Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 80: Last One!

This last week we had a lot of blessings and miracles happen. It was crazy because Wednesday at District Meeting we were doing a role play, Sister Lindsay was the missionary and I was just a random person on the street. She introduced herself and I didn't know what my name was so I picked 'Rochelle'. We did the role play and evaluated, re-practiced and then finished. Side note is that I LOVE ROLE PLAYING!!! Then later that day we went to visit MacKenzie but she wasn't home. So we thought that we would get to know her neighbors and the first door we knocked we met a very nice man that wasn't interested. He was getting ready to shut the door but his wife came to the door and opened it all of the way and said, "Come on in! I'm Rochelle and I need some help." Umm.....WHAT! What was your name....oh ya that is right Rochelle! The same name that I used in the role play during district meeting. Holy crazy! We were able to help her and have a time to go back this next week and see her again.

At the baptism for Aariah and Calvin
Saturday we had another baptism, for Aariah and Calvin. They are so amazing and have been wanting to be baptized for a very long time. But because of family choices and circumstances there was never an adult that would allow them to do so. The Elders have been working really hard and it is so cool to see how the gospel and the spirit change an individual....or multiple individuals. The church is true and those who are willing to listen and pray to know for themselves and really want an answer are able to know for themselves.

Elle the day she arrived at the Seattle airport and her first day
in the Everett Washington Mission
 The time has come that I am now writing my last email. It is really crazy for me to think that I have been on my mission of that long. I feel like it was just yesterday that I sent home my trainer and she was so upset to be leaving. I didn't understand why she would be sad to have to go home and see her family. At that point I had only been on my mission for three months and would have gladly been able to switch her so that I could go and hang out with my family again. It is interesting to be able to look back on my mission and see the times where I grew emotionally and spiritually.

Elle in Lake Stevens, Washington
In Lake Stevens my first area is where I learned that I could do it without my family. That it is good to have a support system but that I was strong enough to be able to go out and talk to strangers, to live with someone that I didn't know very well and have to learn how to communicate with them. Where I learned what it took to be a missionary and was just doing what I knew I was supposed to. That is where I was pushed to what felt like my limits but was always able to make it through. This is where I enjoyed being a missionary and was excited to be able to live my dream. That is where I was running off of borrowed energy from Heaven.

Elle visiting the Seattle Washington Temple while
serving in Lynnwood, Washington
 Lynnwood my second area, there was a lot that happened there. This is when I was able to experience being with a companion that did not see eye to eye with me. Where I had to learn to put my own thoughts and feelings aside so that I would be able to work effectively with her. That is where I realized missionary work was a lot more than just going through the motions and doing the everyday thing that I was expected to and supposed to do. I questioned what I was doing and why I was there. Did I really have a testimony strong enough to carry myself for 18 months or was I just wasting everyone's time? I spent a lot of time on my knees for the first couple of months that I was there. That is where my relationship started with my Heavenly Father. He had always been listening but I just had never really sincerely been talking to Him. I could feel His love and could recognize when He was talking to me and when He was trying to help me understand things. I started to turn to the scriptures for more than just spiritual questions but also for my temporal needs and concerns. I grew to love the scriptures and started reading them because I wanted to and not because I was expected to. I learned how to have fun while doing missionary work and that being serious all of the time was not as enjoyable as I may have thought it was. This is where I learned who I was and what my purpose was as a missionary, but most importantly that I am a daughter of a Father in Heaven who knew of my divine potential and was just waiting for me to realize it for myself. This is where I started to study the life of Christ and wanted to know more about the Atonement and repentance. I learned what it meant to love the people, that people are not numbers but that they are children of God and that He loves them and respects the fact that not everyone will be ready for the Gospel at the same time. This is where I realized that I wasn't running off of borrowed energy from Heaven but that I was running off of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

Elle at Deception Pass while serving
in Oak Harbor, Washington
Then Oak Harbor my third and last area. This is where I continued to study the life of Christ and started to hunger to know more and more about the things that He did, the miracles that He performed, His personality and why He loves us so much. I learned what it meant to strive to become a better person every day, and why we need to apply the Atonement and repentance daily in our lives. I had to learn to put my pride aside and to be able to accept help when it was needed. That I have a lot of talents but some of them are not as strong as other ones and that there are people all around that that have strengths where I have weaknesses. But I can work on my weaknesses to make them strengths, that I can become perfect in something but not in all things. This is where my patience was tried the most and I really had to take a look at myself and wonder how could I become more as the Savior, but that I couldn't figure that out alone but turned for my Heavenly Father to help me see where and what I could do to align my will with His will. Most importantly I learned how the spirit speaks to me, and that when I follow the prompting no matter how crazy it may seem something good always comes from it even if I don't see the results right away. 

Sister Adrielle Liana Jackson
Everett Washington Mission
July 29, 2015- February 13, 2017
Washington is where I learned that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me and that I have a Savior who died for me and for my short comings. That there isn't anything I could do that would change that, and when I do mess up that it is okay because they are just waiting for me to put my faith in to action and to turn to them for that help that I need to relieve me of the stress, guilt, and pain that I am feeling. I know that the Book of Mormon is the work of God and that it is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. That the Bible and the Book of Mormon go hand in hand and support and uplift each other. That anyone that reads the Book of Mormon will grow closer to God, and that it is the only book on earth that has the fullness of the everlasting Gospel. I know that prayer is so important and that there is never a time that we shouldn't pray. That as we allow God to be a part of every decision that we make we will be headed in the right direction. I know that repentance is essential for our happiness and that we need to be worthy to partake of the sacrament but that it can help us to come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the time that I have had to serve the Lord and to be a missionary. I am grateful that I will now be able to come home and continue the things that I have learned now. 

I love you all and will see you on Monday.