Dear Family and friends
This week I had one of the greatest experiences of my mission as Sister King (my last companion) and I got to accompany Frank, a recent convert, to get his Patriarchal Blessing. It was incredible! It was such an honor and privilege to be there with him and the Spirit that was felt there was indescribable. The Patriarch took a lot of time at the beginning to explain to us the importance of the blessings and the different elements in it, more than I remember at my blessing at least. He talked about gifts we are given, promises extended, but I learned most from what he had to say about the declaration of lineage in our blessing and the significance of it. The tribe that we are from is how we receive many of the blessings God wants to give us, primarily because as we assume and fulfill the responsibilities given to each tribe of Israel, the promised blessings also become ours. Ephraim, for example, is given the privilege of bearing the message of the Restoration of the gospel to the world and to gather scattered Israel. (Bible Dictionary, Ephraim). As we fulfill that responsibility through things like missionary work and temple work we gain the blessings associated with it.
I learned so much about how we can learn from our blessing and the importance of studying it so that we can continue to receive greater guidance from it. I had a glimpse of the eternities as I listened to the blessing being given to Frank. Patriarchal blessings are eternal and the Lord knows who we are and who we can become through His help. There are incredible promises given to each of us as we follow God's commandments. He is so eager to bless us and our potential is greater than we realize. It was enlightening and helped me understand more fully the love our Father in Heaven has for me and for you. Y'all should go read your Patriarchal Blessings again and if you don't have one, get one soon.
This week was also Transfers, and it's the first time in my whole mission nothing has changed. I have switched companions, gone to a new area, or gotten a 3rd companion. Its still just Sister Nielsen and me. It's kinda weird, but I think this is "normal" missionary life. Along with transfers my trainer, Sister Allred went home. She finished her mission and I will miss her dearly. I had the chance to talk with her a little last week before she left it was great to see an overview of her mission. Every mission is different, but they're all a lot the same. The Lord gives us very personalized challenges experiences and blessings to teach us, tailored for our needs. I've seen that intensified on the mission, but it happens everyday in normal life too. Missions fly so fast! When I first met Sister Allred she had been on her mission as long as I have been now, and now she's gone. There is soo much learning and changing and experience that comes from a mission and going home seems so far away, but I know it will come quickly... its weird to think about. One of my bffs Maggie finished her mission this week too. Weird.
Along with this transfer I was called to be a sister training leader which means basically means I go to an extra meeting, then help teach something at another meeting, do a couple exchanges with other sisters and help with sister problems. Should be fun! So this first meeting isand I'm supposed to come with ideas for how to take our mission to the next level in this season of "hastening". Good gravy that's a hard question, and it's resulted in a lot of introspection in the past hour or so since I read an email from President about it. What I can do to take myself to the next level to help the work? Food for thought... What can each of us do in our sphere of influence to further hasten the work of the Lord and gather Israel?
Christina is still amazing! She reads the chapters we give her and then asks for more to read! Tara is learning and growing. Please continue to pray for Charlie! Love you all!
PS: One of my favorite people in the ward, Kevin, takes us to the coolest places ever. He took a day off from work and then paid for us and the elders to go to this place called top golf. look it up. it's incredible. it's like bowling kind of, but golfing, maybe the picture will give you a better idea :)