Well, the day is finally here. I don't really know what to do with myself because I thought that I would remain in Washington, D.C. for another four weeks at least.
Today is my P-Day and I was having a meal after a day of sports with other missionaries when I got the news my visa had come through and will therefore depart for Zagreb, Croatia tomorrow!!! Zagreb, Croatia is where the Mission Home is located.
I have mixed emotions about leaving here. We currently have 14 investigators and I love them all and will miss them. I don't think they will take the Sister missionaries out of the Annandale Ward, which is good, since I don't believe some of our investigators would want to meet with Elders (they are single women and such). We have experienced so many miracles with the people whom we have been blessed to meet. Every time we go tracting we find at least one person who wants to learn about the gospel and seems ready to hear about it. Of our investigators, four are progressing, which is an unusually high number (people have a hard time deciding to do the things asked of them. It takes a while for them to catch the vision of what we are trying to teach.) I am really going to miss them as well as Brother and Sister Evans who have been so kind as to house Sister Holt and I, and the general atmosphere of Northern Virginia.
What a blessing it has been to be here when the leaves were red and yellow and orange and were falling like rain! Now the trees are bare, but the days have been warm like California, and the sky full of the strangest looking clouds I have ever seen. I am so glad that I was able to go to tour some of the monuments in D.C., and I wish I had a way to send the photos that I’ve taken of my time here to you all before I leave for Slovenia but I can’t for lack of time. I will be sending photos home as soon as I can by email, so it shouldn't be too long.
This week for Thanksgiving we had THREE Thanksgiving dinners. It was awesome. The first was with a member family and their member and part-member friends. They had spent a lot of time preparing for their Thanksgiving dinner so the food and the decor and the general atmosphere was incredible. I ate way too much even though I knew I would soon go to another dinner. The second feast was at the house of our Pakistani investigator (who came to church this week! It was wonderful. She really felt the Spirit and even cried during Sacrament meeting). I didn't eat very much there because I was so full, but I did have some of the pie. Of course… She really wanted us to meet her son with whom she is trying to set an appointment. We were careful to explain about the rules for missionaries and how we don't flirt or anything. She is so sweet.
The third Thanksgiving dinner was somewhat unexpected. We were going over to a former investigator's house to show her a movie about Christ just as was done for her last year but with the elders. But when we got to her place, she had not yet had her Thanksgiving meal and had only really cooked the turkey. Her husband's car broke down, so she had no one to share her Thanksgiving with. So we stayed and taught her the first lesson while she cooked the rest of the dinner and then stayed to eat dinner with her. She is really a sweet woman and we were glad to be with her in her apartment. We have another appointment with her soon.
Since Thanksgiving was last week, I am going to list some things that I am grateful for:
~My beautiful, wonderful family who is so supportive of me in all the things that I do, and all the crazy places I go. I could not have asked for a more wonderful Mother and Father and siblings. The Lord has truly blessed me in this life with them as my foundation.
~The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Because of this faith I know who I am and why I am here. I have the answers to the major questions of life, and not simply because it is what I have been taught, but because the Father of the Universe has testified it to me through the Holy Spirit so that I could know within my own heart that it is true.
~My incredible friends that I have made throughout my life. These people have been here for me throughout the times that I have been slightly (or really) crazy, and have been people who have built me up and pushed me to be a better person. They are examples to me of how I can live, and how I can be closer to God. My friends are hardworking and noble souls, and I am honored to know them.
~The opportunity that I had to go to Brigham Young University, Cambridge University, the Jerusalem Center in Israel, and now to go on a mission. These things are by no means cheap, and my family has always been willing to support me in them. I know how richly these opportunities have blessed my life, and I know that the Lord has allowed me them so that I might learn the things that will lead me to be a better person who can help more people come unto Him.
~The direction God gives to me, even when I don't realize it. I have noticed throughout my life that things just tend to happen for me and they always happen for the best. I know it is not because I am particularly anything, but because the Father of us all is watching out for me. I am so thankful for that. I never have to wonder if I am doing what God wants me to do because He directs me in everything.
~The beauty and wonder of this earth. I will never get over how fabulous it is to be alive. Everything around me is beautiful, interesting--- a testament to God who made it. I am so grateful that though the Lord wanted to test us and to help us find our way back to Him, He still created beautiful things that we can see and feel edified by.
~The atonement of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that the Savior of the world died for me and because of Him and what He did, I can become perfectly spotless again. I know that it is only through His mercy and grace that I am saved, and I will be eternally grateful and eternally indebted to Him for it. He is the reason for life, the light that infuses all things and which fills my soul with life. Because of Him, I not only am but can continue and can find perfect joy. I can never express my thanks enough for what He did for me, and I will serve Him eternally because of it.
I love you all, and I will write next from the great country of Slovenia. I pray for you every day and every night, and know that God knows you and loves you and will care for you all in my absence.
With all my love,
- I arrived in Zagreb, Croatia -- BRRRR!
- Sestra Ary's mailing address & postal rates
- A NOTE FROM MADELEINE’s MOM:
- I leave for Slovenia TOMORROW!
- Knocking on doors, teaching about Christ and actua...
- Week 10: In our nation's capitol and AMAZING thing...
- Week 9: I'm almost to Slovenia, w/ a detour to Was...
- BIG NEWS: Departing 6 A.M. on Fri 11/4 for.....D.C...
- Week 8: My last week at the MTC (sort of...maybe) ...
- ▼ November (9)