Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Bittersweet Endings and Beginnings

Hello Family,                                                                     August 4, 2014

This really seems unreal to me.

I am going to be completely honest, I don't feel like I'm going to be seeing you on Wednesday, that is just so crazy to me!  I've been a missionary for so long, that I just feel like I am going to be a missionary forever.  But, it slowly has been starting to hit me as the week goes on, and I have a feeling that it will hit big time at transfer meeting tomorrow.

So lets see. I got to spend some time in Laguna Beach this week, and that was great. I got a blessing from Bishop Galland, who said that we need to call him when we come to California and this is what he said, "maybe I could fly you over to Catalina in my helicopter and get a buffalo burger there, or we can go out on my boat." haha.  It made me laugh, cause it is just so Bishop Galland.  But he said he can only take 3 in his helicopter, so how does a boat ride sound? haha. I don't know all that you have planned for our trip next week, but quite a few people want to see me, and do things with me, and feed us dinner, so we will see what we end up doing! haha :) it will be fun though!

So, Tuesday was good, Ronnie is so funny, she would only focus when we were taking pictures, and she wouldn't listen when we tried to share a message, so that was rough, but that is Ronnie, she makes me laugh that’s for sure though.

Lets see what else... This week was such a blur.  Everyday I would get home and just be like, how is time going so fast?  And I still don't have an answer for that one.

Thursday we had our Sister’s Conference.  We had some fun classes about how to look more professional, how to stay healthy on a mission and things like that.  We also had President Orgill talk with us about some of his mission experiences and what we can do to show our commitment to God.  That part, when we were all sitting there listening to him reminded me a lot of girl’s camp.  And then, well we all slept at the mission home, so that was an adventure.  haha, but fun.  And interesting, well, what do you expect when you put 50 sister missionaries together? But it was a fun time, and I am glad that I was able to go!

Lets see, Friday we started to get everything ready (planning wise) for next transfer.  Sister Chua and Sister Lin are going to be going full time Yale Ward, so we need to get everything ready for the new Oak Creek sisters. And pack and clean, so it has been a crazy few days!

Yesterday was so... unreal, so many times, especially during Yale's sacrament meeting I just wished that I could pause time and live in that moment forever.  They invited me to come up and bear my testimony (which I would have done anyway), but I feel so much love from the Yale Ward, I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to serve in that ward, even though I don't understand their language, the spirit and the love that you feel there is so strong!  There are also 2 elders that are leaving that both served in that ward, and one is our Assistant to the President right now, and during my testimony I made it through, but then Elder Hui (who was my Zone Leader when I was in Irvine), got up, and I just cried.  Oh man, it was rough.  That was I think the moment when things really started to hit. Then later at dinner I was just soaking it all in!  And I just prayed and was like, "Heavenly Father, I wish my mission never had to end."  But I know it does.

I've loved my mission. I've loved every part of it. I am so grateful for everything that I've experienced. For everything that I’ve been through.  For the people I've met and grown to love.  For the testimony that I've been able to build. I am so grateful to have a testimony, to have the gospel.  It really is so amazing.

I love being a missionary, so of course it is a bittersweet feeling now as I am ending, because there has been so much I've experienced, and I don’t know what my life would be like without my mission, I am so grateful that I chose to come.  Sweet feelings come as I think about being with you all again, and just seeing you and spending time with you.  So I am excited. Excited for the next part of my life, and excited for all that God has in store for me.

I know this email was a lot shorter than most, but I will end with my testimony.  I know that God loves us.  I know that He knows us individually. I know that He answers our prayers. I know that He is in the details of our lives.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I know that His atonement is real, I've seen it at work every single day as a missionary, in my life and in the life of those around me.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true, it does bring us closer to God.  I know that our family will be together forever. I know that we can find true happiness as we live the gospel!  I love this gospel!  And everything about it.  These past 18 months have been the very best!

I love you all!  I'll see you on Wednesday!


Sister Taylor Burningham

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