No, not to Sao Paulo, Brazil...I'M GOING TO DES MOINES, IOWA!
|Des Moines, Iowa - here I come!|
No visa still so this is my re-assignment for now. I have no idea how long I'll be here but I'm excited nonetheless. My face may have said otherwise when I opened the letter...I was just so surprised. I was not expecting the mid-west. But I know this is where the Lord needs me for now and I'm okay with that. I looked up the boundaries for my mission and it's HUGE. It covers all of Iowa and then parts of Illinois and northern Missouri. Pretty Sweet! I leave at 3am tomorrow morning (Weds, June 5th) and can't wait to talk to my parents again from the airport!
This last week has been so hard though. My whole district got their reassignments and this is the break down: I'm the only one going to Iowa, Sister Dixon and my companion Sister Empey are going to the Michigan Lansing mission, Sister Hargrove left yesterday for the Colorado Springs mission, 4 Elders left this morning for the Mesa Arizona mission, 1 got his visa so he left just an hour ago for Brazil, and the first 3 elders left Saturday morning for Billings, Montana. I can honestly say that I have cried every single day this past week. Goodbyes are so hard! I have become so close with these amazing people and since the Elders that went to Montana aren't going to our same mission in Brazil, I won't see them for 2 years. I know we'll keep in touch but that goodbye was awful.
On a lighter note, a couple highlights from this week reminded me how perfect God's timing is. He knows us better than we know ourselves and I know that everything happens for a reason. The fact that none of us have our visas just means there are people in all of these places that need us and I'm okay with that. We also heard that missionaries' visas are getting pushed to the bottom of the stack as people worldwide are trying to get visas for the World Cup next year and for the Olympics as well. There has just been an overload of visa applications to Brazil so we'll see what happens!
Another wonderful thing I've learned is that obedience brings blessings. The second we break a rule, you lose a blessing; something goes wrong. That's not to say if we are always obedient, nothing bad will happen because we still have to grow and be challenged but I know that if we are staying as close to God as we can and following His commandments that he will help us and bless with the things we need in our lives. Oraçao e muito poderoso! Prayer is so powerful! He knows my heart and my needs and I've realized that because every time I was sad or had a hard time with something, one small thing happens to brighten my day whether it be a letter I wasn't expecting, or someone who crosses my path and makes me smile or a prayer was answered or someone just made me laugh. They're all small things but I am so grateful that I got the chance to see how God can work in my life.
Sunday night we watched a devotional from Elder David A. Bednar titled "Character of Christ" and it was amazing. It was about how the natural man turns inward whenever there is conflict but that Christ always turned outward, looking to help others. He told a story about a woman whose daughter was in a horrible car accident with two other girls. One of these girls died instantly and the other two were in critical condition. The girls weren't identified yet but this mother called Elder Bednar asking him to go over to the hospital to identify her daughter. At the same time she received a call from the hospital saying that her daughter was the one that was killed on impact. Elder Bednar heard this as he was on the other side of phone. Not a second passed when the woman said (at the time he was Brother Bednar) "Brother Bednar can you please contact the other two mothers and let them know that their daughters are still alive." How selfless was this woman to instantly think of others before herself at a time like this. He goes on to say that the day of her daughter's funeral, a woman from the mother's ward called (not knowing the mother's situation) complaining that she had a cold and asked why no one had stopped by to deliver a meal to her yet. This amazing Christ-like woman said "I'll be over soon", cooked a meal, and brought it over on her way to her daughter's funeral. She never took a minute to explain her story, what she was going through or was impatient. She turned outward. This story impressed upon me so much about how I need to view others. We need to see everyone as God does and love them unconditionally. Always turn outward as Christ did and we will be so much happier.
I'm so glad I got the chance to see this before I leave for the mission field because this is what my whole mission is about! Loving others, helping them to realize God's love for them and bring them unto Christ. I cannot wait. My time at the MTC has taught me so much and I'm so excited to continue learning and growing throughout my whole mission. It's everything I expected it to be and more. I will have my new address soon and hopefully have it up here. I love you all and the next time I write I'll be in Iowa!
Sister Cox :)