This will probably be fairly short because we have a LOT to do today (as we haven't even started packing yet...oh dear...), but I had to write a last email. How weird is that, everyone?! A LAST email! Honestly, at the start of my mission, I never thought this day would come and now as I sit here writing this, I'm all shaky and on the edge of a breakdown, like I have been all week. But this week has been a great last week, considering everything we've had to do to prepare our area, so I can't complain!!
This week, we had so much service and paperwork/cleaning out the apartment stuff to do, it was ridiculous. But! We still had some great lessons with people and had some good laughs and some good cries intermixed with all that.
I really want to talk about yesterday at church, so I'm going to do that first. It was fastyesterday, so Sister McConkie and I got to bear out testimonies and listen to the great testimonies borne by the awesome ward members here. Corbin and Sylver and their girls were at church yesterday, and Corbin got up and bore his testimony for the first time in his life!! To thank us as the missionaries for all we've done for him!! Oh man! Sister McConkie and I started fighting back the tears it was so great. Then, the closing song was "Families Can Be Together Forever", and we were sitting by the Ooka's, so Sister McConkie and I LOST it! We were there bawling in the middle of sacrament meeting! We tried so hard to compose ourselves, but then the member who gave the closing prayer blessed the missionaries and I lost it again, and then after the prayer we look over and Sylver is starting to cry, so that doesn't help!! Oh man it was quite the ordeal!! It was one of those reality-setting-in moments. But I'm feeling a lot better about leaving Corbin and Sylver now because they had great comments in Gospel Principles and I heard Corbin had great questions/.comments in Priesthood, they got to meet with Bishop yesterday and then we had dinner with Corbin and Sylver and their family and the Bishop's family last night. SO they're going to be okay! They're starting to internalize the things we've been teaching them and they're starting to get to know members in the ward! Last night when saying our goodbye's, Corbin gave me a bear hug and it was super weird!! SO, all guy friends at home expect hand shakes, okay?! OKay thanks. So yesterday was one of those days that makes the hard times worth it. And that's why we lost it in Sacrament meeting--that was the last great missionary we'll ever had, and feeling the joy I do when I see someone start to understand the gospel is incredible. I'm really going to miss that. SO I just have to be a great member missionary so I can still keep having those feelings.
I don't even know what else to say!! I'm trying to think of my whole mission in my mind and I just want to write all my feelings down about it, but that's impossible. I've loved my mission!! More than words can express, I've grown on my mission to become a better version of myself. My testimony and conversion has been strengthened, my desires turned more righteous and my faith has grown leaps and bounds. I love my Savior and and I know He lives. I'm so humbled to be His representative, His missionary. I can't honestly say I've loved every moment, but I have done my best to learn from every moment and become who Christ knows I can be. This is Christ's work. This is His Church. He is at the head and directs His living prophet, President Monson. He loves us and wants us to be happy. He has provided the way for us to return to Him if we will but be obedient and faithful to His commandments.
The scripture I wanted to share this week is the promise given at the end of the Book of Mormon (Moroni 10:4-5): "4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." God wants to answer our prayers and show us the way to true joy and true happiness. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is one of the ways He does that. It is a record to show that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He loves His children ALL equally. As I have been a missionary, I have seen the Book of Mormon change lives and I have come to solidify my own testimony of this great book. I know it is true. I know God's word is contained in it. I know it, I know that God knows it, and I cannot deny it. I am so honored and grateful for this time I've had to spread the good word of the gospel through telling others about the Book of Mormon and I hope to carry this same mindset into the next chapter of my life.
How many of you have seen the new Easter video the church came out with, Because He Lives?? It is AMAZING!! If you haven't been able to watch it, please go to HeLives.mormon.org to watch it now! The website is full of uplifting media and a fabulous walk through the last week of the Savior's life!! Go and get on now!!
As far as this week goes, Sister McConkie will actually be going homeand me . She will be going on a family vacation immediately after she gets home, so she won't be here until the following . What will I do without her for a whole week?! I have no idea!! But we'll make it work, as always.
For any who are interested, my homecoming will beat the Stake Center by my house. More info to follow as it gets closer!
I love you all!
sister leslie. (Oh, how I'll miss signing my letters and emails that way!)
Our fabulous district! L to R: Elder White, Sister Andersen, Sister Springer,
Sister McConkie, Me, Elder Bell
Our special waffles at Leslee and Teresa's!
The Ooka Family :)
The one and only Bill the investigator.