You have no idea how much I’ve looked forward to writing this email all week long–I’ve just had one of the most enjoyable weeks of my mission. And I’m excited to tell you all about it!
First of all, it is a little odd that this is going to be the last email that I ever write as a missionary here in the Arizona Tucson Mission. I hope to make it the very best one I’ve ever written. 🙂 As you’re probably wondering, right now I’m feeling all sorts of emotions: I’m sad because my time as a full-time missionary is concluding; I’m happy because I get to see my family again and talk to all of my good friends; I’m nervous about going back to the real world again and having to deal with computers and phones and … technology??; and let’s add that I’m nervous for school and having to figure out what to do with the rest of my life; but overall, I’m just happy, at peace, and content. I’m hopeful for the future and I know that Heavenly Father will direct my paths as I trust and acknowledge Him (Prov. 3:5-6). I’m excited for the adventure to come!
Alright, so let’s go on to miracles now. There were so many miracles this week! Here’s one that I wrote to President Passey in Spanish:
Un milagro entre muchos esta semana es el milagro de Paolo. La Hermana Budge y yo tuvimos una cita en el instituto con la Arminda a las 10am, e ibamos a almorzar alli a las 12. Quisimos usar nuestro tiempo eficazmente, entonces en nuestra sesion de planeamiento por la semana hicimos una cita con el Senor a las 11. Quisimos ir al campus y encontrar un investigador soltero quien vive por el lado este de Tucson y quien iria con nosotras al almuerzo. iLo encontramos! Hablamos con varias personas mas o menos interesados, y caminabamos a encontrar alguien mas. Al pasar un muchacho, me senti impresionada ir y hablar consigo. Mas temprano esa manana, habia estudiado la ley de castidad en preparacion por la leccion con la Arminda y hube recibido una impresion acerca de nuestra posicion en la iglesia hacia el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo en cuanto a como explicarlo. Lo interestante es, entre 30 segundos de hablar con ese muchacho, nos pidio nuestra posicion en same-sex marriage. iSupe exactamente que decir! La Hermana Budge tambien participio muy bien en ese contacto. Hablamos consigo por casi 20 minutos concerniente a la restauracion del evangelio. Nos pedia muchas preguntas, y el espiritu guio nuestra conversacion perfectamente. En el fin, le invitamos al almuerzo con nosotros. Nos dijo que no tuvo nada mas que hacer por la proxima hora, y ademas, ino hubo comido! Entonces vino con nosotros. Descubrimos que vive por Pima y Swan – los limites de nuestro area. Conocio a algunos miembros alli y tuvo un buen tiempo. Tuvimos una leccion consigo despues para terminar hablando del Libro de Mormon, y encontramos que vive por el lado oeste de Swan, entonces esta en el area de los elderes Teichert y Alphin. iPero me encanto ver este milagro! Yo habia querido tener una experiencia como los elderes Moreno y Christensen cuando encontraron al German antes del bautismo. 🙂 Me hizo sonreir todo el dia; y creo que fue muy bien para la Hermana Budge ver que podemos mostrar fe asi.
And now here’s another. Hermana Budge and I have been working hard to find new people to teach–and it has honestly been really difficult! Knocking doors doesn’t work here in YSA, and since the ASU campus isn’t in our area, we really have to work through our members and pray fervently for referrals.
This week, we were just going about our business when we got a referral out of the blue from Sisters Barton and Dominguez. They’d been teaching a young man named Tyler for the past few weeks–and he’d been attending one of their wards, the Corona ward, for a few months with his girlfriend, Jessica. He had decided that he wanted to come to the YSA ward and be baptized. What?!?! That was a miracle that just fell out of the sky. He and Jessica came to church yesterday. They are two of the sweetest people I have ever met! We’re going to teach them officially tonight. Our ward members are so excited to have him–they just welcomed him like crazy yesterday. 🙂
This week we were able to help out with a few activities for prospective missionaries. It was so fun!! One of them was a “missionary bootcamp.” We got to work with these “missionaries” in our “zone” really closely and train them on how to be missionaries. If there was ever anything that made me want to be a teacher in the MTC, that was it. It was interesting to see in retrospect as I helped those future missionaries how much I’d learned and grown. I’ve really come to know for myself that the principles of the gospel are TRUE, and how to teach them to others by the spirit.
I had an experience during my Spanish studies this week. Reading aloud from 3 Nephi, I was filled with such a spirit of peace, love, and light, that I knew without a doubt that those things were true. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and I know that He really did visit the people in the ancient Americas. I know that they are the ancestors of the Mexicans and latinos today. I know that God is MY Heavenly Father and that He loves me and knows me personally. I know that He really does call imperfect men to be prophets and to lead and guide us today. I have learned for myself through personal, sacred experiences that all the promises of the Plan of Salvation are TRUE. I know they are because I’ve had to struggle and search for them. I know that we have the potential to become like our Heavenly Parents through the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I KNOW that He atoned for me! I’m so grateful for the way that I have seen changes wrought in my heart and being in His service. I know that living the gospel of Jesus Christ and keeping our covenants brings us power. 🙂
There is so much more that I would like to share with you, but my time is up. I just want to share one last scripture that I love and is now appropriate. 🙂
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
2 Timothy 4:7-8
I love you all! Thank you for all that you have done to make it possible for me to serve the Lord here for 18 months. I’m excited to conclude this race, this mission, and to embark on my next: Wasilla, Alaska. 🙂
Que tengan una semana maravillosa! Les quiero!
Hermana Sutherland 🙂