Yep, it's what everyone says. Being near the end of a mission is a big bowl of mixed emotions all sizzling inside of you like pizzookie and ice cream. This week's email is hefy, sorry. Bear with me.
The week was incredible and thank you for your prayers. In an email from my sister today she said in their prayers they have said things like, "please bless [Sister Cox] to enjoy her last [x] days on her mission," or to that extent. I have felt every single prayer pushing me forward. I love you all so much. Thank you for the support you have given me these months on my mission. Not everyone has that kind of support.
I was with Sister Kathalay from Toronto on exchanges this week (she is a kick booty missionary). During studies, she was sharing something she had learned Jacob ch 5. She accidentally shared this scripture instead of something else she was looking for and it struck true:
"And the Lord of the vineyard said unto them: Go to, and labor in the vineyard, with your might. For behold, this is the last time that I shall nourish my vineyard; for the end is nigh at hand, and the season speedily cometh; and if ye labor with your might with me ye shall have joy in the fruit which I shall lay up unto myself against the time which will soon come."
I do feel joy and I know that God called me here to labor in this part of his vineyard for so many different purposes. I have felt that it was really Him that called me.
Also this week, we read a couple of talks during studies that really stood out. I'll share them briefly. Not many words other than theirs needed.
Act Well Your Part - Quentin L Cook
"President David O. McKay (1873–1970) often related an account that occurred while he was a missionary serving in Scotland. He was feeling homesick after being in the mission for just a short time and spent a few hours sightseeing at nearby Stirling Castle. When he and his companion returned from visiting the castle, they passed a building where the stone above the door had a carved inscription of a quotation, usually attributed to Shakespeare, that read, “What-E’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.”
Recalling this experience, President McKay explained: “I said to myself, or the Spirit within me, ‘You are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. More than that, you are here as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. You accepted the responsibility as a representative of the Church.’ Then I thought [about] what we had done that forenoon. We had been sightseeing; we had gained historical instruction and information, it is true, and I was thrilled with it. … However, that was not missionary work. … I accepted the message given to me on that stone, and from that moment we tried to do our part as missionaries in Scotland.”
This message was so important and had such an impact on him that President McKay used it as inspiration for the rest of his life. He determined that whatever responsibility he had, he would do his very best."
Here in this mission it is easy to get caught up in all of the historic relic and information that is here on the square that we get to share. But that history that we share is a tool given to us to share the message of Jesus Christ's restored gospel. This calling to "whatever you decide to do, do it and be it well" --paraphrased from Shakespeare's beautiful words-- is not just a call to action during this short period of time. It is a call to action for our entire lives!
My companion and I also studied this talk together:
"My dear brothers and sisters, each day is a day of decision. President Thomas S. Monson has taught us that “decisions determine destiny.” The wise use of your freedom to make your own decisions is crucial to your spiritual growth, now and for eternity. You are never too young to learn, never too old to change. Your yearnings to learn and change come from a divinely instilled striving for eternal progression. Each day brings opportunity for decisions for eternity."
He is always good at following up on the teachings of Thomas S Monson. :)
But here's one of a couple reasons this talk was interesting to read at this time: I asked someone to pick a number between 1-17 for a year of general conference talks to chose from. They chose 13. I randomly chose this talk. I have had a quote up on my wall for my entire mission. The quote from President Monson that says, "Decisions Determine Destiny." Such a sweet reminder from Heavenly Father letting me know, once again, that He is here with me on this path.
|It snowed this weekend, turning Temple Square into a magical fairyland again. The skiiers coming through were all elated. And maybe me too a little bit. Snow is pretty.|
Also I'm 180% grateful for the companion that I've had these past 12 weeks. She's taught me the true definition of "I've got your back." She is an incredible missionary & one of my best friends. Doing my best to try to get her back here to ut after her mission (she's done in March). New Zealand is hard to compete with.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints sends missionaries out to the world because this message that we share is not just a happy, hopeful story, it is TRUTH. Truth that enables real change and pure joy. I love this work and am grateful for this name tag I have had the privilege to wear. Also for the tattoo stamped on my heart. :)
"Bye" & See you soon:)