Boy do I have some news!
First of all... I'm being transferred to Jacksonville, Illinois and will most likely be learning SIGN-LANGUAGE!!!!! Who knew I would get the opportunity to work in a deaf community?? Oh I am so excited. This is big :) Really big. What if I come home knowing how to sign?? That would be so epic! Man, the Lord must love me!
Really though, I've been reflecting on how awesome my mission has been and am just in awe of how much I have been blessed. I have absolutely loved my mission so far and all the areas I have been in. For example- Holidays mean a lot to me.... obviously. The Lord put me in a place where I would have the most fun celebrating the most important holidays of the year!! There is a girl in our ward named Naomi who always does stuff for us on holidays and Easter has been the most fun so far. It was honestly the best Easter I've ever had because of a lot of different reasons.
The first being that we had two incredible confirmations on Sunday that almost brought me to tears. Qing's confirmation talked about how she would be a great light and bring the gospel to her ancestors and those in her native land! It talked about her being an avid reader of the scriptures and being strong in the gospel. Then Taira's confirmation was just as cool and unique. Hers talked about her family and how she would lead them to the truth. It said that she was prepared before this life to accept the gospel and bring it to her family and that she would become a great leader. :) It was wonderful. The gospel is filling the earth!
The second reason why it was the best Easter ever was because of all the fun stuff we did at Naomi's house! We came in and all received Easter baskets!!! And they all had stuffed bunnies!!!!!!
Then we had a huge feast. Ham, potatoes, salad, fruit... all that good stuff. Oh and of course deviled eggs! Yum! We played some hilarious games while we ate and after we finished. One game included not being allowed to show your teeth- this family is hilarious. Then we read an Easter story and had an Easter egg hunt! Oh it was so fun! I felt like a little kid again! Then we decorated eggs!! I always love decorating eggs. I made a tortoise one and a pink and blue one. Then we went into the living-room for a special activity. We were each given an egg with a number on it. We went in order and each read a scripture that we found inside the egg that had to do with the atonement. There was also a small object that represented the part of the atonement that was read. The spirit filled the room as we all reflected on the true meaning of Easter. Then we sang hymns like "He Is Risen" and "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" all together and it sounded wonderful. When a song would end someone would come up with another one that reminded us of Christ raising from the dead and we would sing it. This went on till our voices got tired, we were enjoying it so much!
The celebrations ended with us going outside and cracking Easter eggs on our heads that were filled with confetti! It was hilarious! And yes, I got it on video.
I am just so grateful for my Savior and the He Lives!!! I'm so grateful for his life and his willingness to suffer and die that we might live again. I am so grateful for the peace that comes from this and knowing my Savior. I love him so much and I am so grateful for the relationship I have with him. I know that he lives and that one day I will see him again. Not only will I see him, I will be with him forever as I keep my covenants. I love this gospel and I am so grateful for it!
Seeing Jake baptize Qing on Saturday was incredible.
What a unique experience to be able to see someone I have had the privilege to teach baptize another person that I taught. When Jake said the words for the baptismal ordinance he said them with such care and with power. The baptism was perfect and Qing was so happy!! She even had two friends come that are interested in learning more! The gospel is filling the earth!!!!
Talking to Jake after, he said that baptizing Qing was more powerful than even being baptized himself. He said he felt the spirit so much that it seemed like he wasn't even doing it himself. What an incredible experience for everyone.
Baptism reminds us again of the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. It symbolizes His death, burial, and resurrection. How wonderful that we too will live again as we continue to make and keep our covenants we make with God.
I wish I could tell you everything but that would just take too long. Stories for when I come back ;)
Sister Herdman's dream came true and she is getting a brand new missionary to train! She is so excited! I will be follow-up training Sister Richardson. I don't know who she is but I am excited to! Great things are ahead!
OH WAIT! One more miracle to mention! Remember the African guy we taught the restoration to?? We have been praying that he would contact us all week and then Sunday morning he texted us and asked to meet with us today at four! We were so happy! Miracles. :)