My flight plans came, I check out at 4:30am on Monday. We fly to Georgia, we have a five hour layover, then I'm off to Mexico! Hermana Tam. waited too long to get her passport and apply for v and such, so she's going to Reno temporarily, which is super sad for us because Hma Heinz and Leonard and Toone and I are all traveling on the same flight and we were so excited to be together.
Some highlights of this week:
- We finished teaching Maria! I have so much love for her. Our last lesson was relatively mellow, we talked about keeping the Sabbath Day holy and prophets. It ended in tears for all as we bore our testimonies and even took a picture with her. I walked out of that lesson, ending my first experience with a non-member, with a renewed desire to GET TO WORK. I know that every time Maria progressed as we taught her I felt a joy unlike any other.
- I saw Mitch Head for a few minutes at Devotional, and then today for a minute because I was on Main Campus for a bit! So fun to see him, seriously. Definitely a little piece of home. I also saw Bronson Barben, Amy Shaw, Jenna Ericksen, Jantzen Glover, Christian's friend Jackson A... and a few more I can't remember at the moment.
- SO EXCITED TO SEE CHRISTIAN SCOTT HOLMBERG ON SUNDAY
- Sunday was released as a Sister Training Leader, along with the Zone Leaders. They want our last week to be somewhat relaxing, which I appreciate.
- First and last Fast Sunday Sunday at the MTC! Super cool testimony meeting, which was in English surprisingly. I've seen so many of these Elders and Hermanas visibly change throughout these six weeks.
- My relationship with my District is simply the best, so sad to leave them. I'd like to think I'll see some of them again, but realistically this is it for us! No one else is going to BYU beside Elder Scott. But I have learned so much from every single one of them, and I know for a fact why I was placed in this group.
- Last night my roomies and I had a little candle-lit MTC "Closing Ceremony" in our backyard
- Our last investigators are Ricardo and Travis, and they are Elder Flanary and Nielsen in disguise. This will be our last little project before we leave.
- We will go down in history as the zone of trend-setters - since we've been here, we've instituted on West Campus "District-nics" (District Picnics, I came up with the name OF COURSE), Post-Class District Races, and (as Sister Training Leaders) combined Hermana "Tender Mercy" sharing time/prayer at night. Pretty proud of ourselves.
A newer Elder said something this week that summed up many of my frustrations exactly. Something to the affect of: "This isn't about reaching a requirement. It's about doing your absolute best."
We're not working for a grade. THAT is, maybe pathetically, why a mission is so hard. Let's be real. Do we really give our all, ever? Have I ever truly given my all? How do I KNOW I'm doing OK out here? It's not like a report card comes in, and all my slacker moments are forgotten because my spurts of hard-workingness still amounted to an A. It doesn't get better than an "A," does it? So why "step it up?" This is about consistency. This is a situation where the Report Card comes daily, and it ALWAYS SAYS "TRY HARDER." And "better" is always possible, and "better" consists not of having climbed to a higher level of BEING, but of having corrected some small, seemingly insignificant yet completely huge FACET of your being. And that's what's daunting, crazy enough! Our betterment, the process of becoming better...it's like emptying an entire beach of sand into the OCEAN of Atonement, grain by grain. I have an ocean in front of me and a beach of imperfects behind me. I say that, but that's not really how it is, not all the time. Much of the time, my back is TO the ocean. I look out hopelessly at my beach and underneath my feet washes up new grains 10x faster than I can get rid of the old ones. Especially here in the CCM. Realizations of flaws occupy my thoughts all too much, my goal making process often fails me.
BACK TO THE BEACH, FACE TO THE OCEAN. This is why a mission is hard. What direction I'm facing no longer affects only me. It affects my companions, IT AFFECTS THE SALVATION OF GOD'S OTHER CHILDREN. So, how do I know that I'm doing okay? I recognize one facet that needs helping. I ask about it. I throw it into the ocean, so far out there that it can't possibly wash up again. ONE AT A TIME. Shovels don't exist on this beach, and that's OKAY. If, at every prayer, I know I'm doing this, I can know that I'm doing okay.
Love you so much momma and dadda, seriously. I have LOVED my time at the MTC, more than words can explain and I'm pretty heartbroken to be leaving. I have made many unlikely life-long friends here and I have learned so very much about myself, about the world, about how to get along with others, about how to TRULY LOVE EVERYONE. I can't believe this time is here! I love you, I love you, I love you.
Hermana LeSueurBeeeg Keeeeses, Leeeeetle Keeees,