ay pues aqui estoy! I never thought this moment would come, writing my last email as a full time missionary. It has been quite the roller coaster. As I look back on the time that the Lord has granted me to serve Him I am filled with emotions of gratitude and humility. It has honestly been a blessing to be here, a blessing I definitely didn't earn or deserve, but that my loving Heavenly Father allowed me to have. In these past weeks, our prophet President Thomas S Monson passed away and as a mission we were reflecting on His life and ways he effected our lives, and I recognized that without the things that he did I wouldn't be here today as a full time missionary. I am grateful for servants of the Lord who have helped me gain a testimony of the reality of this revelatory work.
I could share experiences for years about things the Lord has taught me on the mission and conversions I've witnessed take place, but in this final letter I just want to share a bit of my own mission conversion, and this week in reading in 1 Nefi 8 I learned a lot about the road the Lord has let me travel.
In 1 Ne 8 Lehi is describing a vision that the Lord gives him. He starts by being invited by an angel to follow him.
7 And it came to pass that as I followed him I beheld myself that I was in a dark and dreary waste.
At the beginning of my mission it was really hard. There were a lot of things I didn't know, i.e. Spanish and the gospel and it wasn't exactly easy the process of coming on the mission, and I was confused about why it was so hard. I was doing the right thing, right? I was following Jesus Christ and trying to help others follow him too, why was it so hard? Why did I feel like I was in the dark still?
8 And after I had traveled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.
It wasn't until I lost myself in the work that I began to understand a little bit of why I felt so in the dark. Once I started praying because I really needed Him, or studying because I knew I lacked knowledge, and praying for others because I loved them and wanted them to find peace, and really forgetting about all the hard things and just trusting in Him and the Atoning power of Jesus Christ, was I able to find relief and peace as a servant of the Lord.
9 And it came to pass after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field.
And then I could see the vision. I could see why I was here. I could see the joy that comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ as never before. I could see the bigger picture.
10 And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.
11 And it came to pass that I did go forth and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
12 And as I partook of the fruit thereof it filled my soul with exceedingly great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit.
I had tasted the fruit, and I had the desire that my family, this family of mine here in Washington Federal Way, did partake of it. That's what happens when we understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can not be content with having it for ourselves. I had experienced the cleansing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I had experienced how He lifted me and loved me and comforted me. I experienced what it's like to finally feel loved and accepted by a Heavenly Father who had been loving me and accepting me the whole time I just didn't quite realize it. It was something that others needed to know about. That's when my mission really changed. I was excited going out the door and talking to everyone and when people slammed the door because it just put me that much closer to the next person who would accept it. It was a Joy.
13 And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit.
14 And I looked to behold from whence it came; and I saw the head thereof a little way off; and at the head thereof I beheld your mother Sariah, and Sam, and Nephi; and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go.
15 And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them with a loud voice that they should come unto me, and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit.
J I beheld Petra, and Esmy and Graeme and Nazaret and Joey and Vicente and alllll the incredible people that I have been able to meet and teach and love in my short time here as a missionary. I saw them and beckoned unto them. I prayed for them and loved them and in doing so I was changed. Me, isn't that crazy? How in helping others the Lord has changed me.
I feel so many emotions this week, but I am so happy that I have come to learn just a little of why the Lord sent me here on my mission and why the Lord wanted me to serve a mission. It has changed my heart. I have come to sing the song of redeeming love and crave to feel the spirit of the Lord in my daily life. I love to testify of Christ and His love perfect that He has for us because it really is so perfect. He heals us. He can heal everything as we just come unto Him. I know that He knows and cares for us and is just praying that we all do what we need to do to come home to Him. I could probably write for hours, but i will end today by telling you all that I love my Savior. I love this church because it is His. I love the Book of Mormon because it teaches me how to be more like my Savior Jesus Christ and how to use the sacrifice He did for me and every one of us. I love the priesthood because it allows us to be closer to heaven now and to be able to enter into the Celestial Kingdom someday with our Father. I love the mission because it's the first time I've understood in my life how much God really cares for every one of us on a personal level and how much he hurts when we choose not to follow the things He's left to bless us. I will forever be grateful He allowed me to feel just a little bit of the hurt He feels too, but the joy that He feels as we turn to Him for everything. We can't do anything without Him. I know and testify of these things with all my heart and soul as Jesus Christ's representative. I love Him.
Hermana Reed IV
Another great week in my favorite city of Enumclaw. We are seeing lots of miracles and people are progressing slowly but surely! Miracles of the week: we saw Andrea again!! She is still struggling a lot with her family drama but we had a really special experience with her. We were able to talk to her about the Book of Mormon and how it can bring her peace in her life. At first, she wasn't really into it because it is written by male prophets, but we helped her realize it is for her. I felt so strongly that she needs to not only take the bad out of her life, which is what she's doing, but fill it with good or else she's going to just feel the void and go back to bad things. We had her place her name in the first verse of first Nephi, and I was able to just watch the gospel click for her as she realized these prophets are just sharing their experiences, their stories, and theyre things I can learn from. She said she felt God's love and man I could've jumped out of my seat I was so happy for her. She is seriously such a special person.
We also had a lesson with Adan Vasquez, a part member family we've been working with and he accepted a baptismal date! It's a bit far out, March 3rd, but he knows he has a couple hurdles to get over still but he has such pure desires and it was really good to help him set a goal and have a vision. That's one big thing I've learned on my mission is how to have a vision for your life and then once you have a vision you can involve God in your vision and He will help you accomplish the goals you have because more often than not theyre the same goals that He has too. He is such a great Father.
