block parties because we are going to do a lot of parties this summer to find people and for members to get to know their neighbors. We went to the Hitchcocks & said goodbye to them. We then had dinner with the Ruberts! They are awesome.

Wednesday we had district meeting & it was probably the funniest district meeting I've had. And of course they made me bear my testimony. We then visited some people. We saw Sister Letner & her cute kids. We taught her the restoration & it went really well. She is a member but doesn't really know anything. We then had a lesson with the Coles & it went super well! We talked about the Holy Ghost & revelation.

Thursday we gardened for a while at the show low garden. It was way fun. We then saw Haley and her mom and said bye to them. We went over and read the Book of Mormon with Jackie. We stopped by Joanna's and that was really good seeing her. She said she wants to meet with missionaries again. We got to meet her dad who is visiting from Poland! We then had a lesson with Zach, on the Book of Mormon and it was really good.

Friday I had my last meal with Papa Phil at Annie's! Oh my goodness he went all out and decorated the place. And got appetizers and cupcakes! It was so yummy. We then had a lesson with the Raymonds on families. It went pretty well. Sister Guevara came with us. We then had a lesson with Noah. We had it outside cause it was so nice out. We had it on tithing and fasting. We gave him a tithing jar and he was so excited.

Saturday we went to the elders baptism. I just love baptisms. It's amazing to see others commitment to follow Christ. Zach and Channa also came! It was really good. It was Zach's first time to see an LDS baptism. I'm pretty sure they both cried. We then helped at the show low park for some big service project to make a trail plus we got free lunch! We then had a lesson with the Williamsons. Haha they are crazy but I have grown to love them. We went to Hillary's wedding! She is a less-active who married a nonmember. They are pretty cool people. Their wedding was really simple I loved it. We had dinner with the Sotos. They are awesome members and invited a potential investigator over! Also I ATE CACTUS 🌵 I'm a true Arizonan!

Sunday was good! It was awesome to talk to my family! Happy Mother's Day to all those mothers out there! Elder Holland said, "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." But yeah in relief society they were closing & then they surprised me by asking to bear my testimony. I got up there & it just hit me that I was leaving & I started balling, so embarrassing. We had dinner at the Moore's. We then went to the Ramirez's and had a lesson with them. It was so strange to think yesterday was my last day proselyting. We then got home & the sisters threw me a funeral.

I read this in the institute manual about the pioneers & it is kind of how I feel about my mission. "I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it...I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew that the angels of God were there. Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company." I will never regret my mission. It's been a sacrifice but I have seen those sacrifices turn into a blessing - a gift to my life. I have felt angels lifting me up & cheering me on. For I truly have been acquainted with Him when I have felt like I could not go on.

Mosiah 18:30 says, "And now it came to pass that all this was done in Arizona, yea, by the waters of Scottsdale, in the forest that was near the waters of Scottsdale; yea, the place of Eagar, the waters of Scottsdale, the forest of Show Low, 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." Arizona will always be sacred ground. It is where I have come to know my Father in heaven & his only begotten son. I have met so many amazing people here that have touched my life.

Some of my favorite scriptures are John 6:67-69, "Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." I have been converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't ever want to go away. I have been forever changed.

I just wanted to leave with my testimony. By the power & witness of the Holy Ghost, I know that the Book of Mormon is true. When we study it, there is so much power that comes into our lives. When we open any page, there is light. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really did appear to Joseph smith. The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a fact. I am grateful for the sacrifice Joseph Smith made so that we now have all the truths so that we can return home & be with our families forever. I know that prayer brings us to our Heavenly Father. It aligns us with him. Prayer is real & He is listening. I know that repentance is real. Change is possible through our Savior. It is a miracle that we can have our burdens & guilt lifted in exchange for peace & joy. I have felt it & I have seen it. Heavenly Father is with us today. He is always there. Whether we feel we deserve His love or not. He will always love us. He is in the details of our lives. His timing is perfect. He knows what we need. His plan isn't always easier but it is always better. He knows who we can become WITH Him. I have come to know my Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ more over these last 18 months. I have had to lean on them a lot. I love them. I am forever grateful for them. Jesus Christ is my Savior, my Shepherd, & the redeemer of the world. He is the beginning and the end. He is the light in the darkest night. I need Him every day, every hour. He is very much alive today as He was 2,000 years ago. He is real & He lives. His atonement means everything to me. His atonement puts things in focus, makes it so we can have hope & that we do have a purpose. We have the potential to become like God! Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ can make so much more out of us than we could ever make of ourselves.

Being a missionary really humbles you. The scripture that I put on my plaque at home is Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I have had to use this scripture a lot & apply it. I know that the Lord qualifies who He calls. I never thought I would go on a mission, I didn't think I could do it. I know when we trust God, He really can turn our weaknesses into strengths. I have never been a perfect missionary but I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I gave my all to the Lord these past 18 months. I have learned that my missionary service is not about me, it is about the Lord, His work & Heavenly Father's children. I have learned to love people in a way I didn't even know was possible. Being on His mission is a sacred opportunity. I have thanked my Heavenly Father every day for being here. Even when it got really hard. I am forever grateful for my mission, it wasn't the mission itself that changed me but the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have learned that everything I am doing here is about families. I truly did leave my family so that others may have eternal life with theirs. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ does bless families & individuals, it is how we can be eternally happy. Even if I came here to touch one person, that is enough & will touch thousands of others. I have been enlightened these past 18 months. I am my biggest convert. It's true, this is the truth. I am grateful that sharing the restored gospel is our lifelong Christian duty, because I am not done.

I want to thank all of you for supporting me & encouraging me. Serving a mission has been the best decision I have made so far. I feel so grateful to be a part of His work these past 18 months & I'm excited to continue to do His work. Christ's gospel brings me true happiness! Well I love you all! See you in two days! 😘

--xo: sista fisha

late night steak


baby goats




Papa Phil & Jackie


Hillary's wedding

eating 🌵



skyping family

Kylah made us shirts


my cousin Greg!

bye to my baby

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