Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So long, farewell, to Independence Zone! :(

Well everyone, the dreaded news came...
I am getting booted out of Independence :(
I know it's just part of mission life, but when you spend almost 8 months in one area it's kind of hard to say goodbye. Sunday I wore my homemade beaded lei (one of the members made for me, and its turquoise;) to church. It was great! I love, love, love the ward that I have been so blessed to serve in for so long. I had my last Sunday dinner with my fav family, the Kettlewells, they've been like a second family to me and have fed me about 24 meals we figured since I've been serving here. Ha ha, how crazy is that?!

I'm not sure well I'll be shipped off to just yet, all I know is that odds are, it'll be Kansas. Other missionaries tell me that Independence has a totally different feel than anywhere else you serve, so it'll be interesting to see how I feel wherever I end up. I hope that I have the opportunity to serve in a Spanish area to really learn the language. I'm really, really going to miss my companion, Sister Jones. She truly has become my best-est friend and I love her guts. We are sisters forever, as cheesy as that sounds. We've just gone through so much together, and laughed so much- I'm grateful for the time the Lord gave us to serve together. We hope that one day we'll be able to serve together again- ha maybe! 
This past week has been an interesting one. The Lord has really been trying to teach me patience. Sister Jones and I have been teaching this "almost homeless" couple in our area. The wife is just the sweetest thing you've ever met. So patient and loving and willing to do the Lord's will. Her husband on the other hand has been trying all of our patience. It's been hard to get a word in edge wise when we teach them because he's so focused on his temporal needs and that's all he can talk about. Whereas his wife truly wants to know more about the gospel and just very spiritually focused. The first lesson was impossible. Our member team up was so great and so patient, picked them up, and then after our appointment got them food, and helped them with a lot of their basic needs. That to me, was a huge example of what the Savior would do. I just love this sister in our ward. She's awesome! We couldn't have done that lesson without her. This couple came to church, which we were pretty excited about, and we hope and pray that the husband will humble himself and see that when we put our trust in the Lord and keep his commandments he will ALWAYS bless and prosper us, we just have to put him first, nothing else! 
After we met with this couple, I found this quote and I really like it 
It has been my motto as of late:
"Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can't see the Lord's hand in our lives until long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness." -Elder Deiter F. Uchtdorf (love him!)  
Don't get me wrong, this past week hasn't been awful and horribly trying- I just really liked that quote and it helped me put things in perspective. We can't control everything, nor should we. All things should be left to the Lord, as hard as that is to accept sometimes. I'm learning that we need to be happy with where we are, because if we're not, we'll never be happy. I feel like this past week my thoughts have gone to home a little bit and I've thought, "why, why can't I be there for that, or why this?" And then I remember that my time is NOW. My time is HERE, and there is no where else would I rather be.  I'm learning that if we want to become someone, or something, we consistently try to be that person we want to become each day.
Yesterday I had a lot of time to reflect on my past time here in Independence. I wondered if what I had done was what I was supposed to do. I wondered if I had made a difference in any one's life here. And then- our member came to the Visitor Center to drop off dinner. Unfortunately, I was on the phone and missed talking to her, but she came and gave me a hug and said goodbye really quick. Well, after she left, we went downstairs to eat- and by our food was this card addressed to me. I opened it up and read, and I just started to cry. This note was from this member who dropped off our dinner. She told me how when I would get up to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting, she was touched, and that I always seemed to say the things that she needed to hear at that time. I never expected to get a letter from her just because I never got to see her often and we hadn't ever really conversed a lot, just the occasional, "Hi, how are you?" and a hug here and there. She went on to say a lot of other very sweet things, but it was then that I knew I had done what I needed to do here. My heart was so full of love and gratitude, and I couldn't help but feel so happy that I was here serving the Lord. Ahhh
This time in my mission is bitter/sweet. My heart is heavy to be leaving my sweet Independence, and my ward, and my lovely companion. I feel as though a chunk of my heart is being torn out and being placed in this area. However, I am also excited for the unknown, excited to get to know a new companion, to serve in a new area, and to be out full proselyting. I know it's going to be a huge change in my mission- but that just means the Lord loves me enough to allow me to grow, and I know that I'll love wherever I go because it's where I was called to go before I even got here! How great is that?! Next time I write you, I will be somewhere else- so crazy to think. That also means all the mail you send me will take a little longer to get to me because I won't be living so close to the mission office. Ha ha, bummer! 
I love all of you! I love this gospel. I wish time would slow down, seeing as next transfer puts me at my halfway mark in the mission field. I can hardly believe it myself. I feel like I really am on this slippery slope of time and there's nothing I can do to stop it, only enjoy the ride and pick up all that I can for when I come to a stop, aka, reality. Ha ha. Don't give up, don't look back, serve gladly, and be happy! If you want something, go out and get it. Faith without works is dead. There is no time for excuses. Don't live with regrets. This is His work, and His glory! 
Signing off from Independence, Missouri-
Love, Hermana Conrow   

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