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
Hermana Fallyn Reed
Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Federal Way, Washington Mission. July 2016 - January 2018.