On Sunday we had two new investigators come to church, and we literally couldn't even talk to them because the members just took them under their wings and were talking to them and showing them everything about the hymn books and the sacrament and our investigators, Teresa and kevin, were just smiling from ear to ear they really loved it!! It was a miracle. The members in this branch are so special and have a fire for missionary work and it's the best thing EVER.
Best part of all was this week I had an exchange with hermana facer in good ol' Federal Way and we had dinner with a family I worked with a lot while we were there, the daughter of Petra so I got to see Petra too. Nothing hits me in the feels more than talking with Petra and seeing how much her testimony has grown since I was with her just a few months back. She is growing so strong and sharing the gospel and is an inspiration to me. The focus of the exchange was working better with members so we decided to visit one of the branch missionaries the next morning and it was so inspired because she was just kinda feeling down about life but we helped her realize the power and authority of her calling and the power of her testimony and how it can bless her friends. That's really the purpose of the gospel, to share it with your friends. I hope all of you can think of people that God has placed in your life with whom you can share the gospel. There are people all around us prepared for this message!!
I also had my last MLC this week, and it was the first time it really hit me that my time on the mission might be ending. President asked me to share my testimony and as I stood there looking at leaders of mine and leaders I've worked with and just soaked in the reality of the work that we are called to do I was just filled with an incredible emotion of gratitude. A loving God, whom we are in debt for for our daily breath, allowed me to come here and get to know Him by inviting others to know Him more and He blessed me by letting me just be a witness to His incredible power. It was humbling and I just... I just can't thank Him enough for letting me be His missionary. My times not up yet though people! There is so much He still has left for me to do. I love this work and I love this gospel. I know it is the way, the truth, and the light of Jesus Christ in my daily life and in the lives of everyone. Thanks for all the prayers!
1hermana unguez-just got back from her mission and she served with Christian!! She's awesome.
2 final exchange with las hermanas de Federal Way
3 feliz dia de los magos- celebrams con una rosca
4 i love hermana facer
5 final MLC thug pic ):
6 winter prepped with hna livs
feliz ano nuevo!!! raise your hand if you celebrated by going to bed at 10:30!!!!! proud of you all.
This week was a big of a struggle time because hermana livingston and i both got hit with a wack disease that we are still unsure of what it was. Something like a cold/flu/mad cow disease but it hit us hard, but that didn't keep us from seeing some miracles!!
So quick run-down on Enumclaw. You'll be in a small town for like 5 min and then all of a sudden youre in a bunch of farm land and then all of a sudden youre in a forest/jungle atmosphere and you really never know where you are. BUT we went to go contact a potential that we met from the clothes drive a few weeks ago, and her mom was home and wasn't super nice she actually said that her religion doesn't allow her to talk to people of other religions, BUT before she slammed the door we asked if she knew if anyone along her street spoke spanish and she directed us to this lil farm house at the end of the road. So we went and this farm house turned into a jungle real fast and there were all these turkeys running around (ps lives turkeys are disgusting i'll stick with Thanksgiving). but there we met Sandra. Sandra is super prepared for the gospel because not a few days earlier she had been pondering about if there really even is a God because of all the bad things that had been happening to her. It made my heart hurt for her, but it was comforted as I was able to testify that God does have a plan. yes, we live in a fallen world with lots of pain and heartache, but we also all have a Savior, Jesus Christ. It was a surreal moment testifying of that great truth and listening to turkeys gobble in the jungle. :) Nothing like it.
We also had a great couple of lessons this week with brother Vasquez, I'm not sure if I've written about him before. He is a part member family we're working with. He's not a member but his wife/girlfriend figure is and she has such a strong testimony. This week we had a really amazing lesson where they told us about how last week after a lesson with them they had received a phone call from brother vasquez' ex girlfriend saying he could come pick up their daughter and that she could stay the night with him and his now wife/girlfriend thats the member. Apparently, this lady had sworn she would never let the daughter stay with brother vasquez over night, but out of the blue it happened right after our lesson. He said he knew that that was a sign that he was doing the right thing in learning from us. As we were teaching, we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the doctrines of faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. We were talking about repentance and i received this super strong impression, one of the most clear i've received in a lesson before that just said to me "El tiene culpa". meaning he has guilt. I could feel that he just was sad with the things he had done and he wanted to fix his family. I testified that Christ can take away the guilt from us, but only as we let him and we ask for forgiveness and we start fresh and are baptized in His name. It was such a powerful moment for me and I felt it touch Him. He's a really special guy, definitely getting baptized someday.
A lot of our other investigators were out of town this week, but Andrea is good and got through her nasty court case with her ex husband and the kids are still with her so thats good. We finally saw Hugo this week and convinced him to go to the Renton branch ( FINALLY!!!!) and he did he went for all 3 hours and everyone accepted him and he's progressing so much. I am happy he's there, it's where he can progress and stay active in the future. Our christmas eve miracle from last week is staying strong too and reading the book of mormon now! can you believe all this happened and we only went out 5 days this week?
I'm grateful for a loving Savior that comforts us when we're sick, when we're feeling guilty, when we're confused and when we're just happy. I know He knows and loves every one of us. Start this year out right and make some goals on how youre going to include Him more in every step of your life this year. I know He has a plan. I know He will bless you.
con mucho amor,
hermana reed IV
1 ano nuevo
2 here's all the bacas who stare at us whenever we drive by hahahaha
4 the jungle behind sandra's house
Hermana Fallyn Reed
Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Federal Way, Washington Mission. July 2016 - January 2018.