Happy almost Christmas! This week was SO GREAT. I love Missouri and these people! There was a HUUUGE ice/snow storm this weekend. We drove home early on Friday night and as we pulled into our neighborhood, I lost control of the car and it started to slide everywhere. There were parked cars to the right of us and an oncoming car heading towards us, but by some miracle, we stopped and didn’t hit anything. We quickly put the hazards on and ran inside to ask Elder Wilson (senior couple who lives above us) to move our car into the parking lot. The ground was covered in about 3 inches of ICE. We pretty much had to ice skate to our apartment from our car. It was really scary but we were protected! Missouri winters are pretty brutal. The cars were grounded on Saturday, meaning the conditions were so bad we either had to find member rides or stay home! Turns out no one really wants to go out with the missionaries in this weather so we just did some studying and planning. Our bishop also cancelled church? I had never heard of that before hahahaha classic Blue Mills. Those Polynesians do NOT like the snow. So it was a very long, tedious, but productive weekend at home haha.
Anyways, I just want to say that VANITA IS ON DATE FOR BAPTISM!!!! I am so so so so happy. More on that in a sec….
We had a zone conference this week! The whole mission was split into thirds and we went to zone conference on Thursday! I want to share a few things that really touched me.
First of all, I had so many prayers answered. President Vest talked about how the only gift we can give back to our Heavenly Father is our will. He already has everything else. It helped me realize that if I put everything I have into my mission, He will shape me into the person He wants me to become. The only thing I have to do is submit my will, which is difficult but I am learning each day how I can do that. Bishop Duncan from the Liberty 2nd ward also gave a training about working with members. He told us that the Lord has entrusted us with His work, so we must trust in ourselves! We have to develop the gifts we have before we can progress. The Lord works with us line upon line, precept upon precept. In his words, (and the way most Missourians would say it), “You ain’t gettin’ mo till ya work with what ya got.” I thought about how there are so many records written on other plates that aren’t even here on the earth. There is so much knowledge available to us but we aren’t ready for them because we don’t even appreciate what we do have. Same thing goes for the talents we possess. If we do not develop the ones that are given to us, we will not be given more. Long story short, it was truly a humbling training haha. Every time I go to meetings or we have trainings, I feel the need from Heavenly Father to repent, but in a very loving way haha.
We then got to do a session in the Kansas City Temple! It was such a spiritual experience for me. I couldn’t help become really emotional as I learned more about this beautiful earth we have and the history that surrounds me! I can’t believe I am serving here in Independence. I feel so humbled and honored to literally prepare the land where Jesus Christ with come again in all of His glory. I remember learning about Independence during my freshman year in seminary as we studied the Doctrine and Covenants. I remember thinking “Really, out of all of the beautiful places in the world, why Missouri?” Hahaha. But as I learn more about this place, I am able to catch the vision and as a result, this place has become so special and sacred to me. I have no words! I just feel very humbled and my heart is so full. As we entered the celestial room, President and Sister Vest welcomed us with hugs and handshakes. When all were gathered inside, President Vest spoke to us about his wish to see us all again in the celestial kingdom, much like the way we entered and greeted each other in that moment. It was so powerful and I will never forget that experience.
But anyways, YES Vanita is on date! January 20th! She picked the day of the inauguration because she’s “afraid for the country and could use the extra blessings” hahaha. We had such a powerful lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She wants the gift of the Holy Ghost so badly so she can feel the same way she does whenever we come over and teach her. She is so sweet and I love her so much. I’m so happy and excited for her and know this is the best decision she could ever make! Please pray for her! And her husband Marvin too so that his heart may be softened to our message as well.
Lastly, I want to bear my testimony about the Prophet Joseph Smith. His birthday is on Friday! Sometimes it’s hard to be in the area I am serving in because we hear so much negativity about the Prophet Joseph Smith. But it has really allowed me to gain a testimony for myself. I know that he was called of God to restore Jesus Christ’s church on the earth again. Not reform, but restore. I know that he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. I will never deny that. And I know that he led the saints here to Independence Missouri because he was called by God and received revelation, just like the prophets of old did. I am grateful for him. I’m grateful for his example and perseverance through the trials he experienced.
I am also excited to celebrate Christmas as a missionary! It’s already been such a spiritual holiday for me. I love my Savior so much and I have truly been able to appreciate Him more while I’ve been on my mission. He is the light and life of the world! He is my personal Savior. I know that He loves me and knows me so personally. Make sure to remember Him on Christmas Day, because He really is the center of this holiday and of our lives.
MERRY Christmas loved ones! I’m excited to talk to my family on Sunday. I hope everyone has a fun and safe week! I love you all so much.