This week has been full of some amazing lessons and insights. I really do love the way that the Lord works. He knows what I need when I need it. He knows who I need when I need it. He also knows who needs me when they need me, and He makes sure that I am there so that I can help them.
Last Saturday we helped an investigator move to Atlanta. This person has been trying to get to Atlanta for the last 6 months, and every plan she had kept falling through. Time after time, either her ride or her apartment would fall through. When I first met her, she seemed to have a super strong testimony of the gospel, and of Christ as her Savior. As things began to fall through, she began to lose faith. She told me once that her situation was beyond God's help. That made me really sad, but my companion and I still trying to show her that we loved her, that God loved her, and that something would work itself out, it just might not be in her timing. She ended up moving in with some recent converts because one of them is friends with her and heard that she was being kicked out because her lease was up. Those few weeks were hard for the recent converts because of the negativity that the other lady had. I and my companion and the Elders watched, prayed, and fasted for all three of them hoping that it would all work out to each of their best. We continued to visit and to encourage them all not to lose hope. Eventually we were able to help the lady find a ride to Atlanta (another member volunteered) and she was able to get to where she needed/wanted to go. I was told later by one of the members that was with the lady when she left that she noticed two miracles-one the two recent converts had real honest happy smiles that day for the first time in weeks, and two-the lady had nothing but positive things to say the entire way up to Atlanta. That was so awesome!! It made my heart hurt because of how much negativity she spread to everyone, and how it wasn't just a few people that felt it. The next day (Sunday) Sister McCulloch and I went to the recent converts house and just wanted to check up on how they were doing. We had a super spiritual discussion that made me sympathize (as much as I am capable of) a little bit with our Heavenly Father. One of the recent converts was very concerned over the spiritual welfare of the lady that had been living with them for a while. She noted that although this lady professed to want to follow Christ, her actions did not prove it, and day after day she would hear about the unfairness that life had given the lady. We began discussing the power of agency, and that as much as we sometimes wish we could make people understand the importance of the commandments and following Christ, to do so is the Devil's plan and now our Fathers. We do not learn when we are forced, and more often then not, if we are forced, we will rebel against it, no matter if it is good for us or not. I told her that this was part of the reason why I had decided to serve a mission. I know the truth. I am happy. No not just happy but joyous! I know God's Plan! Sure there are days where I get down, but we will all have those days, the key is getting back up on our feet and continuing on, trusting the Lord to know what is best. My heart breaks to know that there are people who I love, people who I have served for months on end, who refuse to accept their Savior. Who refuse to accept His love. Who have been told time and time again by those who are supposed to be their support, their family, that they are worthless. That they aren't worthy of any love. That is NOT true. Heavenly Father loves all His children, with a love I cannot even begin to comprehend! His heart must break every time He ever sees us do something that He knows will hurt us. He suffers as we suffer. Such is the price of parenthood. But how great His joy is when we do what is right! How excited He is to tell us "Welcome Home my child". To embrace us!
This last week we said goodbye to President and Sister Cottle. As of Thursday they are released as my mission president and wife. It was so hard to say goodbye to them! I would talk to them all the time, they were always there when I needed them! How awesome it was for me to be able to give President Cottle a hug before he left. It has been hard along my mission to not give everyone a hug, and follow the counsel and rule I agreed to going on a mission to not hug any male.. That includes my Mission President. He became my father here. He loved me like his daughter. How excited I was to give him a hug. :) How much more excited I will be to give my earthly parents hugs when I see them again, and how much more exciting it will be to finally be able to give my Father a hug at the end of my mission here on earth. How happy I am that I have a wonderful family who has taught me the meaning of love. Who have loved me no matter what, and who made sure that I knew it too:) Their support is so important to me. Your support especially Mom:) Oh how I love to receive an email from you every week! So faithfully too!! I don't know what you will do when you no longer have a missionary out to email every Monday. You have been doing it so faithfully for almost 5 years. I know my brothers will agree when I say that it means the world to a missionary to hear from their mother's and loved ones. Even when it is sad news, it is wanted.
Oh how I love my Savior! Oh how I love my God! Oh how I love my Father! I am so thankful for all three members of the Godhead. The Father for knowing and understanding me, for listening to me when I am down, and sending me the things I need to help me be happy. The Son for making it possible for these terrible feelings to not last, for making sure that I would never have to go through it alone, like He did. The Spirit for helping me feel comforted even in the randomest times of the day. I don't know if I can ever express my feelings to the extent that I feel them, but I just want you and everyone else to know that with God, ANYTHING is possible. No matter how crazy or seemingly out of His reach. No matter how small or inconsequential it seems-HE CAN DO IT. We must trust Him. Yes those around us may falter, and we should try to lift them up, but if they fall, we should not let ourselves fall with them. Their choices do not affect our own. Love them. Serve them. Forgive them.
Remember He loves you. I love you. No matter what.
Be strong, have courage. Choose Happiness and Gratitude.
Sister Monica Walker