Hello! July 7, 2014
And happy 4th of July last week! It sounds like it was a fun busy day, just like it normally is! :) So that is marvelous! I'm glad it was good day, and that everyone is happy and doing well!!
This week was a little different, as most are when there is a holiday, those weeks always seem to be our slowest weeks, but it was still a good one. We had quite a few opportunities to give service, and well, the rest...I'm trying to remember what all we did.
On Tuesday night we did help the elders teach English class (we have a free class for Chinese people to come and learn English!) So that was pretty fun!
Wednesday I had STL council, to talk about how we can help our mission and the sisters in our mission. I talked to President Orgill after, just because I had some concerns about going home, and I just wanted to be able to focus and work hard for the last few weeks of my mission, and I was able to get a blessing from him. I am so grateful that he is my mission president, he really has changed my life, and I am so grateful not only for him, but also for the priesthood, what a miracle and blessing it is that we have it on the earth today! As a missionary I've really developed a greater appreciation for it and a deep love for it as well! :) And Wednesday was one of those days! :) So that was a great part of my week!
Thursday we had a great district meeting, that really just pumped me up. Or maybe it's just cause I'm nearly finished that I'm all fired up and ready to go teach and baptize the world! But we taught Mike right after district meeting, and I invited him to be baptized (which for a good part of my mission that always made me nervous, cause I would say, “what are they going to think or say?”) But, that is our purpose as missionaries, to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, BAPTISM, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. So I was like, “ok gonna just invite everyone to be baptized.” So we did. And he said no, cause he "was already baptized." So we'll be talking about the priesthood soon to help him understand why it is so important (his salvation!!) So that was kinda sad, but I left knowing that I was and am doing what I am supposed to as a missionary, but I can't control the agency of others, which is hard, cause I know how much the gospel will bless the lives of those I come in contact with everyday! But, its ok, I'm still inviting, and always giving the option! :)
Friday was good. I did wake up homesick, and I was like... man, today will be long... but then I got up, got ready, and went out! We went to Woodbridge 2nd Ward’s breakfast in the morning! And it wasn't the same as ours at home, but it did feel familiar, being with people who I've been able to grow close with. So it was fun to see everyone, and a lot of people were like "you're almost done aren’t you?" They remember well, but I mean, I was in their ward a year ago, so it was awhile ago. But it was fun to talk to them! :) I also got to see Trinity and Mackey! They are doing well, and it was good to see them there! The Woodbridge community in Irvine has a mini parade where kids can ride bikes or scooters and parents and kids can walk. So we walked in the parade with one of the families from my old ward. It was really fun! :)
We had a lesson with Sister Pan (cause she is Chinese and didn't celebrate the 4th). And that I think went well. It was in Chinese, and I was so tired that I almost fell asleep! (AHH) But then we went to our mission conference after, and that was so great! We took pictures, had food, played “minute to win it” games (which... when you are wear a suit or a skirt make things just more funny). So that was fun, and a good way to get everyone involved. And then we got to see a slideshow of pictures of all the baptisms that have happened in the past year! So that was really great to see! Then, as a mission we watched Son of God. I'm still not sure how I feel about that movie. It was weird to see Hollywood’s take on the Savior’s life. But it did help me think more about what our Savior did for each of us, and I am so, so, so grateful for His sacrifice that makes everything possible!!
Then I went on an Exchange, to Laguna, but not with Sister Hurst, I went with her companion Sister Harrison, and it was so fun. We had the greatest time on Saturday! We were able to talk a lot, and talk to a lot of people! It was super, super great! Also, in Laguna, they have these Trolleys that go from one side of town to the other (since in the summer traffic and parking are TERRIBLE). So we decided to try it out and we were able to talk to a lot of people! :) So that was great! I also got to see a few families in the ward. I really don't know what it is about Laguna, but I just feel such a strong pull to be there. I haven't felt this way about any other area, I’m just grateful that I got to spend the longest time in that ward! It is a special place, and I'll probably go back one more time, one more exchange there before this transfer is through.
Yesterday was good, but also a little bit weird. I've been thinking a lot this week, just about the things I've learned as a missionary (I feel like I talk about this every week, but everyday I realize more and more that I learned). But one thing that I was thinking about yesterday, and I actually shared my testimony about it, is how much one person can make a difference. The little things really can turn into big things, just as we are ourselves and as we turn to the Savior. I mentioned also the Savior, and how He was just one person, but because of what He did, He changed not only the world, but eternity. And true, we may not have that big of an impact, but everything we do can make an impact on someone. As a missionary, no effort is wasted. Everything is worth it. We can touch lives as we live the gospel, and as we strive to follow the Savior’s example. And that is something that is a big part of my mission. My mission has not been easy. And Sister Orgill said something to me at the mission Conference that was just perfect. Some of the elders and sisters were singing a song in another language, and it was so great, but Sister Orgill just leaned over and whispered to me, "I am sure that there are days that you just want your mission to be over, because it is so hard. But then there are other moments like this, where you never want it to end." And it is so true. Because there are so many hard days, and sometimes I have wanted my mission to be done, cause real life seemed so much easier than what I felt like was happening to me. But then, those moments, where you are just filled with the Spirit, because of the things that are happening, the things that you are learning, you don't want it to end. So she really did describe it perfectly. :) I love being a missionary. I love that there is so much that I get to do, so many people I get to meet, and that I get to share the message of our savior Jesus Christ every single day! :) I love it so much! It is the best thing. I love it :)
So, this week was a good one, and this next week, I am excited for! Exchanges, MLC and just being a missionary!
I hope you have a great week!!
Happy Birthday McKenna!!!!
I love you!! :)
Sister Taylor Burningham