Dear Friends and Family,
Hello, everyone! I hope you've all had the best week! :)
I have so much to tell this week, so buckle your seatbelts!! :)
First thing - I know I talked a lot last week about all the wonderful things we are doing and miracles we are seeing in our mission because of family history, but I have a miracle story of my own to share this week. :)
About three weeks ago, the sweetest woman came in to our family history center and asked to use our MicroFilm reader, to which we happily obliged! :) She has been coming twice a week for the past three weeks, and I have developed the most wonderful friendship with her. She is amazing! Well, this week she approached me one day before she started her family history work and asked me a simple question, "Why are you on this mission of yours?"
I love that question.
I couldn't help but automatically smile as I talked to her about why I am here, what I believe, and bore testimony to her of the truth of it all. I. love. this. gospel. :) We had an amazing conversation about some of our beliefs, and when I asked her if she would like to learn more about it all she said, "Absolutely!! How about?"
I couldn't believe my ears. I probably looked a little silly from the shock of it all, but she just laughed and we set up for! :)
Fast forward - The day of our meeting rolled around, and we were just so excited!! The time seemed to drag on forever as we waited, but when it finally came, it was incredible! I cannot explain the joy that comes from sitting in a simple room talking with someone you've come to love about the gospel. It is the best thing in the WORLD. :) The influence of the Holy Ghost was so powerful during that meeting. Anna shared some very personal stories with us, and it was amazing to see the spirit touch her heart as she did so. She told us a story about the first time the thought had crossed her mind that there really could be something after this life - that maybe somehow, we really could be with the ones we love forever... and it was so special. We were able to testify to her of the eternal significance of families, and the perfect plan God has for us all, and it was the most amazing thing because... I know I must've known this before, but in that moment talking to Anna, who we had met because of our family history program, it just became SO real to me. Family History work is so much more than just finding a name on a record... It's the stories, the relationships, the connection you feel to someone you've never met. It is the way we keep those who have passed on with us - the way they can be with us (and we with them) forever. It is the work of the Lord, and I am certain of that. It was incredible, and I know Anna felt it too. :)
At the end of our meeting, we gave Anna a Book of Mormon and what happened next just made my whole day! She took it and said, "Ohhh thank you!! I only have 3 days until our next meeting, so I don't know if I will be able to finish it all... But I will try!" Sister Larsen and I couldn't help but smile :) She was so happy, and she already loves that little blue book so much. :) It melts my heart!
It's true, you guys. Everything we believe is unbelievably, undoubtedly true... And I know that with all I am. :)
A few other amazing things from this week -
We were able to visit some of the sweet members of our branch who live in a little city called Toruń this week, and that was amazing. :) The last time I saw them was almost a year ago, and it was just such a miracle to me to once again be able to see their faces and talk to them! Little Amelia is so excited for her baptism in February, and it is the cutest thing! :) Seeing them all just warmed my heart. I have so many fond memories from when I was last here in Bydgoszcz with them, and I look forward to so many more!
Our zone also had the opportunity to have Zone training this week, and it was incredible. The theme of it all was something I hold so close to my heart - the Atonement of my Saviour. I think during those 4 hours, tears filled my eyes more often than they did not. It was an amazing experience. I cannot even begin to tell you all the experiences I have had because of the atonement... But I hope you all know how incredibly precious it is to me. I love my Saviour, and the gratitude I feel every day for his atoning sacrifice is indescribable. It has changed me... and I will never be able to thank the Lord enough for all He has given me.
I am so grateful for the opportunity being a missionary has given me to truly realize how much I love my Saviour and His gospel. I cannot thank the Lord enough for having enough trust and faith in me, even when I don't understand how He does it, to send me here to Poland to share this perfect gospel of hope. How He trusts someone as imperfect as me to spread the joy of such a perfect message... I may never know. But I am SO grateful. I cannot say that enough. :)
Well, I think I've talked all your ears off enough today :) But I love you all and can't thank you enough for all you do for me! You are in my thoughts and prayers every day, and I know the Lord is with you!
Have an amazing week!
P.s. Hey Olek!!
Sister Larsen, Sister Butler, Sister Thornton, and me!
Our Zone's Sisters!! Love them so much.
The Poland Mission North Zone :)
Starszy Byrd and his package! So much happiness. :)
Made my Mom's classic caramel popcorn, and realized once again that I will never be able to make things as well as she doew...haha! :)
I have the cutest companion in the world. The end.
Sister Larsennnn :)