Why count sheep when you can count donkeys?
Weeks are just passing by so fast that I cannot believe it! It still does not feel real that I am in the final countdown to the end of my full time mission. So, while it doesn’t feel like my mission is ending, I am forced to talk about it a lot, which is the only thing that makes me realize that it is real. For example, this week I had my outgoing interview with President Hammon. That is the last interview I will have with him until I am about to leave. It is unreal to think about. It was so crazy talking to my mission President about plans for my future. While I feel like my future is an unending full time mission and my schedule will never change, I am actually sitting on a ticking time bomb that is to very abruptly throw me into a whole new world. My post mission world. That said, I realize that my whole mission has been preparing me for this moment and I am very excited to come home as the “new and improved” me!
As my full time mission comes to a close,I am trying to make the most of every second I have as a missionary. This next month is just a full court press to the end. Sister Bascom and I are working harder than ever, working more creatively, and having so much fun. Last week was truly a miracle week! When Elder Nielson spoke to us, he advised us to really focus on the members of the church that are less active in their faith. He explained that this was where so much growth will come for the church. Sister Bascom and I have taken that advice very seriously and put it to the test. Because of this challenge, we have met so many incredible people this week, all with inspiring and unique stories. With no real direction as to who to visit, we have really just been following the Spirit and contacting people. It really is amazing to see the sacrifices these people make and the little road blocks and turns that have interrupted their lives. One person in particular just really touched me and taught me so much about sacrifice and love for the Gospel. He was in a terrible car accident, and because of it, 17 of his vertebrae are fused together. Normal things are extremely difficult and painful for him. Just to get around is a tremendous effort. He may not come to church often, but he really can’t help it. However, it was amazing to see the fire of the Gospel still burning in him, despite all his challenges. The Gospel means so much to him and he will go through so much to share it with others. He is bold because it means the world to him. The way he talks about it immediately brings the Spirit. He quoted the Prophet Joseph Smith as saying, that if he was one of the last people on the earth, the one focus and care he would have would be to share the Gospel. If he couldn’t walk to share It, he would crawl. He would suffer so much for this to reach every ear. He really made me think about what I would do and sacrifice because this means so much to me too. Would that be my only concern or care? Or would I be so consumed with silly worldly needs and desires? Sunday night, while reflecting upon this experience, I decided to kneel down and prayer and ask for an opportunity to sacrifice. It’s a scary task to do sometimes, but I am so hopeful in what is to come and for a chance to prove my faith to myself and to God.
“A [person] that does not … sacrifice … all things never has power proficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; … It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life.” Joseph Smith.
I love being a missionary because of all the different people we get to meet and help and learn from. This week we taught from 14 years old to 85 years old, and with each one I can learn something new and different. It is truly the most incredible opportunity to do this work! I have grown so much on my mission because of the people we meet and the lessons each one teaches us. I am so eternally grateful for every person that has influenced me and I feel so blessed to be able to also be that difference for others.
On a lighter note haha… We really do have so much fun every week!! This week we had the miracle of finally setting a baptismal date for a 14 year old that we have been teaching!!!! It’s so fun to teach her and the other young women in the ward because they “teach me how to be hip again”. We laugh so much at the silliest things!! Like we have found out the best way to really make things click with her is through jokes, memes, and lots of activities and games! We have really had to get creative, but it is so fun and is by far my favorite way I have ever taught anyone! It makes the Gospel so much more real! We also have had fun this week with our very special Halloween costumes we bought. You see, there are Donkeys just roaming free around here and its so funny!! In the spirit of that, we bought donkey onsies!! Many times this week, I have just randomly decided to put it on. Like one day, Sister Bascom couldn’t sleep, so instead of counting sheep, I jumped around in my onsie and let her count donkeys!! It’s so funny! She has quite a few videos of me now haha!! We are just having way too much fun together! It’s so great to see how we really can work so incredibly hard, yet still have a great time. That is a very important lesson to learn haha!!
I am looking forward to the week ahead and eager to see what miracles and hilarious stories come from it!
Love you all so much!