If you read the subject line, you now know that I am 1 in my mission age! Whoa. I truly cannot believe it has been an entire year since leaving home to come on my mission. It really has been one of THE best years of my life. I love it and have learned so much and am so thankful that I have six more months to keep learning. That does not seem like enough time!
I did a lot of pondering this week and thinking about what I am doing out here on my mission, now that it has been a really significant amount of time I've been doing it. The question came to my mind, "Do I really believe that Jesus Christ can change our lives for the better, is what I am doing worth this time I am giving?" Like all history teachers say, we do learn best from looking into the past! So I did that. I started to look over my old journal entries and made a list of all the people I have met who have made a large impact in my life. I have seen change through Christ happen in so many lives, especially while serving my mission, including my own life. I have seen time and time again, that people are prepared and searching to receive His teachings into their lives. I thought of a woman I had met a year ago who had lost her husband in their old age. She was searching for comfort and looking for answers as to what would happen after this life. She found peace and was changed through the teachings of Jesus Christ. Another woman, who had experienced hurt, pain, anger, abuse and lies throughout most of her life has become one of my closest friends. I watched her change over time, through Jesus Christ. Her life is still filled with so many things that could cause her pain, but her knowledge of God and His plan for her has CHANGED her forever. I have spent time in a home where a family was broken and torn from so many bad things in the world. But, I have watched as God touched each member of that family's heart and helped them to KNOW that He is there, always. I have seen them change so much! I have seen in myself, a girl filled with so much fear, be completely filled with hope. I have changed in this year, but in such a fulfilling way! That is what I love most about being changed by Christ. We only change into something better. I am still me, still my same sense of humor that I crack myself up with, still enjoy my same hobbies, still love all the same people from before - I just feel filled now. Jesus Christ has filled a void for me that I was not fully aware existed. But, now that I have felt it full, I know that I always want to feel that way! That is what the gospel can bring us, even fuller happiness.
My invitation for you this week is to ponder on past experiences! Think about times in your life where you have felt that "full" or "complete" feeling. Let those memories motivate you to do whatever it takes to feel that way again! It is available to us always.
Onto recounting this week! I'll share my favorite.
On Monday, one of the people we are teaching came up to us and told us he wants to be baptized! GASP. I am so excited for this boy! His parents are members and I have been working with them for quite some time, helping them to build their own testimonies and become active again. We recently started teaching their son. He is absolutely the best. I just love teaching him! Last week I invited him to pray and talk to God about his concerns, ask Him questions, just TALK to Him. On Monday, I asked him how it went...he prayed for an HOUR the night before. What teenager does that? A whole hour! He said it was the most incredible experience. I wanted to cry for joy! He has taught me so much and he has CHANGED. He is changing his family as well! His Dad, who has only been a member for about 5 years, was asked to give his first talk at church. Another moment when I was about to shed tears! We went over and were helping him work on his talk. I asked if he had any scripture verses he loved that had helped him come to better understand God, he responded that there weren't any. His son, the one we are teaching, jumped up! "Yes there is!" He grabs his Book of Mormon that he has had for a week and flips open to Ether where we had left him a part to read. When we left that for him, he ended up having the whole family read it together for scripture study (AH, they did family scripture study!!!!!!!!!!!!), and when they Ether 12:4-6, he marked it because it was something that had really struck his dad! Tears, again. I love this family and am so in love with their progress. It is so clear to see the change within them as they do the things that God has asked of them. I love that I get to be a part of this! Before we left, we helped them each pick out an outfit to be all set for church the next day! Haha, it was so funny! They looked great!
We met some amazing people this week and experienced some great miracles! Miracles surely have not ceased. I promise that if you look for God's hand in your life, you will see it!
I love you all! Everyone of you reading this. Xoxoxo!
Sister Kerr <3