This past week or two has been a roller coaster. A lot going on and my anxiety about leaving my mission and going home is pretty high. Last week we had a branch temple trip and I went with all the Spanish speaking ladies to the Spanish session and I had to wear translator headphones the entire time. that was fun. Could turn it up as loud or soft as I wanted to. I enjoyed it. We also went to our church building to watch General Women's broadcast which was mostly about making families and individuals spiritually and physically strong and defending Jesus Christ and the institution of marriage and families by being a part of them and focusing on the gospel together and individually.
I had my last normal church meeting with the Mt. Pleasant branch this past Sunday and I bore my last testimony in my area on the mission. Yesterday we had the departing missionaries' temple trip day to Nauvoo. We switched companions with Burlington and the transfer van with all the sisters I came out with and the elders in an adjacent van with the AP's came to Mt. Pleasant and picked us up and we drove down to Nauvoo, sunny without a cloud in the sky, went to a temple session, took lots of pictures out front afterwards, walked around Nauvoo and went to the bookstore. Picked up a copy of "Lectures on Faith" by Joseph Smith which I have been really wanting to read, then we drove to Keokuk just south across the bridge from Nauvoo and ate at a really good Mexican restaurant called Los Tapatios. Highly recommend it! We had to skip lunch so that food was especially tasty because we were starving. Discovered that dumping Cholula sauce in the salsa before you dip your tortilla chips in it is the best! We had a really great day and it was beautiful and perfect weather for it as well. Kind of felt bittersweet. That will be the last time I see Nauvoo until I came back after the mission later on. I'm going to miss that place.
Everyone says that it is really hard to focus the last week after the departing temple trip, but I am excited. It will be a great week especially because we are looking forward to watching General Conference and we keep finding more people to teach and to influence. The mission has been the best decision of my life and I couldn't imagine life without having served. I would definitely be a whole lot less strong and a lot more lost. My face is set like a flint, "The Gospel is true, Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and we are going to Zion!" 17 Miracles quote.
Really neat story. We were serving at Hope Haven a few weeks ago and working with the mentally disabled students that are there for a kind of day school program. One of them named Margie is my favorite. She loves me and she loves to walk! I asked her if she had friends and she said not very many. Then I asked if she had a best friend and she exclaimed really loud "Jesus! I know Him!" I said "you know Jesus?" and she answered, "Yeah! Before my knee surgery Jesus came to me in my apartment and He touched my knees and He blessed them and then they were better!" Wow. I know Christ lives and the innocent and pure in heart know it too.
Give my last training lesson at my last district meeting on the mission tomorrow afternoon about the Spirit. It means everything to those who know how to find it and enable the power that comes from being worthy vessels of the Lord. Having the Spirit with you always is the most important thing. It is almost the corner stone of knowing if we are on the right path in life, what is truth and what is not truth, gaining a testimony of Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father and all His holy prophets, and being truly converted. We are disconnected and in a state of darkness without the Spirit. If the Spirit is not with you, you are basically wasting your life. It is very, very vital to finding true happiness and finding Eternal Life, to praying sincerely, receiving answers to prayers, understanding the scriptures and receiving personal revelation. Sorry, I could go on forever about how important and incredible the Spirit is, but I'll leave that up to you to find out.
Stay Strong and be happy! There is so much to be happy and positive about!
p.s. last email will be next week! Scary!