Monday, June 15, 2015
It is so difficult to leave your mission. This transfer I say would make top 3 of most difficult transfers. Everything has been so wonderful. We find, we teach, we invite, we baptise as befits our purpose. I think it helped that I kept the fact that my time was up on the down low so I only really got ... two days of people asking me post-mission plans? But I've been spending all this time like I'll be here forever and the reality that I will not be.
I know I am going home, but I am leaving home as well - if you understand me.
The people here, the experiences, knowing that today I made a difference, today I helped someone draw closer to Christ, today I walked the paths our Saviour would walk - one step after the other. It is a good feeling. It is so good focusing on the spiritual.
I keep asking - are we allowed to have favourite baptisms? Everyone's journey is special and I am privileged to play a part in it, but having been there from the beginning of the teaching process to the ordinance of baptism? Wow, that's special!
Dannielle and Brother Finau gave really good talks. Tears may have been shed. Dannielle spoke about repentance and baptism. She spoke about how repentance is a gift, repentance means change. And that even if you forgot to read your scriptures or did not pray that day, don't worry. That's what repentance is for. Just start again tomorrow. Brother Finau was really funny, he gave Brian baptism presents (and related it to his talk about the Holy Ghost) - chocolate - representing fleeting happiness and a Captain America figurine - representing putting on the armour of God. And some people that we met the day before attended also with his family! He was a Seventh Day Adventist minister. I'm glad he and his family came. His kids made friends with bishop's kids and he said he enjoyed the service. :)
And then Sonny (his cousin) performed the baptism. And then Brian bore his testimony! Sorry Brian if you read this and for quoting you so exactly but he spoke about his spiritual journey. How he came from NZ for a fresh start to live with his aunty and uncle and soon Brother Finau came to live with them (Brother Finau had to finish his studies, so his family is in the US while he has to do one more course!) and as soon as Brother Finau realised Brian was not a member he started working on him. And Brian said he heard the word "repent" a hundred + times a day, he'd be making his coffee in the morning and everybody would say "repent" and he did not understand why they were saying that. But then the mormon message "men's hearts shall fail them" changed his perspective. And he also started crying - this 20y.o. guy, crying whilst bearing his testimony. His family crying in the front row - especially his aunt who had not been to church in so long.
And he pulled out a heart note that we gave him with Mosiah 18:10 written on it to help him remember how he felt during that lesson. Now all that is missing which sadly I really can't capture or convey through the medium of blog would be the musical items. Hymns can really bring the Spirit. I have a firm testimony of that.
This is one person's story. There are millions of members of the church. This is why D&C 4 says "and now behold, a marvelous work and a wonder is about to come forth among the children of men." This marvelous work is the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It would be so entirely impossible to sum up everything I've learned during my mission and all the many ways that it has impacted me in one sentence, in one paragraph - even a monster paragraph! So if you read, don't just read this entry! Search around to capture a more holistic mission experience.
3 Nephi 5:13
Who am I? I have learned on my mission that I am not just "Ellen", I am not just a comm/law student, a tutor, a reader, a romantic... All these things that I thought I was were stripped away. All that was left was my testimony. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I suppose I will once again slowly gather other labels again, but I hope nothing hides my true identity. I am a child of God. And so are you! Never forget it :)
Sister Soh took a photo of me walking in front of her at the temple. It seems fitting.
Goodbye Adelaide. Goodbye blog. Goodbye ZAAM.
Now the true test is whether I live what I have learned. Until next time