I forgot for a moment that Thursday is also the day Jake is getting married, and for a minute I was honestly shocked that all of y'all would get together to celebrate my birthday. I had a moment where I felt super important and loved and missed, and I knew I was the favorite and the "glue" that holds our family together, and then you reminded me that it was Jake's wedding, and reality came crashing down... hahaha I super excited for them though! And they couldn't have picked a better day to be married! Especially since you all will be able to celebrate my birthday too because of it:) Eat some cake for me! I never did get an official wedding invitation though, so could you send me pictures of the wedding? Because I know that you will be taking some, even if you aren't the photographer or whatever.. That's just you:)
My companion and I were talking about this being the nethermost part of the vineyard yesterday too!! Maybe it was because we actually got to go to Gospel Doctrine yesterday and you and I probably had the same lesson, but I do think it is pretty awesome that our thoughts were running along the same lines. Must be true then! Granted it is true regardless of where I am. Great minds think alike right?
When I get home from my mission, for the month that I will be home, I do want to help as much as I can with the people there. I'm not sure how much I can do in a month, but I will be back that following summer and I will do stuff then too. So you can tell Brother Hawkins he can use me if he needs me when I get home. I really do like visiting people, and sharing with them the gospel makes it all the more valuable of time used:)
I think the last W is Work. Except then it doesn't flow with the other words, but it would fit in the point of personal revelation! Because you have to work for it, even if you are willing and worthy and wise enough, you have to put forth effort to receive more from Heavenly Father. He rewards our effort more than our intention, even though He still takes that into consideration.
That is so awesome that the youth are singing to the people in the Retirement Homes. I have gone to visit a lot of members in those kinds of places, and it is so sad when I hear that we have been their only visitors for a long time, or we are the ones who come the most consistently, even over their own family that live in the same city just a few blocks down the road. They definitely love having people come visit them, even if it is just to sing songs to them. It doesn't even matter if we can sing well, as long as we try, they always love it. (So do the workers, I have had many refer to us as the angel singers) Super cute!
It is interesting for me to find people to teach who are your age Mom. I try to imagine what it would have been like if you hadn't known the gospel yet, and what it would have been like to teach you, and it has been pretty cool, first because I honestly don't know what you would be like if you didn't have the gospel in your life, and second, it really helps me to better relate to these people that we teach when I am reminded of you every time I teach them.
I really do love being a missionary! I have been so blessed to love all the people that I have met and I know I will continue to love people that I haven't even met yet. Yesterday was awesome as well, even though it was Sunday, and many people use that day as a literal day of rest and don't do anything, there were 4 members that were willing to come with us to visit some people, and some of them even drove with us an hour away to go give a blessing to a less active that will be going in for foot surgery this week! #Hisday That was a blessing in and of itself, because they hadn't seen this lady for a long time, and they were all good friends with her, but because they just expected her to come back by herself, hadn't seen her in a long while. Member relationships are important, and even if for whatever reason, friends aren't willing or interested in hearing about something important to your life (aka the church and the gospel) thats ok. BE A FRIEND FIRST. And then worry about the rest later. I talked a little about this in Relief Society yesterday, and really if someone says no to an invitation, its not the end of the world, just make sure you let them know that it is ok, that you still want to be friends, but if they ever do want to hear more, or they are ever curious, to let you know and that you would love to share. Christ's gospel is a gospel of love, not of forcefulness or condemnation. We are to love people to the church, not anything else.
Don't forget! 3 days 24 minutes and counting!! Also tell Jake congrats:)
Love you lots!!
Sister Monica Walker
PS I didn't really realize until my mission how close Mother's Day is to my Birthday.. I get to skype you in 3 weeks!!! Crazy right? Also it means that Dad has to find somebody new to speak on Mother's Day as I spoke the last two years on Mother's Day. Maybe it's just because he knows how much I love my mom:):)